Mornings on the Mall
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
5am – A/B/C/D/E REACTION TO THE MUELLER HEARINGS:
- Mueller flustered, asking lawmakers to repeat questions at tense hearing (Fox News) — Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was frequently tripped up and forced to ask lawmakers to repeat their questions during his rapid-fire questioning on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, though he reportedly prepared at length for the hearings. At one point, he even said he wasn’t familiar with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the controversial anti-Trump dossier. The longtime lawman was known to be reluctant to testify, having made clear he would largely stick to the boundaries of his original report. He reiterated Wednesday that his testimony before House Committees would be based on the text of his report on Russian election interference and potential obstruction of the investigation. But that didn’t stop a barrage of detail-rich questions that seemed to throw off the usually stone-faced investigator.House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., focused his questions on the former Special Counsel’s findings that the investigation did not establish any conspiracy between President Trump and Russia. Collins asked Mueller if “conspiracy” and “collusion” were colloquially the same thing, and Mueller said no. Collins then quoted Mueller’s own report, which indicated otherwise.
- Trump takes victory lap after Mueller hearings: ‘The Democrats lost big today’ (Fox News) — President Trump took a victory lap after Mueller’s testimony concluded, saying it was a “devastating day for the Democrats.” The president also predicted Democrats will suffer the consequences of their impeachment quest in next year’s elections. “I think they’re gonna lose the 2020 elections, including congressional seats because of the path they chose.” House Democrats hit back at Trump, saying that Mueller’s “powerful” testimony was about accountability. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said his panel will file lawsuits this week to obtain more information about Mueller’s report and to enforce a subpoena against former White House counsel Donald McGahn.
- Mueller: my investigation was never curtailed, stopped, or hindered at any time
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller repeatedly needs questions to be reasked so he can understand what is being asked
- Mueller Says He Is ‘Not Familiar’ With Fusion GPS, The Firm Behind The Steele Dossier
- Mueller stumbles badly on whether “collusion” is a synonym for “conspiracy” in Russian election interference. He says no, only to have his report quoted back to him saying the words are synonymous. He then says he’ll go with what the report says.
- Mueller failed to remember that Mifsud told Papadopoulos about Russian “dirt,” a gigantic detail.
- Mueller was confused by a basic question: Did the Trump campaign help Russia w/ hacking DNC emails? Mueller says “I don’t know” & claims the question falls outside his investigation, despite it being the purpose of his investigation.
- Greg Steube: “Mr. Mueller, did you indeed interview for the FBI Director job one day before you were appointed Special Counsel?” Robert Mueller: “My understanding, I was not applying for the job. I was asked to give my input about what it would take to do the job.”
- Louie Gohmert: “Did [President Trump] mention the firing of James Comey in your discussion with him?” Robert Mueller: “I cannot remember. I don’t believe so but I’m not going to be specific.” Gohmert: “You don’t remember?”
- Gaetz: “Can you state with confidence the Steele dossier was not part of Russia’s disinformation campaign?” Mueller: “With regard to Steele…that’s beyond my purview.” Gaetz: “It’s exactly your purview! The organizing principle was to fully investigate Russia’s interference!”
- Robert Mueller says he can not name a single other example where investigators treated someone the way he treated Trump.
- John Ratcliffe: “I agree with the chairman this morning when he said, ‘Donald Trump is not above the law.’ He’s not. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law which is where Volume II of this report puts him.”
- Rep. KELLY ARMSTRONG confronts MUELLER about his team’s pro-Hillary bias
- President Trump on Mueller Hearings: “This was one of the worst performances in the history of our country. So you know that. You know that very well. But I don’t think anybody could have done a good performance. He had no material.”
- Trump: “Robert Mueller did a horrible job. Both today and with respect to the investigation. But in all fairness to Robert Mueller, he had nothing to work with. You could be a builder, but if they don’t give you the right materials you’re not going to build a very good building.”
6am – A/B/C/D/E REACTION TO THE MUELLER HEARINGS
6am – D MEDIA REACTION TO MUELLER HEARING:
- ABC Reporter on Mueller Hearing: ‘Impeachment’s Over.’ ABC News correspondent Terry Moran said on Wednesday that the movement to impeach President Donald Trump is over, after Robert Mueller testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee. “Impeachment’s over,” Moran told George Stephanopoulos in a video posted by GOP War Room, “I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to stand for her member bringing forth something that is going to obviously lose in the Senate, lose with the American public. And the problem with Mueller’s testimony on this issue is that he had to carry the ball for them in some way, whether he wanted to or not. At least by being a rigorous, strong, rock-solid prosecutor and instead he looked like someone who slowed a step or two.
- Fox’s Chris Wallace says to Martha Maccallum & Bret Baier: “I think you both have been very kind… I think this has been a disaster for the Democrats and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”
- MSNBC (Chuck Todd & Andrea Mitchell) is “very sad” the Great Russia Collusion Hoax is over NBC’s Chuck Todd: Mueller did nothing to “advance” impeachment
- NBC’s Chuck Todd on Mueller hearing: “on optics, this was a disaster”
6am – E EPSTEIN UPDATE:
- Jeffrey Epstein Found Injured in NYC Jail Cell After Possible Suicide Attempt: Sources (CNBC) — Accused pedophile and wealthy Manhattan financier Jeffrey Epstein was found injured and in a fetal position inside his cell at a New York City jail, according to sources close to the investigation. Epstein, who is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center during his trial for conspiracy and sex trafficking, was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, two sources told News 4. Investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened, saying details remain murky. Two sources tell News 4 that Epstein may have tried to hang himself, while a third source cautioned that the injuries were not serious and questioned if Epstein might be using it as a way to get a transfer. A fourth source said an assault has not been ruled out, and that another inmate was questioned. The inmate who investigators have talked to in Lower Manhattan facility has been identified as Nicholas Tartaglione, according to two sources. Tartaglione is a former police officer in Westchester County who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville in Orange County, according to court records.
