Before the hearing began, Trump tweeted eight times about Mueller and the investigation. He made false and misleading claims. Here’s a rundown:
“It was NEVER agreed that Robert Mueller could use one of his many Democrat Never Trumper lawyers to sit next to him and help him with his answers.”
Obstruction of justice
Facts First: There is no evidence that the Mueller investigation was “illegal,” nor that any crime was fabricated.
Mueller confirmed at Wednesday’s hearing that the report did not exonerate Trump on the issue of obstruction of justice.
Facts First: Mueller himself is a longtime Republican. The majority of the lawyers on Mueller’s team had registered as Democrats, but not all of them.
In one tweet, Trump accused Mueller of being “highly conflicted.” In another tweet, he claimed he had turned down Mueller for the job of FBI director immediately before Mueller was appointed special counsel: “It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel. Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!”
Bannon told Mueller’s team that he had told Trump that “the purported conflicts were ‘ridiculous’ and that none of them was real or could come close to justifying precluding Mueller from serving as Special Counsel,” the report said.
Trump has accused Mueller of conflicts over multiple alleged issues.
Mueller served as FBI director for 12 years between 2001 and 2013. Bannon told Mueller’s investigators that Mueller’s conversation with Trump in May 2017 was not in the capacity of a candidate to return to the job and that Mueller “did not come in looking for the job.” According to the Mueller report, rather, Bannon said “the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the President to offer a perspective on the institution of the FBI.” Mueller said in his testimony Wednesday that while he had discussed the job with Trump, it was “not as a candidate.”
“I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job,” Mueller testified. The “interview,” he said, “was about the job and not about me applying for the job.”
Asked if he had told the vice president that the one job he would come back for was the job of FBI director, Mueller said, “Don’t recall that one.”
Trump has also cited a supposed personal dispute between himself and Mueller, which Trump described as a “nasty business transaction.” He was apparently referring to Mueller’s 2011 decision to leave the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.
According to the Mueller report, Mueller wrote a letter to the club explaining that he was “unable to make full use of the Club,” since he was then living in Washington, D.C., and asked “whether we would be entitled to a refund of a portion of our initial membership fee” from 1994. The club responded that he would be “placed on a waitlist” for the refund; “the Muellers have not had further contact with the club,” the report said.
Collins stated that Mueller’s report concluded President Donald Trump’s “family and advisors did not” seek “Russian assistance to win the presidency.”
Facts First: This is incorrect. Members of the Trump family and Trump’s campaign chairman welcomed Russian assistance to get damning information on the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The report also states:
“In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government. Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign. In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances the Campaign officials shied away.”
This story is being updated.