At a press conference Thursday morning, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the White House gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team “unfettered” access during the investigation — despite the fact that President Donald Trump refused to testify.
Mueller started the investigation into Trump’s campaign links to Russia more than two years ago and submitted the 400-page report to the Department of Justice last month. In a letter summarizing the report, Barr said the investigation concluded Trump’s campaign didn’t partner with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election, and that there wasn’t sufficient evidence for an obstruction of justice charge.
In a press conference before the release of the redacted version of the report, Barr thanked the White House and Trump for their cooperation in the investigation.
WATCH: Highlights from Barr’s press conference ahead of Mueller report release
“The White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims,” Barr said.
“And at the same time, the president took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation.”
But that statement isn’t completely true.
In January 2018, Trump was expected to answer questions from Mueller in a private meeting.
But after Mueller provided a list of topics, Trump’s lawyers fought back.
Trump also said in August, after Mueller pitched new interview terms for the meeting, that he was worried the Special Counsel was going to catch him in a “perjury trap” and refused to testify.
In the report, which was released shortly after Barr’s press conference, investigators said they did not ask for Trump to be subpoenaed because it would create a “substantial delay” at a “late stage” in the investigation.
Trump did provide written responses to questions from Mueller, on topics such as the Wikileaks documents and the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Russian lobbyists.
WATCH: Takeaways from the Mueller Report
Asked when he first learned about the Trump Tower meeting, he said he didn’t “recall” learning about the meeting during the campaign.
Barr said he determined that there was no obstruction of justice because partially because of the cooperation, saying Trump’s motives were “non-corrupt.”
“Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the president had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation,” Barr said at the conference.