President Donald Trump angrily lashed out at members of the White House press corps Wednesday after they began peppering him with questions about former special counsel Robert Mueller’s inconsistent, lackluster performance in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
What appeared to bother the president was that the questions were, in his estimate, irrelevant and one-sided. For instance, one reporter pointed out that during the hearings, the former special counsel had referred to the president’s retweets in 2016 of WikiLeaks’ content as “problematic.”
But what was mentioned neither at the hearing Wednesday nor during the presser later that afternoon was that the information Trump had retweeted at the time had already been made available publicly to everybody, meaning he’d just been sharing public information.
Plus, it was unclear why his WikiLeaks tweets were even relevant, given as Mueller had confirmed during the hearing that his “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and that the president never “curtailed or stopped or hindered” his investigation “at any time.”
“The kind of questions the White House Correspondents were asking is almost like they didn’t see what went on at the hearings!” @JesseBWatters The hearings were a disaster for Robert Mueller & the Democrats. Nevertheless, the Fake News Media will try to make the best out of it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2019
“So WikiLeaks is a hoax just like everything else,” the president angrily replied when pressed about Mueller’s remark. “And all of those problems having to do with crime were the biggest hoax of all. It was a witch hunt. A total witch hunt.”
One that appears to now be dead in its tracks, in part thanks to Mueller, who initially suggested he “would have indicted President Trump if it were not for a legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted” but later issued a correction backtracking on this.
The president was quick to note this to the White House press corps, given as he felt that their haranguing questions made it seem like they’d completely missed his correction.
“And when you saw Robert Mueller’s earlier statement, and then he did a recap, he did a correction later on in the afternoon, and you know what that correction was — and you still ask that question?” Trump continued.
“You know why? Because you’re fake news, and you’re one of the most. And the fact that you even asked that question — you’re fake news. Because you know what? He totally corrected himself in the afternoon, and you know that just as well as anybody.”
Watch his confrontation with the press corps below:
When then asked about Mueller’s tacit admission during the hearings that he’d been “generally” untruthful when questioned by the former special counsel’s team, the president grew even angrier.
“I don’t know whose answers weren’t [truthful],” he said. “I guess his answers weren’t, because if you look, the whole report, you take a look at what they did, some of the things that he didn’t even know about, some of the things he didn’t even know what was going on.”
According to Fox News, Mueller confirmed that he “was ‘not familiar’ with Fusion GPS — the firm whose opposition research included allegations of President Trump’s connections to Russia and was the foundation for Mueller’s two-year investigation.”
“But in the end, what he did, he actually, probably came through for himself,” Trump continued. “The performance was obviously not very good. He had a lot of problems. But what he showed more than anything else is that this whole thing has been three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country. And you know what? The Democrats thought they could win an election like this. I think they hurt themselves very badly for 2020.”
The president’s temper reached a fiver pitch when, instead of backing off, the media decided to point out to him that, according to Mueller’s testimony, he could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office.
“No, he didn’t say that,” Trump fumed. “Again, you are fake news, and you’re right at the top of the list also. Let me just tell you. It’s not what he said. Read his correction. If you read his correction, you’ll find out. That’s why people don’t deal with you. Because you’re not an honest reporter.”
While it’s unclear which reporter he’d been addressing at that specific moment, several members of the White House press corps took to Twitter that afternoon to complain about the president’s alleged mistreatment of them:
Trump to the great @Yamiche when asked about Mueller’s statement that Trump’s written answers were “generally untruthful” —>
“He didn’t say that … When you ask that question, you’re untruthful.”
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) July 24, 2019
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) July 24, 2019
The second reporter above, Brian J. Karem, is the CNN-affiliated thug who challenged former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka to a physical fight earlier this month.
The rest of the presser Wednesday afternoon went about the same, with Trump repeatedly calling reporters “untruthful” to their faces. At one point, he even began accusing Mueller’s aides of being “untruthful” as well.
“You are untruthful. … And you know who else is untruthful? [Mueller’s] aides. … His aides were very untruthful, and they put Mueller in a very bad position. And if you were ever truthful, you’d be able to write the truth,” he said.
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