White House: Mueller Testimony Was an Epic Embarrassment

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Posted: Jul 24, 2019 1:00 PM
White House: Mueller Testimony Was an Epic Embarrassment

The White House is reacting to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony and calling it an "epic embarrassment" for Democrats.

President Trump also weighed in earlier in the day.

Democrats are admitting things did not go well.

The White House just sent around this long list of brutal statements and reactions:

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders: “Democrats also hoped Mueller would read some of his report to ‘bring the report to life’ so the American public could hear the words of the report from Mueller himself. That’s not happening. Mueller hasn’t read it when asked to.”

Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne: “Don’t have to watch much of this to realize why Mueller didn’t want to testify to Congress.”

Business Insider’s Joe Perticone: “Starting to look like Barr was 100% right when he said the hearing would just be a ‘public spectacle’”

CBN News’ David Brody: “Bad news for Dems: they wanted Mueller to give them material for impeachment & a soundbite for the ages. Instead, Mueller messed up those grand plans with hours of slow, befuddled, head scratching testimony. Sadly, Mueller looked off. That’s the headline out of this.”

CNN’s Chris Cillizza: “The disconnect between how Mueller was perceived in the 2 years he remained silent as special counsel and how he is coming across in his testimony today is very, very stark”

CNN’s Marshall Cohen: “Mueller’s exchanges with lawmakers were at times shaky, with answers that were often halting and stilted in the face of rapid-fire questions.”

CNN’s Oliver Darcy: “Seems pretty clear at this point that Mueller is not the best spokesperson for his own report.”

CNN’s Manu Raju: “Mueller having a hard time following the questions on first pass. Asking members to often repeat their questions. In his defense, the questions can be long and meandering, though it comes across as if he’s uncertain”

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: “If you were just a casual viewer today and someone were to ask you after an hour and a half, what did the President do wrong here? It wouldn’t be easy to answer that question”

CNN Commentator David Axelrod: “This is delicate to say, but Mueller, whom I deeply respect, has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years.  And he does not appear as sharp as he was then.”

CNN Commentator David Axelrod: “This is very, very painful.”

CNN Contributor Scott Jennings: “No prosecutor is charged with finding that a person is not exonerated, as Mueller did with Trump on obstruction of justice. You are either charged with a crime or not, and you are either guilty or not guilty.”

Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter: “We are only 30 mins into this thing but I don’t think that this is going the way Democrats were hoping it would.”

Daily Mail’s David Martosko: “Not a good sign for Democrats”

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro: “Remember that time an hour ago when Mueller’s testimony would definitely, certainly do serious damage to Trump?”

The Federalist’s Sean Davis: “Collins just did a thorough job of showing how out to lunch Mueller is on his own report. Mueller claimed collusion and conspiracy weren’t synonymous and that his investigation didn’t look into collusion. His own report literally says collusion and conspiracy are ‘synonymous.’”

The Federalist’s Sean Davis: “Ratcliffe now carving up Mueller for claiming for himself the legal authority to declare a target’s innocence. As everyone but Mueller knows, innocence is presumed, not granted by cops or prosecutors.”

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway: “Rep. Ratcliffe asks Mueller if DOJ has any policy at all that allows an official to say an American who is not charged is "not exonerated," and whether anyone other than Donald Trump has been so tarred. Mueller is unable to name a policy or think of such an example.”

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway: “(Democrats gotta do their thing, but it would be nice if our media cared about presumption of innocence even for those who don’t share their political views. For people who CLAIM to care about norm breaking and decline of bedrock American values and all.)”

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: “Mueller’s testimony has not been explosive. It’s been a dud. Ds were hoping Mueller would move Americans to rise up and support impeachment. After 90 minutes, that’s not happening.”

Fox News’ Brit Hume: “Mueller stumbles badly on whether ‘collusion’ is a synonym for ‘conspiracy’ in Russian election interference. He says no, only to have his report quoted back to him saying the words are synonymous. He then says he’ll go with what the report says.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier: “…[A] series of questions and answers where at times it was halting and slow and painful. If Democrats wanted this to be about the movie it was sometimes not a great narrative to watch.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “I think this has been a disaster for the Democrats and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”

Fox News Contributor Dan Bongino: “Nadler should resign tonight. I can’t express in strong enough terms what an apocalyptic disaster this hearing has been for the Democrats and their media buddies. #MuellerHearings”

Hill TV’s Buck Sexton: “Why would DOJ appoint a clearly foggy and tired (but establishment-revered) 74 year old Mueller as the top dog of the most important political investigation in a generation? To give cover to obvious partisan hacks beneath him who were engaged in a 2 year long ambush of Trump”

Huffington Post’s Matt Fuller: “No, it’s not the slam dunk Democrats were looking for. And it might not move many Democrats much closer toward impeachment. And Mueller has been extremely evasive.”

