President Donald Trump said on Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller should not testify before Congress in regard to his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, The Hill reports. Mueller's testimony was requested by Democrats following ongoing conflict with Attorney General William Barr, who has been criticized for his handling of the report, particularly when it comes to an abbreviated summary Barr released that many are now characterizing as misleading.
Trump delivered the statement in a short series of tweets late Sunday morning.
"After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents - all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION - why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller.......," the president began.
"...to testify. Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion? There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION. Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!" he continued.
Trump's statements conflict with previous sentiments he expressed on the matter. Last week, he indicated that it was Barr's responsibility to decide if Mueller should testify.
Frustration has grown among Congressional Democrats, particularly after the release of a letter that Mueller sent to Barr saying that Mueller felt Barr was mischaracterizing the findings of his investigation and creating confusion in the media and for the public at large.
Mueller, in his letter, said that Barr's summary "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions," and expressed concern about "public confusion" about central aspects of the investigation.Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, has shared that the House Judiciary Committee was going to bring Mueller in for questioning on May 15 but quickly walked back that statement pending confirmation from the special counsel's office.
Cicilline took to Twitter to clarify that while the committee had proposed a date for the appearance, the Special Counsel's office had not yet agreed to the timing. He expressed hope that Mueller would be agreeable to May 15 and apologized for any confusion.
During a press conference last month, Barr indicated that he had no qualms about Mueller speaking with Congress.
During a Fox News appearance on Sunday, Cicilline said that so far, the White House has expressed that they would not interfere with Mueller appearing.