WASHINGTON — After denouncing the special counsel's Russia investigation throughout its nearly two-year history, President Donald Trump greeted its conclusion with choice words: "the Crazy Mueller Report," ''written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters," containing "total bullshit."
Now, suddenly, the "witch hunt" is golden, in the pivoting rhetoric of the White House.
Bristling at Democratic attempts to dig deeper into episodes of possible obstruction of justice laid out in Robert Mueller's report, Trump's team is pointing to the fact that Mueller stopped short of accusing Trump of a crime (and glossing over the idea that it left Congress to pursue that path as it sees fit.)
This has given rise to fulsome praise for an inquiry Trump has routinely condemned.
"It was the most thorough investigation probably in the history of our country," Trump told reporters on Wednesday. "I say it's enough."
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway offered this: "The president is saying that the Mueller report is the definitive, conclusive non-partisan investigation."
This, after Trump assailed the inquiry as a partisan, polluted exercise since its inception and, according to the Mueller report, pressed aides to stop it.
Said Conway: "You want to see the nonpartisan, definitive, conclusive taxpayer-funded, lengthy, unobstructed, unimpeded, uninterfered with investigation? You just saw it and it's called the Mueller report."
The switch came as House Democrats stepped up their scrutiny of Trump's behavior and finances and the White House pushed back. A former White House official defied a House subpoena, the Treasury Department ignored a deadline for providing Trump's tax returns and the president vowed "we're fighting all the subpoenas" from Democratic lawmakers on these subjects.
Despite crediting Mueller with unparalleled thoroughness — and after countless false claims that the report exonerated him — Trump did not abandon his characterization of the inquiry as a witch hunt, something he's repeated on Twitter alone nearly 200 times in less than a year .
"We just went through the Mueller witch hunt, where you had, really, 18 angry Democrats that hate President Trump," he said. "They hate him with a passion."