Barr's summary, Mueller's report & 'Us' rocks the box office: The Morning Rundown

Mueller found no proof that Trump colluded with Russia and reached no conclusion about whether he obstructed justice.
Image: President Donald Trump speaks upon his departure from West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 24, 2019.
"This was an illegal takedown that failed," President Donald Trump said of the Mueller probe. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

After months of anticipation, we finally got our first glimpse of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The nearly two-year investigation found no proof that Trump's campaign criminally colluded with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, but it reached no conclusion about whether Trump himself obstructed justice, Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Sunday.

We've got full coverage and analysis.


For Team Trump, one takeaway: Vindication

The bombshell findings were contained in a four-page letter Barr sent to top lawmakers summarizing the special counsel's report.

Mueller found no conspiracy during his exhaustive investigation of Russia's efforts to disrupt the last election "despite multiple offers from Russia-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign," according to Barr's summary.

But when it came to the second key question Mueller was tasked with exploring — whether President Donald Trump engaged in obstruction of justice — the report was inconclusive.

Mueller wrote that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him," according to Barr's summary.

However, Trump had his own interpretation of Barr's report and tweeted a short time after its release, "Complete and Total EXONERATION."

So what does it all mean and where do things stand now?


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The Supreme Court to hear gerrymandering cases against Democrats & Republicans

Aside from the Mueller report, it's still business as usual in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear two challenges to redrawn boundaries for congressional districts that gave an advantage to the party in power — Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland.

In both cases, groups of voters sued and lower courts declared the maps to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.


College admissions scheme puts spotlight on sports programs

The recent college admissions scandal has put spotlight on non-revenue earning college sports that appeal to families with higher incomes — like crew, soccer or lacrosse — and how students gain admission by playing them.

“This raises serious questions: What is the legitimate reason to admit privileged kids in non-revenue sports at all?” one expert said.


Israel ramps up defenses amid increasing tension with Iran

Since President Trump announced last week that the U.S. should recognize Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, tensions have escalated between Israel’s military and Iranian-backed militias along the divide. NBC’s Bill Neely reports from the Israeli-Syrian border.


Plus


Live BETTER

Here's what the world's happiest country can teach Americans.

Finland has a strong social safety net, longstanding traditions and distinct styles of living that foster and promote joy — even in bad weather. Otto Ponto / Lehtikuva via Reuters file

Quote of the day

"The Democrats have done something that I never thought was possible: They’ve actually turned Donald Trump into a victim."

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a frequent defender of the president on cable TV


One fun thing

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o sits down with Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist to talk about starring in the new horror movie, “Us,” growing up in Kenya and her rise from Yale drama student to Oscar winner.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown. If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra