“I knew he was looking for a way out,” Ms. Pelosi concluded. “We were expecting this.”
Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, was in the room. “Respectfully, Madam Speaker, do you have a direct response to the president?”
Ms. Pelosi said she was responding to the president, not members of his staff.
“Really great,” Ms. Conway replied. “That’s really pro-woman of you.”
In his report, Mr. Mueller established that Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential campaign to benefit Mr. Trump but that he could not establish any conspiracy or coordination with Mr. Trump’s campaign. Mr. Mueller outlined nearly a dozen instances when Mr. Trump, as president, sought to impede the investigation but offered no conclusion about whether those efforts constituted obstruction of justice.
In his appearance in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump once again claimed vindication by the report and accused Democrats of refusing to accept that he did nothing wrong. Mr. Trump has vowed to defy all subpoenas for testimony and documents sought by the House, which has angered enough Democrats that pressure is building to open a formal impeachment inquiry.
Mr. Trump emphasized that he and his team provided documents and testimony to Mr. Mueller without citing executive privilege even though he said the special counsel was biased against him, and although he did not himself agree to be interviewed in person.
“These people were out to get us, the Republican Party and President Trump, they were out to get us,” he said, referring to himself in the third person. “So here’s the bottom line,” he added. “There was no collusion, there was no obstruction. We’ve been doing this since I’ve been president, and actually the crime was committed on the other side.”
He followed up the news conference with a series of tweets. “You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously — it just doesn’t work that way,” he wrote. “You can’t go down two tracks at the same time.”