Following a Thursday morning report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller included “detailed accounts” of contacts between the 2016 Donald Trump campaign and Russia in his finished report on the findings of his investigation, as Inquisitr reported, an NBC News national security correspondent provided more information in a Thursday afternoon interview saying that even though Mueller apparently declined to indict Trump on a criminal conspiracy charge, evidence of collusion in the Mueller report with Russia is “very compelling.”
In his four-page letter, posted by Vox, stating the “principal conclusions” of the Mueller Report, U.S. Attorney General William Barr quoted Mueller saying that his “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
But according to correspondent Ken Dilanian of NBC News, based on information from a “U.S. official,” Mueller’s findings go well beyond the decision not to indict Trump for having “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.” In an interview with MSNBC, as quoted by Mediaite, Dilanian reported that “some members of the Mueller team say that the evidence on collusion, while not establishing a criminal conspiracy, is actually very compelling.”
The earlier NBC News report on Thursday said Mueller had found that members of the Trump campaign “were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation.”
“Some of it may be classified, but to the extent we get to see it, Mueller’s report talks about those contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Dilanian told MSNBC on Thursday afternoon. “We need to see the report. The Barr summary, by many accounts, did not quite do it justice.”
Watch Dilanian’s interview on MSNBC in the video below.
NBC’s report confirmed a story published Wednesday evening by The New York Times, which first reported that some investigators who worked for Mueller on the 22-month investigation were upset that Barr’s four-page letter did not fully represent the investigation’s findings, and that Mueller’s conclusions and revelations were “more troubling” for Trump than was indicated by Barr’s letter.
According to the NYT report, the Mueller team investigators were worried that the “narrative” created by Barr’s letter would have “hardened” in the public mind before the full report could be released. And indeed, shortly after the release of Barr’s letter on March 24, Trump himself declared, via Twitter, that Barr had granted him “Complete and Total EXONERATION.”
The Mueller investigators, according to a Washington Post report, were “caught off guard” when Trump “used Barr’s letter to claim total victory.”
But that response prompted the online political magazine Slate to comment that Mueller’s team must have been living in a “magic fantasy world” if they expected Trump to respond to their findings “in good faith.”