Hopes shifting as Republicans, Democrats wait for Mueller

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been calling the Russia probe a witch hunt for two years. But now, Trump and his allies are starting to see it as something potentially very different: a political opportunity.

Though the special counsel’s findings remain unknown, Trump has grown increasingly confident that the report will produce no clear evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and his election campaign. And the president and his advisers are now considering how to weaponize those possible findings. That’s according to current and former White House officials and Trump confidants who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

A subtle change is also underway among congressional Democrats, who had long believed the report would offer damning evidence against the president.

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