In prepared comments shared Thursday ahead of the redacted documents' release, Barr—who's received a wave of criticism in recent weeks—thanked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller for their work in connection with the investigation.
"I am sure that all Americans share my concerns about the efforts of the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election," Barr claimed Thursday ahead of the redacted report's public release, per a transcript from the Justice Department. "As the Special Counsel's report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election. But thanks to the Special Counsel's thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign—or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter."
CNN reports that a slightly less redacted version of the report will be presented to congressional leaders Thursday, with only grand jury-related info remaining blacked out in those versions. Following the release of the Barr transcript, Trump tweeted out a supremely ugly Game of Thrones Photoshop hack job featuring all-caps phrases like "NO COLLUSION." Notably, the last time Trump tried to co-opt a pop culture moment, he was met with an outright shutdown.
In a letter Thursday, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler requested testimony from Mueller "no later than" May 23.
Also mentioned in Barr's remarks Thursday were his disagreement with Mueller regarding "10 episodes" in which the Special Counsel presented "legal theories for connecting these actions to elements of an obstruction offense." According to Barr, he and the Deputy Attorney General ultimately concluded that the Special Counsel's evidence was "not sufficient" enough to establish that Trump committed such obstructions. This wording, of course, has quickly become a source of contention among those closely following 2016 election developments.
Read the redacted report here. Early interpretations and responses to the redacted report's release, as well as to Barr's preceding remarks, have ranged from praise of Mueller's investigative efforts to continued confusion surrounding the aforementioned obstruction elements.
Citing the likelihood for spin, Democratic leaders have continued calls for the full, unredacted report to be made publicly available.