Donald Trump has vowed that people who pushed "evil" claims he colluded with Russia will be investigated after special counsel Robert Mueller found there had been no conspiracy with the Kremlin.
The US president said those making the allegations over his 2016 election conduct had been “treasonous” and done “very bad things”, adding that they "will certainly be looked at".
The White House went on the attack on Monday after claiming “complete exoneration” from Mr Mueller, despite the fact the special counsel himself did not clear Mr Trump over obstruction of justice.
Sarah Sanders and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s press secretary and lawyer, demanded the Democrats and “liberal media” who talked up collusion apologise in a message echoed by high profile supporters.
Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator close to the president, held a press conference to declare he wanted a new special counsel to investigate FBI and Justice Department officials who begun the probe into Mr Trump.
Meanwhile Democrats kept a low profile on Monday, attempting to come to terms with the new political landscape that had emerged in Washington DC after Sunday’s news.
Mr Mueller’s top-line findings from a probe that had lasted 22 months came in the form of a four-page memo from William Barr, the attorney general, and amounted to a major political victory for the president.
The Democrats are demanding the full Mueller report be made public and its underlying documents be handed to Congress.
They are also vowing to continue investigations they started after taking back control of the House of Representatives in January, something will be harder to justify now.
Speaking alongside Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, Mr Trump both lashed out at those who pushed the collusion claims and expressed relief Mr Mueller’s probe was over.
“I love this country as much as I can love anything – my family, my country, my god. But what they did, it was a false narrative, it was a terrible thing,” Mr Trump said.
He added: “Very few people I know could have handled it. We can never, ever let this happen to another president again.”
The president also said: "There are a lot of people out there that have done some very very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things against our country … [and] those people will certainly be looked at".
Mr Mueller’s confidential report was in two parts – the first looked at Russian election meddling in 2016 and the second looked at claims Mr Trump obstructed justice by impeding that investigation.
Mr Mueller concluded the Kremlin did intervene to tip the election for Mr Trump, both pumping disinformation at Americans over social media and hacking Democratic Party emails and orchestrating their release.
Ms Sanders said : “I think Democrats and the liberal media owe the president and they owe the American people an apology.
“They wasted two years and created a massive disruption and distraction from things that impact everyone’s day to day life.”
But, crucially, Mr Mueller was categorical in his conclusion that neither Mr Trump nor his campaign aides conspired with the Kremlin during the campaign.
On the second issue, Mr Mueller was less definitive. He said he chosen not to make a decision on whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice, handing the decision on to the Justice Department instead.
“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him",” Mr Mueller noted, according to Mr Barr’s summary – in contrast to Mr Trump’s claim of “complete exoneration”.
It was Mr Barr and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who decided Mr Trump had not obstructed justice – a decision that Democrats have questioned given both were appointed by the president and reached the judgment just 48 hours after seeing Mr Mueller’s report.
Mr Barr is facing calls to appear before congressmen to explain his thinking. He has also pledged to reveal parts of Mr Mueller’s original report, which remains unpublished, though no timetable for that has been announced.