Dazed and confused Mueller's testimony leaves anti-Trump brigade shattered as he stuttered through testimony
“I was surprised that Mr. Mueller was so disorientated,” Republican Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko said. "He was unable to answer some basic questions, which really surprised me."
Although special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill was something that most people of the United State tuned into with expectations of political drama, excitement, and unheard-of secrets unfold in front of their eyes on Wednesday, the entire affair seemed less-than-explosive, mainly due to the leading man's lackluster performance.
As the Republicans of the committee left no opportunities of pouncing on Mueller with their questions that came off as scathing criticism of his over 400-page report on whether or not President Donald Trump colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election, the special counsel struggled to find his voice - mumbling into his microphone, asking various lawmakers to repeat their queries and at times, and appearing unknowledgeable about the very investigation he was there to testify on.
“I was surprised that Mr. Mueller was so disorientated,” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) told the New York Post after the initial three-hour testimony wrapped up. "He was unable to answer some basic questions, which really surprised me. He also seemed to contradict previous statements he had made and some of the things in his report, so that was surprising to me, I wasn’t expecting it.”
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows had a similar opinion of Mueller's testimony, stating that he thought the special counsel was “struggling to answer even basic questions.” "He can’t accurately remember facts, evidence, or even his own conclusion,” Meadows wrote on Twitter, calling the investigation “a weapon to target a president they hated.”
At times Mueller found it difficult to locate the specific lawmakers who were questioning him, needing the help of his aides to point to the correct committee members. His body language during the testimony also contributed to him looking older than he is, instead of looking charged up. Sitting a foot from the table, he often crossed his hands over his lap. Since his microphone did not reach all the way to his mouth, it was frequently difficult to hear him over the din of photographers constantly taking photos and spectators murmuring away. When House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler suggested that he lean toward the mic so that people can hear him better, he did not heed his advice.
“I found Director Mueller intellectually disheveled, frequently confused and highly evasive on basic questions on the actions of Russians and their commingling of interests with people associated with Democrats and the anti-Trump movement,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told The Post.
He also chose to religiously stick to the facts already mentioned in the report, which meant that he offered little to no extra information that was not already public. However, there were instances of emotion shown by him, especially when his professional integrity was questioned.
When a Republican congressman tried to insinuate that members of the special counsel's team had political motives, Mueller's volume rose. "Can I speak for a second to the hiring practices?" he said, loudly. "We strove to hire those individuals that could do the job. I've been in this business for almost 25 years, and in those 25 years, I have not had occasion once to ask somebody about their political affiliation. It is not done. What I care about is the capability of the individual to do the job and do the job quickly and seriously and with integrity."