Trump: Mueller Made a “Fool of Himself” With Press Conference
In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham this week, President Donald Trump said he was not impressed with the first public remarks from special counsel Robert Mueller. In France to participate in the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Trump said that Mueller should have left his prosecutor’s office at the Department of Justice without attempting to provide ammunition for the Democrats.
“Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself,” Trump said. “Because what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong.”
Because Trump is right that the media did not report this, it’s worth going through it piece by piece, starting with Mueller’s statement.
“Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider,” Mueller told the press. “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.”
Most observers took this to be Mueller saying, “Well guys, he’s guilty, but under current Justice Department guidelines, we can’t do anything about it. Over to you, Congress!”
They took it that way because Mueller gave them very little room to take it any other way.
No doubt irritated that Mueller was out there telling the American people the exact opposite of what he told the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr quickly arranged for a joint statement involving the DOJ and a spokesman for the Office of the Special Counsel that evening.
“The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice,” the two entities said in their statement. “The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination—one way or the other—about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements.”
This is not exactly the kind of clarification the American people deserve, but we suppose it is the best that Mueller’s willing to give us. No, the DOJ’s policy on indicting the president was not the reason he failed to accuse Trump of obstruction. No, he’s not saying Trump is innocent.
The president is right – Mueller did make a fool of himself. Not just in that press conference, but in his report as well. He was hired to do a job, and that job was to determine exactly what the truth was about Trump and his supposed “crimes.” As to collusion with the Russians, he managed to fulfill that duty. As to obstruction, he floundered and flopped and abdicated responsibility. Trump deserved to be fully exonerated. The evidence points to his innocence. If Mueller had been the man of principle we were all told he was, he would have given the American people closure.