Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon, Trump said: “We have a very good day today, the Republican Party, our country.”
“There was no defense of what Robert Mueller was trying to defend, in all fairness to Robert Mueller. … There was no defense to this ridiculous hoax, this witch hunt that’s been going on for a long time, pretty much from the time I came down on the escalator with our first lady,” Trump added.
“It’s a disgrace what happened but I think today proved a lot to everybody. In fact, I think some of my biggest opponents wrote things today that I wouldn’t have believed they would have written and I appreciate that they did that.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 24, 2019
Reporters tried to seize on Mueller’s claim that his team didn’t exonerate Trump, which typically isn’t language a prosecutor would use. That was noted at the hearing when Mueller was asked if there was any other instance where prosecutors said someone they probed and didn’t charge was not exonerated.
“I cannot, but this was a unique situation,” Mueller responded.
“You can’t find it, because I’ll tell you why—it doesn’t exist. The special counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the special counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him,” Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) rejoined.
Speaking to the press, Trump noted that Mueller “didn’t have a right to exonerate.”
Trump also said that the special counsel probe of alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia was a “phony cloud” and that Democrats “all knew it was phony stuff.”
When a reporter asked if he was concerned he be indicted after leaving office, Trump criticized the reporter as “fake news” and “one of the worst.”
The president later said Mueller did a “horrible job” in his testimony on Wednesday and special counsel before noting Mueller didn’t have much to work with.
“It was one of the worst performances in the history of our country,” Trump added, noting that a slew of Democrats were disappointed in the hearing, calling it a “disaster” for the opposition party.
TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2019
On Twitter shortly before he spoke to reporters, Trump wrote: “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!” Earlier in the day, he thanked Democrats for holding the hearing.
In a statement, Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager added: “These hearings were a disaster for Democrats.”
“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. Robert Mueller confirmed what we already knew: No collusion, no obstruction, and the way President Trump has been treated is unprecedented,” he said.
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s counsel, said in a statement that the testimony from Mueller “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 who, as hard as they tried, were unable to establish either obstruction, conspiracy, or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also clear that the Special Counsel conducted his two-year investigation unimpeded,” he added. “The American people understand that this issue is over. They also understand that the case is closed.”