That sense of finality was echoed by Republican senators who are considerably less inclined to take Mr. Trump’s side, including Mr. Portman, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who in private have all harshly criticized Mr. Trump’s conduct of his presidency, according to aides.
Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, perhaps the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election next year, told Politico, “Look, it’s clear there were no merit badges earned at the White House for behavior.” He added, “You have to focus on the heart of this conclusion, which is there is no collusion, no cooperation. That’s where the focus ought to be.”
Mr. Romney’s sharp statement after the Mueller report was released brought him bipartisan attention, but he has resisted calls from several former aides and allies to push for a new investigation, according to people close to him.
Senate Republicans insist they are not ignoring the Mueller report, just accepting a reality that House Democrats refuse to admit: Mr. Trump has been cleared of anything impeachable, even if he was not entirely “exonerated,” as the president has repeatedly claimed.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told reporters in his state last week that it was “too early to comment” on the obstruction allegations, saying that he wanted to see the complete version before he passed judgment.
But he added that Mr. Trump had “every right to feel good” about Mr. Mueller’s report.
Privately, Mr. McConnell has told colleagues that he is eager to get the mess behind him, and that nothing he has seen so far in the unredacted 448-page version of the report released last week leads him to believe there is any reason to pursue a new investigation.
House Democratic leadership aides say it is still unlikely that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will succumb to pressure to pursue impeachment based on Mr. Mueller’s obstruction findings, although Mr. Trump’s vow to stonewall “all” Democratic subpoenas, related to the inquiry or not, might shift that calculus.