Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller Day: What to watch for This week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Top Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats MORE on Wednesday testified that his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was “not a witch hunt,” the first time he has publicly pushed back on President TrumpDonald John Trump Ocasio-Cortez about as well known as top Democrats: poll Protestor yelling about Trump Tower meeting thrown out of Mueller hearing Chris Wallace: ‘This has been a disaster for the Democrats’ and ‘for the reputation of Robert Mueller’ MORE‘s derisive nickname for the probe.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill’s Morning Report — Mueller day finally arrives Schiff tells Mueller that DOJ directive should have ‘no bearing’ on testimony Mueller Day: What to watch for MORE (D-Calif.) sought Mueller’s confirmation of a number of damaging facts laid out in the special counsel’s 448-page report, including that a number of former Trump associates were indicted on charges of lying to the FBI.
“And when Donald Trump called your investigation a witch hunt, that was also false was it not?” Schiff asked.
“Like to think so, yes,” Mueller replied.
“Well your investigation is not a witch hunt is it?” Schiff asked.
“It is not a witch hunt,” Mueller said.
“When the president said the Russian interference was a hoax, that was false wasn’t it?” Schiff continued.
“True,” Mueller concluded.
“When Donald Trump called your investigation a witch hunt, that was also false, was it not?”
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2019
Trump railed against Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election repeatedly over the course of the roughly two-year probe. He consistently described it as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”
The 448-page report did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government, and neither implicated nor exonerated the president on obstruction of justice charges.
Mueller never made public statements during the investigation, and has only made one public statement since it concluded. Wednesday marked his first time answering questions about his findings.