William Barr Repeated Version of Donald Trump's 'No Collusion' Line 16 Times in 22-Minute Press Conference

Attorney General William Barr, in his press conference Thursday morning before the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report, repeated 16 times in 22 minutes that there was either no collusion, conspiracy or coordination between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

Barr used the presiden'ts favored phrase of no "collusion" five times, according to his prepared remarks. Here are Barr's exact statements:

  • "Put another way, the special counsel found no collusion by any Americans in the IRA's illegal activity."
  • "In other words, there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government's hacking."
  • "After finding no underlying collusion with Russia, the special counsel's report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the president could amount to obstruction of the special counsel's investigation."
  • "At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President's personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion."
  • "After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes."

The word "collusion" is not actually in the federal code, so could be seen as unusual that Barr uttered it, particularly so many times. "Collusion" has become a shorthand way of referring to conspiracy, the federal crime when "two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States," according to the legal statute.

No Collusion - No Obstruction! pic.twitter.com/diggF8V3hl

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2019

Barr did mention "conspiracy" or "conspired" six times, and used the word "coordinated" five times:

  • "As you know, one of the primary purposes of the special counsel's investigation was to determine whether members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, or any individuals associated with that campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election."
  • "As you will see, the special counsel's report states 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 the special counsel found no evidence that any Americans—including anyone associated with the Trump campaign—conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme."
  • "Indeed, as the report states, "[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA's interference operation."
  • "But again, the special counsel's report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations."
  • "Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the special counsel's report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials."
  • "After reviewing those contacts, the special counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign."
Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, right, and U.S. Acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O’Callaghan listen at the Department of Justice April 18, in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images