- Associated Press - Monday, March 25, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul sees vindication for President Donald Trump with the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but Kentucky’s lone Democratic congressman said the summary of Mueller’s probe “leaves many questions unanswered.”

Reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusions split along party lines in Kentucky’s predominantly Republican congressional delegation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Mueller’s conclusions confirmed Trump’s account that there was no effort by Trump’s campaign to conspire or coordinate with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump easily carried Kentucky in 2016 and will be a prohibitive favorite again in 2020 in the Bluegrass State.

McConnell, who is up for re-election next year, warned that Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere “with our democracy are dangerous and disturbing.” The Kentucky Republican said he welcomed Mueller’s contributions to better understanding Russian activities.

Paul told reporters Monday that the nearly two-year Mueller investigation was a “colossal waste of money and time.” GOP Rep. Thomas Massie agreed, tweeting: “The Mueller report states what was obvious from the start: President Trump is not guilty of collusion.” Paul called it “absolutely a vindication” for Trump.

Kentucky’s lone Democratic congressman, John Yarmuth, said Barr’s summary “leaves many questions unanswered.”

“We still don’t know exactly what Trump campaign officials knew and did, even if they could not be successfully prosecuted for a crime. That is why the full report and all underlying evidence must be released to the American people,” he said.

Mueller reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Barr decided there was no evidence requiring prosecution on the obstruction issue.

Paul took a much more cautious approach as to what additional information should be released. “Everybody who wants more should step back from the partisanship and say, ‘Would I want my name spread out there if I was not indicted of something?” Paul said.

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