Biggest bombshells, biggest questions from Mueller report

President Donald Trump offered a stern rebuttal to the special counsel's suggestion he may have obstructed justice and said he could have fired Mueller but "chose not to."
4:49 | 04/19/19

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Transcript for Biggest bombshells, biggest questions from Mueller report
A Good Friday where we are dealing with all the fallout from the Mueller report. Take a look at this, the 448-page report in such demand this morning Harvard book store says copies are selling as fast as they can be printed. 448 pages, a few big bottom lines. Mueller confirmed that Russia interfered in our election but did not conclude that the trump team engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. Mueller wrote that he could not exonerate trump on obstruction of justice. Here's the key quote, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The special counsel spun off 14 other criminal investigations, 12 of those are still secret. Our political team has been covering every angle of this story. Let's start with our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl in Washington. Reporter: The president is firing back at the special counsel's suggestion that he may have obstructed justice by saying that if he wanted to he could have pulled the plug on the entire investigation but he didn't. President trump was in a celebratory mood as he greeted supporters after touching down in Florida for Easter weekend. Game over, folks. Now it's back to work. Reporter: The president ignored reporters' questions on Mueller's final report, but overnight he offered a stern rebuttal to Mueller's suggestion that he may have obstructed justice by trying to curtail the investigation. I had the right to end the whole witch hunt if I wanted, the president tweeted. I could have fired everyone including Mueller if I wanted. I chose not to. I had the right to use executive privilege. I didn't. The Mueller report finds insufficient evidence to prove the trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in their effort to meddle in the 2016 election. The report also offers vivid details about the investigation from start to finish, describing the moment then attorney general Jeff sessions informed president trump a special counsel had been appointed. The president slumped back in his chair and said, oh, my god, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. On obstruction of justice, Mueller outlines 11 instances that raise concerns about the president's actions. One of the most glaring, Mueller says the president pressured then white house counsel don mcgahn to have Mueller himself fired. The president called mcgahn at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general rod Rosenstein, the report reads. Call rod, tell rod that Mueller has conflicts and can't be the special counsel. Mcgahn recalled the president telling him, Mueller has to go. Call me back when you do it. Mcgahn refused deciding he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday night massacre. Weeks later the president denied even thinking about firing Mueller. Have you thought about or considered firing the special counsel? I haven't given it any thought. Reporter: The president's staff ultimately may have saved him by ignoring his orders. The president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, Mueller writes, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or seed to his requests. The report cites at least seven different individuals close to the president including mcgahn who declined to do what he asked regarding the investigation. The report also documents several instances where the president or his senior advisers made public statements related to the investigation that were not true, including this assertion by press secretary Sarah Sanders about the firing of James Comey. The rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director. What's your response to these rank and file FBI agents who disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director Comey? Look, we've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things. Reporter: Sanders told the special counsel team that claim, a claim she repeated several times, wasn't founded on anything but was a slip of the tongue made in the heat of the moment. President trump has often boasted that he has one of the best memories of all time, but in his written answers to questions from the special counsel, he seems unable to remember much of anything, using variations of the phrases, I do not recall, I do not remember, I have no recollection more than 30 times, virtually, George, in answers to every question. Jon Karl, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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