‘I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THAT’: Mueller Dodges Direct Questions 123 Times
Three hours thirty four minutes.
That’s how long special counsel Robert Mueller sat before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questioned about his 22-month probe into whether President Trump or his campaign sought to alter the outcome of the 2016 election by colluding with Russia.
Another key number: 123.
That’s how many times Mueller dodged questions — sometimes flatly refused to answer. Another 40 times, he referred the questioner to his 448-page final report.
“I rely on the language in the report.”
“I’d have to pass on that.”
“I’m not going to get into that.”
“That’s an area in which I cannot get into.”
“This is outside my purview.”
“I can’t speak to that.”
“I’m not going to talk to that.”
“I am not going to answer that question.”
“Not going to talk about that.”
“I can’t answer that question in a vacuum.”
“I’m going to pass on that.”
“I’m not going to comment.”
NBC News has a cool graphic showing all the times he “deflected, declined or deferred” questions.
The NBC piece also ran some exchanges:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.: “So President Trump’s efforts to exert undue influence over your investigation intensified after the president became aware that he personally was being investigated?”
Robert Mueller: “I stick with the language that’s in front of you.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.: “We went through and we counted 126 contacts between Russians or their agents and Trump campaign officials or their associates. So, would that sound about right?”
Mueller: “I can’t say. I understand the statistic.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas: “And when you talk about the president’s pattern of conduct, that include the 10 possible acts of obstruction that you investigated, is that correct? When you talk about the president’s pattern of conduct, that would include the 10 possible acts of obstruction that you investigated, correct?”
Mueller: “I direct you to the report for how that is characterized.”