Trump officially launches his 2020 re-election bid

President Trump took aim at former special counsel Robert Mueller during a sprawling campaign rally Tuesday to officially kick off his 2020 reelection bid, decrying the federal Russia probe as a "witch hunt" and swiping at former political foes like Hillary Clinton.


At a campaign rally in Orlando, the president cast Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible obstruction of justice as a Democratic-led effort to malign his presidency and relitigate the 2016 race between himself and Clinton.

“For the last two-and-a-half years, we have been under siege,” he told an arena packed with supporters. “They want a do-over. No other president should have to go through this again. It is so bad for our great country. A hoax. A great hoax.”

“After two years, 1.4 million pages of documents, 500 search warrants, 500 witnesses, 2,800 subpoenas and 40 FBI agents working around the clock, what did they come up with? No collusion. And the facts that led our great attorney general to determine no obstruction. No collusion, no obstruction.”

Mueller wrote in his final report that he found no proof of conspiracy between Trump and Moscow in Russia’s efforts to meddle in the election, but declined to exonerate the president over whether he obstructed subsequent probes, outlining 10 “episodes” of possibly obstructive behavior. The special counsel declined to issue an indictment, citing existing Justice Department guidelines against charging a sitting president.

Attorney General William Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later declined to charge Trump with obstruction after reviewing Mueller’s underlying evidence.

“We went through the greatest witch hunt in political history. The only collusion was committed by the Democrats, the fake news media and their operatives and the people who funded the phony dossier, crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC," Trump said Tuesday.

"It was all an illegal attempt to overturn the results of the election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did,” the president said, referring to a dossier compiled by former MI6 operative Christopher Steele outlining alleged misconduct by Trump.

“We call it the Russian hoax.”

While Mueller's probe wrapped up earlier this year without any recommendation of charges, a growing number of House members have called for impeachment proceedings to begin, citing findings laid out in the special counsel's report.

House Democrats have also continued a slew of oversight investigations into the administration, which Trump has repeatedly blasted, casting his administration as a victim of congressional overreach and claiming it as evidence that Democrats are solely focused on unseating him rather than passing legislative priorities.

Comments