In his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, former special counsel Robert Mueller issued his clearest public condemnation yet of Donald Trump’s conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign by testifying that Trump’s repeated praise of the document-dumping site Wikileaks gave “a boost” to what Mueller called “illegal activity,” according to an account by Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand, via her Twitter account.
Wikileaks, according to Mueller’s report — available online via The New York Times — received stolen emails from inside the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign and leaked those private emails online. The Wikileaks email dumps were timed to cause disruption to the Clinton campaign and aid Trump, Mueller’s report concludes.
Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley quoted several statements made by Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to Bloomberg News, including, “I love Wikileaks… This Wikileaks stuff is unbelievable… This Wikileaks is like a treasure trove… Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks.”
Quigley then asked Mueller for his response to Trump’s praise of Wikileaks, as quoted by Bertrand, and Mueller said that to call Trump’s statements “problematic” would be “an understatement in terms of what it displays in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity.”
In fact, in the final month of the 2016 campaign, according to a count by Vox, Trump mentioned Wikileaks in public approximately five times every day — a total of 164 mentions of Wikileaks in that final month alone.
Nonetheless, as The Inquisitr has reported, Trump when asked last November about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Trump simply said, “I don’t know much about him, I really don’t.”
But as The Daily Beast reported, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. did more than simply praise Wikileaks — he corresponded with Wikileaks repeatedly during the campaign.
At one point, Wikileaks — most likely Assange himself — advised Trump Jr. that if Trump were to lose the election, he should refuse to accept the results and claim that the vote was “rigged.” And in fact, Trump during the latter stages of the campaign, when Trump was trailing Clinton in most polls, repeatedly claimed that the election was being “rigged” in Clinton’s favor, as CNN recounted.
Asked by Quigley for his response to Trump Jr.’s contacts with Wikileaks, Mueller responded that the younger Trump’s actions were “disturbing” and “problematic, to say the least,” according to an account by NBC News.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier, Mueller testified that he sought to interview Trump for more than a year, but that Trump repeatedly refused to be interviewed.
At the Intelligence Committee hearing with Mueller on Wednesday afternoon, California Democrat Eric Swalwell noted that during the period that Trump was refusing to meet with Mueller, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin six times in person, plus 10 phone calls and four written letters between Trump and Putin, according to NBC News.