The Latest: Divided reaction on Mueller’s work in divided US
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on reaction across America to the first glimpse into the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation (all times local):
Stephen Turner, an electrical engineer from Belmont, North Carolina, is a Republican who voted for Donald Trump for president. He says he’s glad the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is over.
“My first reaction is I’m glad … I’m glad maybe we can move on,” Turner told The Associated Press. “The ones side that’s happy is happy. And the other side that’s not happy wants to do some more investigation.”
He says it’s time to move on “and actually do stuff for the country and not spend all these resources and time on these investigations.”
Justin Linot, a truck driver interviewed in Derby, Kansas, is a registered Democrat. He expressed surprise at the outcome of the Russia investigation.
Speaking at a Starbucks in that suburb of Wichita, Kansas, the 36-year-old trucker said Sunday: “I am really surprised they weren’t able to find anything significant enough to be able to indict him.”
He says he thought special counsel Robert Mueller did a good job investigating, but doesn’t feel the public will necessarily ever learn the truth about Trump’s dealings with Russia. Says Linot, “I feel too many people haven’t told the truth to begin with.”
He adds Democrats were right to investigate Trump, calling the matter something that should have been looked into regardless of whether the president was a Republican or a Democrat. Of Trump, he concludes, “I think he has been treated more than fairly.”
Luke Ahearn, a 29-year-old general contractor from New Orleans, was grocery shopping in its suburb of Metairie with his brother Sunday when he learned about the Mueller report’s outcome. Ahearn, who describes himself as a Trump supporter, questioned whether the time and money put into the two-year investigation was worth it.
Ahearn says he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller did a fine job. Officials say Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential vote.
But he adds of the investigation: “I just think they spent way too much money on it, too much time on it.”
Ahearn says he doubts whether it’s worth going through the effort of getting the entire report released, saying the country has a lot of other problems to deal with, adding, “Let’s move on to the next problem in our society.”
Morgan Raum, a 22-year-old senior at New York’s Barnard College who is active in campus Republican and Libertarian clubs, says the conclusion of the investigation confirmed her longtime doubts about allegations of collusion.
Raum, who is majoring in political science and Judaic studies, said, “It took 22 months and I don’t really know how it could’ve taken this long to conclude nothing happened. For me the whole time it seemed pretty far-fetched.”
But Raum, who is from Manhattan, says she doesn’t expect the report to change the minds of many Democrats.
“They’ve been sure he (Trump) was guilty even before the investigation started,” she says.
Raum is president of Columbia University Libertarians. She says she had long had issues with Trump, disapproving of his tweets and his belittling of adversaries. She voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential vote.
Helen Jones, of Salt Lake City, Utah, says she is conservative and a registered Republican, but can’t stand Trump. The 72-year-old retired English professor said she voted for third-party candidate Evan McMullin in 2016.
She doesn’t expect anything “sensational” to come out of the Mueller report, but pointed to other ongoing investigations in New York and elsewhere involving Trump and those in his orbit.
She said, “I think it’s just the beginning. I can’t believe he’s not implicated in some way. Look at the people he’s surrounded himself with, they’re all crooks and liars.”
Jones said she hopes the entire report is released, but expect it to change the minds of her relatives who are strong Trump supporters – or her own mind, for that matter.
A longtime “political junkie” who closely followed Watergate, she believes this is another historical moment.
“I hope it’s a turning point in the Trump presidency,” she said. Still, doesn’t want Trump to be impeached.
“My preference would be he just gets elected out,” she said.
Carl Solberg, a New York City Democrat who used to work as a federal prosecutor, called Mueller a “very straight arrow kind of guy” and said he believes Mueller did exactly what he was tasked to do. But Solberg doubts it will put an end to questions about Trump and Russia.
While in Boston visiting family, the 72-year-old Solberg said, “Whether there is a prosecutor that pursues it or not, I think there will continue to be questions in people’s minds about the Russians.”
He noted that Mueller’s “mandate was narrow. He that “… frankly if I were a prosecutor trying to find evidence of criminal intent in Donald Trump, I don’t (think) he has criminal intent I think he’s just got a basically empty skull. So it would be very hard to prove that and I think Mueller probably realized that pretty early on.”
Solberg said the conclusion of the Mueller investigation doesn’t mean Trump is in the clear, noting that he remains under investigation by the federal prosecutors in New York.
Trump supporter Richard C. Osburn of South Charleston, West Virginia, said the president was “drug through the mud” and wants his critics to give him a break.
