White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared on the Today show Monday morning to react to Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report, which was summarized by the attorney general on Sunday.
“This is a two year waste of taxpayer time and dollars. They spent over $25 million on this just to find out that there was nothing there,” Sanders said. “This should never happen to another president, and we want to make sure that the institution of the president is protected.”
The Mueller investigation, which probed Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there were any cooperation between the Trump campaign and those efforts, resulted in the indictment of 34 people and three Russian companies.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie questioned the Trump official over the Mueller report, which cleared the president and his campaign on collusion with Russia, but did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed of justice.
Guthrie called Trump’s claim that the summary represents a total exoneration “incorrect,” noting that Mueller left the question of obstruction up to Attorney General William Barr — who determined there wasn’t enough evidence.
“Not at all,” Sanders replied. “It is a complete and total exoneration,” she continued, noting Barr’s decision to clear the president on obstruction was based on Mueller’s findings.
Guthrie pointed to criticisms of Barr that he had “already had judged the case,” given he “wrote a 19-page memo stating there’s no obstruction case against the president before he saw one page of evidence.” She also pointed out that the Justice Department declining to prosecute someone is not an exoneration.