- Democratic fundraising committees decline to say whether they will donate or give back Jeffrey Epstein contributions. (CNBC) — Three weeks after Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on child sex trafficking charges, Democratic fundraising groups have remained silent on whether they will donate or give back contributions from the wealthy financier. Epstein started giving to these organizations just over two decades ago. He was first accused of sex crimes in the mid-2000s. When asked whether the Democratic National Committee or the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will return or contribute these Epstein funds to a charity organization, press representatives for the groups did not respond. CNBC has reached out to the committees numerous times over the past two weeks. Epstein gave at least $80,000 combined to the DNC and the DSCC from the late 1990s through the early 2000s, according to Federal Election Commission records. Epstein’s donations to the committees were given either directly or through Democratic joint fundraising operations, including one in part led by Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate exploratory committee called New York Senate 2000. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
6AM – F Embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigns amid public outcry (NBC News) — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation Wednesday days after demonstrators at the island’s largest protest in recent history called for his ouster over a scandal involving leaked private chats as well as corruption investigations and arrests. His resignation, effective Aug. 2, came late Wednesday night on a recorded video published on Facebook. In the message, he touted what he considered accomplishments of his tenure, saying he fought corruption and made strides for different communities. “My only North Star has been the well-being of my island,” he said. Crowds in the streets, which for nearly two weeks had been calling for the governor to step down, immediately erupted in joyous chants, cheering “Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico!” “Ricky, te botamos!” (“Ricky, we threw you out!”) the jubilant crowd exclaimed after the governor’s announcement. “After the birth of my son, this is the happiest day of my life,” said René Pérez Joglar, also known as Residente. The acclaimed Puerto Rican reggaeton star was among the artists who had galvanized the island in rallies that were unprecedented in their scope.
7am – A/B/C INTERVIEW – JOE DIGENOVA – WMAL legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney to the District of Columbia – analyzed the Mueller hearings.
7am – D/E INTERVIEW – TOM FITTON – President of Judicial Watch – analyzed the Mueller hearings and discussed Judicial Watch’s lawsuit over Ilhan Omar.
- Judicial Watch Statement on Robert Mueller’s Congressional Testimony – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the congressional testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller: The corruptly formed and constitutionally abusive Mueller investigation failed to find any evidence to support the big lie of Trump-Russia collusion. Nonetheless, Mr. Muller attempted today to smear President Trump with obstruction of justice innuendo despite concluding that no such charges could be credibly sustained. Frankly, Mueller never had a valid basis upon which to investigate President Trump for obstruction of justice. Let’s be clear, neither Mueller, the Obama FBI, DOJ, CIA, State Department, nor the Deep State ever had a good-faith basis to pursue President Trump on Russia collusion. Russia collusion wasn’t just a hoax, it is a criminal abuse of President Trump, which is why Judicial Watch has fought and will continue to fight for Russiagate and Mueller special counsel abuse documents in federal court.
- JUDICIAL WATCH FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST OMAR OVER ALLEGED ILLEGAL MARRIAGE: Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group, filed an ethics complaint against Representative Ilhan Omar for accusations that she married her brother to commit immigration fraud, among other crimes. A new report, following a three year investigation, alleged that Omar married her biological brother, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2009 to benefit in some fraudulent way from the marriage.
Part 1: Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton joined WMAL to react to the Mueller hearings.
Posted by WMAL DC on Thursday, July 25, 2019
Part 2: Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton joined WMAL to react to the Mueller hearings.
Posted by WMAL DC on Thursday, July 25, 2019
8am – A INTERVIEW – SEAN DAVIS – co-founder of The Federalist and former chief investigator for Sen. Tom Coburn — analyzed the Mueller hearings.
8am – B/C Mueller, Trump clash over whether he sought FBI job. (Fox News) — Did Robert Mueller interview for the FBI Director job and get passed over for the position a day before he was named Special Counsel? Not according to Mueller, even though President Trump claims otherwise, and that this presented a conflict of interest that should have kept him out of the Russia investigation. Trump has made the claim a number of times, including Wednesday, just before Mueller took the stand before the House Judiciary Committee. “It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel” Trump tweeted. “Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!” During the hearing, Mueller acknowledged that he met with Trump to discuss the FBI, but had a very different characterization of the conversation. He said he merely spoke with the president about the role of FBI Director and the administration’s hiring search, but “not as a candidate” for the job. “I was not applying for that job. I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job,” Mueller said. According to The Associated Press, former officials familiar with the meeting said Mueller never applied for the position, which was left vacant when Trump fired James Comey a week earlier.
8am – D INTERVIEW – CHUCK ROSS – Investigative Reporter, The Daily Caller
- Mueller Says He Is ‘Not Familiar’ With Fusion GPS, The Firm Behind The Steele Dossier. (By Chuck Ross, Investigative Reporter / Daily Caller) — July 24, 2019 9:58 AM ET Former special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Mueller revealed his surprising lack of familiarity with the firm during an exchange with Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee. “When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS, is that correct?” Chabot asked. “I’m not familiar with that,” said Mueller, while scouring through his 448-page report of the Russia probe.