Donald Trump said on Twitter that Russians who interfered with the 2016 presidential contest between him and Hillary Clinton were 'helping me get elected' – but he walked that statement back minutes later.
'Russia did not get me elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected,' the president told reporters at the White House, pointing a finger back at this own face.
'Russia didn't help me at all. Russia, if anything, I think, helped the other side,' he said.
'There were no charges. None,' Trump told DailyMail.com during Thursday's South lawn departure, declaring that 'that means you're innocent.'
'There was no crime. There was no obstruction, there was no collusion, there was no nothing,' he said of the result of Mueller's lengthy and costly probe.
'And this is from a group of people that hate me. If they only found anything, they would have had it. And he knows that better than anybody.'
Trump has complained that Russian election meddling, which launched the Mueller probe, became an afterthought as the special counsel's team focused on the question of whether he obstructed an investigation into a non-crime.
'Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax,' he wrote Thursday. 'And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn't exist.'
'This was all about Russia, Russia, Russia,' he told reporters later. 'They don't talk about Russia anymore.'
'The whole thing is a scam. It's a giant presidential harassment,' he claimed.