‘Very Painful:’ Democrats, Reporters, and Analysts React to Mueller Hearing

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 24, 2019Politicsshare
‘Very Painful:’ Democrats, Reporters, and Analysts React to Mueller Hearing
Former special prosecutor Robert Mueller testifies before Congress in Washington on July 24, 2019. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

A slew of notable Democrats, reporters, and political analysts reacted to the testimony given by former special counsel Robert Mueller on July 24, with many responding negatively.

David Axelrod, a former advisor to President Obama, said on Twitter: “This is very, very painful.”

“He was clearly struggling today and that was painful,” he added of Mueller.

Axelrod, a political analyst for CNN, later said in another post: “This is delicate to say, but Mueller, whom I deeply respect, has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years. And he does not appear as sharp as he was then. And it helps explain why Mueller wanted his aide nearby.”

Laurence Tribe, a Democrat and Harvard professor who has pushed the Russian collusion conspiracy theory for years, wrote, “Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster. Far from breathing life into his damning report, the tired Robert Mueller sucked the life out of it. The effort to save democracy and the rule of law from this lawless president has been set back, not advanced.”

MSNBC political analyst Jeremy Bash told viewers: “Far from breathing life into the report, he kind of sucked the life out of the report. I thought he was boring. I thought in some cases he was sort of evasive he didn’t want to explain or expand on his rationale. He seemed lost at times … I thought it was an ineffective defense of his own work.”

“I fear that this hearing set back efforts to hold the president accountable,” Bash added in a clip shared by Steve Guest, a director for the Republican party.

Another clip shared by Guest showed Terry Moran of ABC News saying that Mueller “had to carry the ball” for Democrats on impeachment efforts, “whether he wanted to or not, at least by being a vigorous, strong, rock-solid prosecutor, and he looked like somebody who slowed a step or two, and perhaps … wasn’t even in control of all the angry Democrats [on his team].”

Michael Tracey, an independent journalist who formerly worked for The Young Turks, wrote: “Mueller gives the impression that he was hidden away in an assisted living home while other people conducted his investigation and wrote his Report.”

“Given his poor memory, sluggishness, and lack of familiarity with his own Report, we now have more insight into why Mueller allowed his 2-year investigation to spiral out of control and devolve into absurdity,” he said in another missive.

Other journalists who helped push the Russian conspiracy theory also weighed in slamming Mueller, including Yahoo reporter Michael Isikoff.

“Mueller is answering few questions—citing the report, asking questions to be repeated, seems confused at times and uncertain about key parts of his own report,” Isikoff wrote on Twitter.

“Mueller seems increasingly befuddled,” he wrote in another post.

Ken Dilanian of NBC wrote in an analysis that Mueller’s “demeanor and command of the facts raised questions.”

“Surprisingly, he did not seem conversant in the details of his investigation, repeatedly referring questioners to the language of the report without saying in his own words what it meant,” Dilanian added.

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