As former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony stretched into the afternoon, President Trump and other conservatives were united in their takeaway: It was a terrible day for Democrats.
Yet Mueller spent Wednesday confirming to Congress that his report didn’t exonerate Trump and that Russia interfered with the 2016 election to help Trump’s campaign.
Trump spent Mueller’s first hearing mostly quote-tweeting Fox News hosts, then he finally posted his own thoughts after the first session was over: A thank-you note to Democrats for the testimony.
I would like to thank the Democrats for holding this morning’s hearing. Now, after 3 hours, Robert Mueller has to subject himself to #ShiftySchiff – an Embarrassment to our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2019
“TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!” Trump tweet-screamed after Mueller was finished with the House Intelligence hearing.
“These hearings were a disaster for Democrats,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale declared in an email blast to supporters. “This entire spectacle has always been about the Democrats trying to undo the legitimate result of the 2016 election and today they again failed miserably.”
The campaign also pounced on what it saw as a fundraising opportunity–for $2 million in 24 hours.
“The last three hours have been an epic embarrassment for the Democrats,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said about Mueller’s first hearing. “Expect more of the same in the second half.”
Trump’s legal counsel, Jay Sekulow, claimed the hearing “exposed the troubling deficiencies” of Mueller’s investigation.
THREAD: Statement from Jay Sekulow, Counsel to the President:
“This morning’s testimony exposed the troubling deficiencies of the Special Counsel’s investigation. The testimony revealed that this probe was conducted by a small group of politically-biased prosecutors…
— Jay Sekulow (@JaySekulow) July 24, 2019
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer who provided assistance to the President during Mueller’s investigation, derided Mueller’s “stumbling” and “bumbling” during the Judiciary hearing.
“He never really knew his investigation,” Giuliani tweeted.
Rep. Collins just got Mueller to demonstrate he doesn’t know what is in report. Now he testified collusion and conspiracy not the same. Oh. 180 of report he said they were the same. Then he stumbling, bumbling corrected himself. He never really knew this investigation.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) July 24, 2019
Giuliani also accused Mueller of being a “LAP DOG for Dems.”
Pathetic! Whatever Bob’s past it’s being tarnished by being a LAP DOG for Dems. Then being destroyed on credibility, knowledge, competence and numerous ahs, pauses and excuses like “beyond my purview.” It’s clear his purview was what his 18 Angry Dems wanted-to get Trump.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) July 24, 2019
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), one of Trump’s most staunch defenders in Congress, said the Judiciary Committee hearing made it “painfully clear” Mueller wasn’t in control of the Russia investigation–it was his “team of Democrats.”
“This was a resistance-driven partisan witch hunt all along,” Meadows huffed.
The more this hearing goes on, the more it becomes painfully clear that not only did Bob Mueller not write his own report—he was barely involved or in control of it at all.
You know who was? His team of Democrats.
This was a resistance-driven partisan witch hunt all along.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) July 24, 2019
Republican Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel retweeted a clip of Fox News host Chris Wallace claiming that the hearing was a “disaster” for Democrats and “the reputation of Bob Mueller.”
“This has been a disaster for the Democrats. And I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Bob Mueller.” – Fox News’ Chris Wallace pic.twitter.com/M9Tx8Yiaje
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 24, 2019
And the rest of the conservative media followed suit:
The idea that the pro-Trump media ecosystem was ever, in any way, vulnerable to repeating information from the Special Counsel's actual report if you put Mueller on the stand was always pure fantasy.
It is a siloed, implacable world, where the president is a permanent victim. pic.twitter.com/TpzSZzbqCO
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 24, 2019
Donald Trump Jr., ever eager to prove his familial loyalty, echoed Republicans’ accusations of anti-Trump bias in the Mueller investigation and declared the Judiciary hearing was a “disaster” for Democrats.
Funny, Muelller can’t understand the Republicans but he can totally understand the Democrats questions. This is a disaster for dems.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 24, 2019