US & Canada

The stranger parts of the Mueller report you may have missed

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump has called the report a "total victory"

It's here - at long last the mammoth report into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election has arrived.

But while some have been wrestling with the grave political and constitutional questions the report raises the 448-page redacted document had lighter moments too. Here's the best of them.

Mueller disputed fees at a Trump golf course

In the days following the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate accusations of collusion with Russia, the president aired concerns to his inner circle, including then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, that there were conflicts of interest.

These included that Mr Mueller had interviewed for the FBI Director position shortly before his appointment and that he had worked for a law firm that represented people affiliated with the president.

However, the third and final concern was more bizarre as Mr Trump claimed that Mr Mueller had "disputed certain fees relating to his membership in a Trump golf course in northern Virginia".

Mr Bannon is said to have rejected all three claims, in particular calling the golf course dispute "ridiculous and petty".

Russians paid people to dress like Santa in Trump masks

Mr Mueller investigated whether Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) was exploiting political divisions in the United States on the request of Mr Trump.

Mr Mueller writes that he could not "identify evidence that any US persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated" with the IRA.

However, there was evidence presented of US rallies organized by the Russian agency involving some colourful tactics.

"The IRA also recruited moderators of conservative social media groups to promote IRA-generated content, as well as recruited individuals to perform political acts (such as walking around New York City dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask)."

'Lawyers don't take notes'

The report describes Mr Trump scolding White House counsel Donald McGahn for taking notes in meetings with the special counsel's office investigators.

"The President then asked, 'What-about these notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don't take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.' McGahn responded that he keeps notes because he is a 'real lawyer' and explained that notes create a record and are not a bad thing," it states.

The president is then quoted as saying "I've had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes."

Roy Cohn assisted Senator Joseph McCarthy's attempts to expose US communists in the 1950s before going on to work for Mr Trump as he launched his business career.

Top legal official always carried a resignation letter

The report offers insight into the strained relationship between Mr Trump and his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

The president criticised Mr Sessions both privately and publicly, and called upon him to regain control of the investigation.

The friction between the two reached a point where Mr Sessions was ready to quit at a moment's notice, the report says.

"In light of the President's frequent public attacks, Sessions prepared another resignation letter and for the rest of the year carried it with him in his pocket every time he went to the White House," the report says.

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