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Wait — did President Trump just say Russia helped get him elected??
Well, yes, but then some minutes later he said the exact opposite.
Trump tweeted shortly before 8 o'clock that Russia did, in fact, help him get elected — his first such acknowledgement that the Russian state sought to undermine the 2016 U.S. election to benefit Trump.
“Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax,” he tweeted. “And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist.”
Less than an hour later, he contradicted himself.
“No, Russia did not help me get elected,” Trump told reporters outside the White House before he traveled to Colorado to speak at the Air Force Academy.
Trump’s tweet and comment came on the heels of special counsel Robert Mueller’s first public address in more than two years, one which many people interpreted as a tacit suggestion to Congress that it begin an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s president.
In a surprise public statement Wednesday, Mueller said that his 448-page report purposefully did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice charges and that he did not have the power to bring charges against Trump due to longstanding Department of Justice policy.
“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
A few prominent Democrats — including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand, all presidential candidates — said that Mueller’s latest remarks gives Congress no choice but to begin an impeachment inquiry. The nation’s top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, still seems uneager to do so.