Trump says Clinton email report 'totally exonerates me' — but that's not true

  • Trump says the Justice Department's inspector general report into the FBI's Clinton email inquiry "totally exonerates me."
  • But the DOJ inspector general's report did not address any of the allegations of collusion or obstruction of justice related to Russia.

President Donald Trump said Friday the Justice Department inspector general's report into the FBI's Clinton email inquiry "totally exonerates me."

"There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. And if you read the report, you'll see that," Trump said on the White House North Lawn.

That's not quite true.

The report released on Thursday did not address any of the allegations of collusion or obstruction of justice related to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Instead, the report was focused solely on the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

Trump also said Friday the Mueller investigation had been "discredited." The president seemed to be referring to anti-Trump text messages sent by former Mueller investigator Peter Strzok.

Strzok was one of the FBI's top counterintelligence officials and helped lead the Russia probe.

The inspector general's report uncovered new messages, including one in which Strzok said "We'll stop" Trump from becoming president.

One problem with Trump's claim: Strzok was removed from Mueller's staff last summer, after Mueller became aware of text messages that expressed anti-Trump views.

And some of the most important investigative actions in Mueller's probe took place following Strzok's removal. For instance, former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in December. The first of several indictments for Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was handed down by a grand jury in October.

The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, also noted that there was no evidence to show that political bias influenced Strzok's actions.

"[O]ur review did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed," the report said.