Trump launched an attack on the reporter, who asked if he could be charged after resigning from office.


Donald Trump insulted reporters during a White House departure Wednesday for asking whether he was afraid that he might be charged with a crime related to the Russian investigation after he ceased to be president.

Are you worried that you could be charged from the office,” NBC reporter Hallie Jackson asked the president before leaving for a reception at the Fundraising Committee in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Controversy over why Mueller had not charged Trump became the subject of discussion when Ted Lieu, a member of the Democratic House’s Judiciary Administration, asked whether Mueller had not charged Trump with a crime because he was a sitting president.

It was a witch hunt, a total witch hunt,” Trump mocked the reporter on Wednesday afternoon on the South Lawn. And when you saw Robert Müller’s testimony – the earlier testimony – and he then made a summary, he made a correction late in the afternoon.

And you know what that correction was, and you still asked the question. And do you know why? Because you are a wrong message. And you are one of the most,” he said to Jackson and NBC News.

And let me just tell you that the fact that you asked that question at all is wrong news,” he went on. “Because you know what, he totally corrected himself in the afternoon and you know that as well as anyone.

One of the biggest democratic gains during the home justice hearing with the former special adviser on Wednesday morning ended with the collapse at the beginning of the second hearing of the day.

In an exchange with Representative Lieu, Müller admitted the reason his team didn’t accuse Donald Trump was due to the Justice Department’s policies preventing him from charging the president with a crime.

I’d like to ask you again why you didn’t charge Donald Trump is due to the OLC’s (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion that you can’t charge a sitting president, right? Lieu, the former special adviser.

That’s right,” Mueller replied.

During the break between the judicial and intelligence hearings, Democrats praised the interaction as a game changer and speculated that Müller would probably have charged Trump if it wasn’t against the DOJ protocol.

The Democratic National Committee even distributed a copy of the Lieu exchange to Congress offices as an important discussion point until the second hearing began, an advisor to a Democratic member of Congress said.

At the beginning of his intelligence testimony, Mueller said he needed to clarify his answer to the California representative’s question.

“Before we move on to the questions, I would like to add a correction to my testimony this morning. I wanted to come back to something that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu, who said, and I quote: “You have not charged the President for the opinion of the OLC. That’s not the way to say it,” Mueller said at the end of his opening speech.

“As we say in the report, and as I said in my opening speech, we did not make a decision as to whether the President committed a crime,” he said.

Müller’s clarification ensures that members know that his team has not found any crimes and does not decide on the Trump charge based on Office of Legal Counsel guidelines. But that the investigation did not find enough evidence to charge Trump.

Trump quoted Fox News reporter Jesse Watters, who co-hosted the Five, claiming that reporters on the grass asked questions that would indicate that they had not seen the over five hours of Mueller’s testimony.

“The kind of questions the White House correspondents asked are almost as if they hadn’t seen what was going on in the hearings! @JesseBWatters’, Trump quoted the Fox anchor.

The hearings were a disaster for Robert Müller & the Democrats,” he continued in the Wednesday tweet after the hearings. Nevertheless, the fake news media will try to make the best of it!

On his departure, Jackson also asked Trump if he regretted talking so much about WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, as Mueller described the practice as “problematic” during his afternoon statement to the Intelligence Committee.

So WikiLeaks is a hoax, just like everything else. And all those problems related to crime were the biggest scam of all,” Trump said, rejecting the question.

Democratic representative Mike Quigley read some tweets from Trump and Donald Trump Jr. about WikiLeaks, and asked if the quotes would hit Mueller in a certain way.

Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks,” said Donald Trump, October 10, 2016, Qugiley said. This WikiLeaks stuff is incredible. It tells you the inner heart. You have to read it,” Donald Trump, October 12, 2016. These Wikileaks are like a treasury,” Donald Trump, October 31, 2016. Boy, I love to read these WikiLeaks,” Donald Trump, November 4, 2016.

All tweets were sent in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential elections.

“Would any of these quotes bother you, Mr. Director? Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked.


About Author

Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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