The 52-year-old nurse said, “The things that the man’s doing to try to help the average worker in this country never gets recognized by the mainstream media. They would rather hate, hate, hate than recognize accomplishments. Those days have got to stop.”
Osburn, a longtime Republican voter, supported Trump in 2016. He said the Mueller report does not end questions about Trump and Russia.
“It’s never going to go away,” he said. “This is what the media has to understand. (Democrats) absolutely despite this man. It’s all about their own agenda. They’re hell bent on finding anything.”
Osburn said he’s satisfied with what he’s seen in the Mueller report and criticized Democrats for pressing for the investigation.
Michael Tucker of Bancroft, West Virginia, is not a fan of President Donald Trump. But the 44-year-old truck driver says he does not believe the president was treated fairly in the Russia investigation.
He also doesn’t think Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will bring an end to questions about the president and Russia.
While shopping at a farm supply store Sunday in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, Tucker called the Russia investigation “a joke, for the most part.”
Tucker says if Trump colluded with Russia, “they would have come up with something by now. It’s one witch hunt after another, basically. If they could have found anything, they would have.”
Tucker says he’s confident that Mueller did “what he was hired to do” and has mixed feelings about whether Democrats should have pressed for an investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.
Tucker said he considers himself an independent voter but would vote for Trump again compared to anyone currently in the Democratic field.
In Oklahoma City, Fernando Sevilla, a Republican who voted for Trump, said Trump is “doing a great job” and that he believes the Mueller investigation was “witch hunts.”
Sevilla said, “I don’t think he went with Russia at all. He added, “He’s a businessman, he was never a politician. Politicians to me they’re just a bunch of crooks. They promise you one thing and they do another.”
While Democrats were right to seek the investigation, he said Trump has not been treated fairly.
The 66-year-old Sevilla said the investigation did not answer questions he has about Trump’s Democratic opponent in the 2016 election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the whereabouts of thousands of deleted emails.
In Detroit, 36-year-old William Braasch has been following the Mueller probe from its start and — while disappointed in what Barr released Sunday afternoon— he’s not surprised.
Braasch, a registered nurse, said, “I honestly doubted that much would come out, given that Barr was appointed by Trump. I’m not any more let down than I would have been before with this administration and the investigations.”
Braasch added that he is “looking forward” to Congressional investigations of Trump and investigations in New York state into Trump’s foundation.
Sue Arani, an accountant, was walking her dog and checking news on her phone Sunday in downtown Los Angeles. The 57-year-old Arani is originally from Iran but has been a US citizen since 1981. She describes herself as “Republican leaning,” but said she voted for Hillary in 2016.
Arani said the full report should “absolutely” be made public immediately, “in the name of full transparency.”
She said the public must see the report, “especially before the next election.” She also said the White House shouldn’t be allowed to spin the results: “Trump is famous for lying too much.”
Arani trusts Mueller: “I’m sure, based on his excellent reputation, that he did a complete job in his investigation. But he is in between a rock and a hard place, politically.”
Arani personally believes that there was likely collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. “But it’s possible that a lot of stuff wasn’t disclosed from the lower levels to the top (within the campaign). They might have kept Trump in the dark on purpose, so he could stay beneath it all. Maybe that was his idea too.”
Nora Kubiaczyk (pronounced koo-bee-AH-che) lives in Minneapolis, works in advertising, leans Democratic and considers herself “pretty liberal.” She voted for Clinton in 2016. In an interview Sunday in downtown Minneapolis she said, “I’m not shocked. It seems like with each of these investigations, there’s always going to seem like something like it’s a coup, or there’s somebody that seems like a smoking gun, and then it will be like yesterday’s news in no moment and Trump will keep walking on.”
She said it seemed there moments where Mueller was going after Trump and others where there were “a couple fumbles.”
Many Republicans are cheering and Democrats are scoffing as first word on the details of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation emerge.
For supporters of President Donald Trump, the four-page summary of the investigative findings released by Attorney General William Barr felt like an exoneration of the man they back.
For Trump’s opponents, some of whom had visions of the Mueller’s work ending with the president being led away in handcuffs, it is a disappointment.
What seemed certain in the wake of Sunday’s release was that it marked no end to the political divide, to the fierce criticism of Trump or to calls for more of Mueller’s report to be released.
Associated Press writers Corey Williams in Detroit; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; Tim Talley in Oklahoma City; Christopher Weber in Los Angeles; Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston; Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City; and John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, contributed to this story.