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President Trump says release of Mueller report ‘totally up to’ attorney general

US President Donald Trump addresses the press in the White House briefing room on January 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. - President Trump gave a statement on the government shutdown and border wall in what was his first time behind the podium in the White House briefing room. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says it’s “totally up to” his attorney general whether the public gets to read special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

President Trump was asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether he’d have a problem with a public release. He said: “I don’t know. It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.”

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said last week the probe is “close to being completed.”

Democrats have pressured attorney general nominee William Barr to commit to releasing the final report in full. Barr has said he doesn’t know “what will be releasable” or what Mueller’s writing.

Barr has cited Justice Department regulations that say Mueller’s report should be confidential. They require only that the report explain decisions to pursue or decline prosecutions.

President Trump also said he has “not thought about” a pardon for Roger Stone, a confidant who is the sixth President Trump aide charged in Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements.

President Trump called Stone “a character” and said “it looks like he’s defending himself very well.”

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