MSNBC Analyst Howard Fineman: “I don’t know what the #Dems were expecting from #RobertMueller, but this probably isn’t it.”

NBC News’ Ken Dilanian: “If the Democrats were hoping to present a clear narrative of presidential wrongdoing during the Judiciary Committee hearing—one that could be easily understood by someone not familiar with the details of the Russia investigation—they arguably did not succeed.”

National Review’s Rich Lowry: “Mueller gets nailed by @RepRatcliffe on ignoring DOJ regs, although it would have been good to hear Mueller’s response”

National Review’s Rich Lowry: “Mueller’s handling of collusion/coordination question not great”

National Review’s Rich Lowry: “So far it seems that one reason Mueller probably didn’t want to testify was worry about his performance in this setting”

The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt: “Democrats came into the hearing wanting to move the needle. So far, I don’t think that’s happened.”

The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush: “Per House staff (both sides): If there’s a surprise so far, it’s that Mueller appears shakier, and less in command of the details than they have expected.”

One America News Network’s Emerald Robinson: “The Mueller Report has now been totally discredited by Bob Mueller. He certainly didn’t write it. The key details were outside his purview. The genesis of the investigation was outside his purview. What was inside his purview?”

Politico’s Ryan Heath: “The Republican committee members have been taking lessons from the Kavanaugh hearing playbook — Mueller coming across as quite feeble in comparison.”

Politico’s John Bresnahan: “Mueller not impressive as a witness so far”

Politico’s Andrew Desiderio: “This response from Mueller is a problem for Dems saying Trump would’ve been charged with obstruction if he weren’t POTUS. ‘I don’t subscribe necessarily to the way you analyzed that. I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge.’”

Politico’s Andrew Desiderio: “This is super awkward. Mueller was just unable to say which president appointed him to a U.S. attorney position.”

Politico’s Jake Sherman: “Have pro-impeachment Democrats advanced their cause one iota today?”

Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard: “Democrats Are Blowing the Mueller Hearing”

Radio Host Hugh Hewitt: “Apparently @JerryNadler could not organize his members into a coherent strategy. No wonder @SpeakerPelosi won’t allow impeachment”

Radio Host Mark Levin: “As I said when Mueller gave speech in May, he is feeble. I say that not as a personal attack but as a rational observation. It’s on display today during this hearing. This underscores that the person who influenced this investigation most was Andrew Weissman, his top lieutenant.”

Radio Host Mark Levin: “I see the Democrats have not once mentioned all the steps the president took to make available to the special counsel individuals and documents without a single objection or assertion of any privilege, as they ramble on about obstruction. The reason obstruction was not charged was because there was no obstruction.”

The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson: “So…ummm…Bob Mueller is old. And this hearing is just painful to watch.”

Townhall’s Katie Pavlich: “This was a very bad political calculation made by Chairman Nadler. This is not going well for Mueller. At all.”

The Wall Street Journal Columnist Kimberley Strassel: “Ratcliffe gets to the heart of the problem: what reg or rule says you as special counsel get to declare ‘not exonerated’ if charges are not brought? Innocent until PROVEN guilty. #MuellerHearing”

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane: “No mincing words here: bad morning for pro-impeachment crowd.”

The Washington Post’s John Hudson: “Mueller’s slow recall of what’s in his report, and desire to flip through it to verify it in real-time, is demolishing efforts by lawmakers to make their points. They want him to say ‘yes, that’s what I found’ so they can then opine, but he’s eating up all the time.”

The Washington Post’s Rachel Van Dongen: “There is a decent chance here that this hearing will HURT Dem cause in terms of blunting any public will for Hill probes and muting impeachment cries.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Wow. Robert Mueller changing the job of a prosecutor from proving someone ‘Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt’ to ‘Not being able to exonerate someone accused of a crime.’ Dangerous and ridiculous.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA): “We’ve had the truth for months—no American conspired to throw our elections. What we need today is to let that truth bring us confidence and closure.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): “Steve Chabot’s questioning was very important. Mueller couldn’t even answer basic questions about the origin of the collusion conspiracy—about Fusion GPS, who is Glenn Simpson, etc. He was uninformed about the information. Because his team never looked at it!”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): “This is remarkable. Mueller can’t answer key questions, seems unaware of basic information, and admitted he denied exoneration of Trump over a standard that doesn’t exist. No one needs to discredit this process. Team Mueller and House Democrats are discrediting it by themselves.”

The Democrat's Mueller show has backfired.