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In Washington, perspectives on Mueller report diverge across party lines

The Mueller report remains the top story in Washington, but Republicans and Democrats are viewing it from two very different perspectives. Democrats are pressing for full disclosure of the special counsel's findings so they can make their own judgments of the facts, while President Trump and his allies insist the matter is concluded, with the president in the clear. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Mueller investigation is still the talk of Washington tonight, but the two sides are mostly talking past each other.

    Democrats are pressing for full disclosure of the special counsel's findings, while President Trump is insisting it is all over.

    Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    On Capitol Hill, a president happy to talk.

  • Donald Trump:

    This ridiculous witch-hunt, where it was proven very strongly no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Described by the senators he lunched with as having particular energy, the president told reporters he wants to turn to policy now.

  • Donald Trump:

    The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care. You watch.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    This after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia concluded, and Attorney General William Barr said it found no collusion, but reached it had no conclusion on obstruction of justice.

    As they await the report itself, leaders disagree on how much should be released. Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, say Barr should redact anything that could harm other investigations.

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell R-Ky. Majority Leader:

    Throwing innocent people under the bus and throwing open classified records doesn't strike me as a good idea.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Democratic leaders, including Senator Chuck Schumer, want every page.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer D-N.Y. :

    Our main thrust on this issue is simply transparency. Release the report, then come to conclusions.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    It is not a request. Six House Democratic committee chairs wrote to Barr Monday night, demanding he release the full Mueller report to Congress by April 2. The letter said that Congress should be able to make an independent assessment of the evidence regarding obstruction of justice.

    House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, one of the six names on that letter, told the "NewsHour" that Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's own writings in the past make them biased and unreliable arbiters.

    But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders in the House focused publicly today on health care and new Democratic legislation, downplaying Russia and impeachment talk.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries D-N.Y.:

    Some in this town were obsessed with the Russia investigation.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Hakeem Jeffries chairs the House Democratic Caucus.

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries:

    Strengthening the Affordable Care Act, protecting people with preexisting conditions, increased pay and a real infrastructure plan, that is what House Democrats are focused on.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Impeachment is still on the mind of freshman Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The Democrat is circulating this letter, obtained by the "NewsHour," asking for an impeachment inquiry.

    As for the Democrats who hope to become president, they are not raising the Mueller report on the campaign trail. But the outlet TMZ did raise it to candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren catching a train back to D.C. Monday.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-Mass.:

    I just spent the last two days doing public events in New Hampshire. I took a ton of questions. And you know how many questions I got about the Mueller report? Zero. People want to know about the things that touch their lives every day.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    But, at the Capitol, investigations remain a part of everyday life, from both parties. Today, the House Judiciary Committee agreed on a Republican push for more information about the actions of former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and whether he tried to remove the president.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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