06:41 - Source: CNN
Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week
Washington CNN —  

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday that the White House isn’t focused on bracing for the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, despite reporting which suggests Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce the completion of the investigation as early as next week.

“Look, I think we’re always prepared for a number of things that come at us but right now our focus is not on the Mueller report but it’s on doing our jobs. It’s on focusing on the things that Americans care about,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.

Sanders also said President Donald Trump is “following the proper process” by not calling for the Mueller report to be publicly released, emphasizing that the decision is up to Barr.

“Just because (Trump) hasn’t made that call, he’s following the proper process,” Sanders said.

“If he did it the other way, you guys would go crazy saying ‘I can’t believe the president’s done this!’ I think it’s such a double standard. He’s following the process and we’ll see what happens,” Sanders added.

She told reporters that those in the Trump administration “think the public should have moved on (from the Mueller investigation) a long time ago.”

“I think the only people who are still hung up on it are Democrats and the media,” she continued, later adding, “I think the public did move on a long time ago.”

The President’s Twitter feed, however, suggests that the Russia probe is still at the top of his mind. As recently as Friday morning, Trump was tweeting about the investigations into his campaign’s involvement with Russia. “The Witch Hunt, so bad for our Country, must end!” he tweeted.

When reporters asked Sanders on Friday how the White House squares the fact that there have been so many indictments and contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians, and the Trump administration’s assertion that there was no need to collude with Russia, Sanders replied, “It’s real simple to me. The President far and away was the better candidate. He had a better message and he outworked Hillary Clinton.”

“That’s why he’s president. He didn’t need to, nor did he, collude with the Russians. Pretty simple,” she added.

CNN’s Allie Malloy, Sarah Westwood and Joe Johns contributed to this report.