Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s hotly anticipated report not only revealed the results of his long-running Russia probe but exposed a series of clashes over the last two years within President Trump’s inner circle over the direction of the investigation and the president’s efforts to curtail it.
The report, released Thursday, showed that investigators did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russians—as Attorney General Bill Barr declared last month. But the report also depicted an array of controversial actions and requests made by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction inquiry.
While Mueller’s team ultimately did not reach a conclusion on whether the president’s conduct amounted to obstruction, the report recounted several incidents where top advisers resisted or defied the president’s “efforts to influence the investigation” — while saying those efforts were unsuccessful because of that defiance.
“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”