Trump says timing of release of Mueller report "totally up to" attorney general

/ CBS News

Trump: Release of Mueller report up to AG

President Trump said it is "totally up to" Attorney General William Barr whether and when special counsel Robert Mueller's report is released. Mr. Trump made the comments in a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the White House Wednesday.

"That'll be totally up to the new attorney general, he's a tremendous man a tremendous person who really respects this country and respects the Justice Department so that'll be totally up to him," Mr. Trump said, asked about the timing of the release of Mueller's report after CNN posted a report claiming Mueller's investigation is drawing to a close.

Asked if the special counsel's report should be released in full, the president added that from what he understands, "that'll be totally up to the attorney general."

Mr. Trump has said before that he'd leave the handling of Mueller's report is up to Barr. But it's unclear exactly when — or the extent to which — Mueller's findings will be made public. Mueller's confidential report goes to Barr, who is expected to then submit the conclusions from of that report to Congress. But Barr has not definitively said whether Mueller's full conclusions will be made public.

Barr, asked in his January confirmation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein whether he would release Mueller's full report to the public, responded, "As I said in my statement, I am going to make as much information available as I can, consistent with the rules and regulations."

Acting Attorney Matt Whitaker said earlier this month that Mueller's investigation is "close to being completed."

The president is meeting with Kurz at the White House for the first time. At 32, Kurz is Europe's youngest head of government. Mr. Trump and Kurz, according to the White House, are discussing global conflicts and conflicts in Europe, along with ways to promote economic prosperity and strengthen the ties of the U.S. and Austria. After the first private conversation Wednesday afternoon, and there will be a meeting including more participants.

Kurz, a conservative of the Austrian People's Party who won office in 2017, has been hailed as a "rock star" by Mr. Trump's ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell. Kurtz, like Mr. Trump, has called for tighter controls on immigration.

The meeting comes days ahead of the president's high-stakes second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mr. Trump will meet with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, next week. The White House also announced Wednesday that Mr. Trump will travel to Japan at the end of May.

First published on February 20, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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