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THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
25 July 2019
The one place I would not like to live right now is the White House. When asked by NBC reporter Hallie Jackson if he was concerned about being indicted, following Mueller's 7 hour session in front of the House, Trump screamed that she is one of the worst and fake news and then berated a second reporter who followed up, before stalking off. He yelled that Mueller revised his earlier statement that Trump had NOT been exonerated ( a statement Mueller repeated many times) and that the reporters should have read the revised transcript.
If this is the face that White House people see when the president is angry, I suspect they are seeing it a lot this week.
I woke up early so I could watch Mueller's interrogation and watched the whole thing. The very first question he was asked was whether or not he had exonerated Trump, as the president has been claiming these past months, and he clearly said that he had not. He was also asked if Trump could be indicted after he left the White House and he said that he could.
I checked Twitter this morning and it was absolutely FLOODED with tweets from Trump, Trump, Jr, Melania, Pence and others. Trump posted a video where he is talking all the good he has done, interspersed with brief clips of Mueller saying he could not answer specific questions. He also seems to have sent a thank you tweet to every single Republican who stood up for him at the hearing. Don Jr. accused Mueller of being mentally retarded. Pence happily wrote "no obstruction" again--not sure what hearing HE was watching. Melania wrote a few tweets about good things she is doing. It was an All-Trump, all the time Twitter.
Fox News' Chris Wallace was on Colbert last night and characterized the hearing as boring and unnecessary. "It's all in the report," he repeated several times, though most people, including many in congress have not read the report. I admit I ordered it and have it on my kindle, but it's longer than most of my novels and I just didn't want to take the time to read it all. This was the House's way of letting everyone know exactly what is in Mueller's report and getting verification from the horse's mouth
Mueller had said that he would stick to what he said in the report, and he did, often giving yes or no answers, but the Democrats were very clever. They went through all the possible crimes alluded to in the report, without actually calling them crimes, and asked Mueller if that was true. He would then respond "yes."
In fact, you didn't need to actually watch the hearing to know whether the questioner was a Democrat or Republican. The Democrats asked questions like "is it true that...." then stating some bit of obstruction or not-quite-collusion, and Muller would answer "yes." then the Republican would concentrate on whether or not Mueller actually had the legal right to investigate this or that. Never once did they ask any questions which would, in any way, prove that the President had not done all the thing that the report says he did.
The 7 hour interrogation obviously took a physical toll on Mueller, who looked less and less well as the time passed. Toward the end he stumbled over answers and his memory was not as sharp. The man is 75 years old. This does not, as Junior would have anyone believe, mean that he is retarded...or demented. It indicates that 7 hours is a very long time to sit there and be attacked by half of the House.
In fact, Mueller went way beyond what anyone was expecting at the hearings. He revealed that Trump and his associates are still under investigation for vulnerability to Russian blackmail. There is no way that anyone could look at this hearing and find that Robert Mueller is anything less than a patriot who was hamstrung by the special counsel law that he was working under.
At the close of the hearing, Chairman Schiff said "I want to close out my questioning and turn to the exchange we had earlier, from your testimony today I gather you believe knowingly accepting foreign assistance during a campaign is an unethical thing to do." Mueller added — "and a crime." Mueller was clearly disgusted by Trump’s behavior to the point where he went beyond Adam Schiff’s characterization and labeled Trump’s activities a crime.
No wonder Trump is yelling at reporters.
The comparison between Fox News and the New York Times was classic. Fox blazed a headline that says "Savior No More. Distraught Dems turn on Mueller after stumbling hearing." Reporter Wallace reported it a disaster at the first break, an hour into the 7 hour hearing.
“It seemed like a well-organized and choreographed recitation of the moral, ethical and criminal failings of the president of the United States," said Colbert in response to Wallace's comment.
Wallace did admit that he found the content of Mueller’s report “shocking,” but said, “I don’t think they’re more shocking today than they were when the report was released in March.”
Where do we go from here, boys? The demand for impeachment is growing louder, and I do have to agree with Pelosi that without a guarantee of a win, impeachment hearings could do more harm to the Democrats than good. I, too, would prefer to see him finish out his term (avoiding the problem of Pence becoming president), and then indicted. He's so big on being the "first" and the "best" at things, let him be the very first president in the history of the country to be found guilty of crimes and sent to jail.
I loved it that every Democrat who asked questions ended their 5 minutes with "if anybody but the president had done so-and-so, he would be in prison now, is that true?" to which Mueller always replied "yes."
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