President Trump on Monday questioned why Robert Mueller and his team did not speak with “the people who were closest” to him and his campaign, even though Mueller interviewed several former aides and the president did not agree to sit with the special counsel.
“Isn’t it amazing that the people who were closest to me, by far, and knew the Campaign better than anyone, were never even called to testify before Mueller,” Trump tweeted. “The reason is that the 18 Angry Democrats knew they would all say ‘NO COLLUSION’ and only very good things!”The special counsel spoke to several White House staffers, including a number of people who worked on the 2016 campaign, as part of his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of Mueller’s final report was released last week.
In it, the special counsel said the probe did not establish that Trump colluded with the Russian government. Mueller neither exonerated nor implicated Trump on obstruction of justice, but detailed 10 episodes that investigators reviewed for the charge.
Among those who cooperated with the special counsel, according to the report, were White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former White House counsel Don McGahn, all of whom worked on the campaign in some capacity. Campaign aides Hope Hicks, Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon also cooperated.
Tweets from the president since the report’s release suggest he is not happy with news coverage, some of it fueled by notes taken by McGahn and others who provided their paperwork to Mueller’s team.
Trump pushed back earlier Monday against the idea that his aides routinely went against his directives, as laid out in multiple instances in the Mueller report, telling reporters that “nobody disobeys my orders.”
Trump added that he was “not even a little bit” worried about the specter of impeachment.
Trump did not sit for an in-person interview with Mueller and instead provided written answers to the special counsel’s questions.
The president wrote on more than 30 occasions that he did not recall, remember or have independent memories of key events throughout the Russia investigation, leading Mueller’s team to deem his written responses to questions “inadequate.”
Mueller said he considered issuing a subpoena for Trump to sit for an interview, but ultimately decided against it because it would have resulted in a drawn out legal fight.
Trump and his allies declared victory in the wake of Mueller’s report becoming public, touting that it cleared the president of wrongdoing. However, the president has remained fixated on the special counsel in recent days, attacking his team’s credibility and jabbing at the former aides who provided notes to investigators.