Trump, Putin discussed Mueller report and agreed no collusion, White House says

Image: Sarah Sanders speaks at the White House in Washington
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Presidents Trump and Putin covered a variety of topics in their phone conversation Friday. Copyright Kevin Lamarque Reuters
Copyright Kevin Lamarque Reuters
By Dartunorro Clark with NBC News Politics
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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the two leaders spoke by phone for an hour on Friday.


President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Friday and both agreed "there was no collusion" between Moscow and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Sanders said that the two briefly discussed special counsel Robert Mueller's report "essentially in the context of that it's over and there was no collusion." She added that she was "pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of (the Mueller report's finding) long before this call took place" because it was "something we've said for the better part of two and a half years."

When asked if they also discussed election meddling by Russia that Mueller detailed in his report, she said that the administration is committed to securing American elections and blasted the Obama administration for not taking action in 2016.

"This administration, unlike the previous one, takes election meddling seriously," she said.

Since Mueller's findings were released by Attorney General William Barr in March and the full report was released last month, Trump has continued to claim vindication. Mueller's report, which lays outRussia's attempts to influence the 2016 election, notes "that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts." However, Mueller said in the report that he did not find a provable criminal conspiracy.

Sanders said that the two leaders discussed whether the administration would allow former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress as Democrats ramp up their oversight investigations into the administration. McGahn was a key witness in one of the 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump Mueller outlined in the report.

She also said that they discussed the crisis in Venezuela and the administration's need for a peaceful transition of power in the country and delivering aid to the country. Trump and Putin also talked about the need for Russia to put pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.

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