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Old 07-24-2019, 07:33 AM
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress


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Old 07-24-2019, 07:39 AM
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Live blogs I'm following:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blo...-live-updates/

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/201...iary-Committee

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-ne...ony/index.html
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:45 AM
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And of course the opening remarks by the Chair (Dem) and the Ranking Member (Rep) were little more than self-serving PR exercises for either side.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:47 AM
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My crystal ball (like it takes one!) says he will once again summarize what's in the report, and remind Congress of why it's their bailiwick, not his, to deal with its contents. The only people who will be at all surprised by anything he says will be those who have no clue what's in the report.

The only purpose I can see to this exercise is that it may move some more House Dems to come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry. 92 have done so already; another few dozen would push it up to a majority of the Dem caucus, which would make it a bit harder for Pelosi to ignore, or pretend that just 'the squad' and a handful of other firebrands are the only advocates of an impeachment inquiry.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:48 AM
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Mueller: "We did not address collusion, which is not a legal term."

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Old 07-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for this live commentary thread. My stomach can't bear watching this directly.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:57 AM
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You should. So far, it's pretty good.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:58 AM
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Trump refused Mueller interview request.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:04 AM
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You should. So far, it's pretty good.
I just watched a bit. "Collusion = conspiracy" YES!!

Y'all are younger and stronger than me. Just watching that much made my blood pressure shoot up. I'll continue to follow here.

ETA: The CNN live blog cited above is very good.
https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-ne...ony/index.html
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:07 AM
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Mueller says that Russia favored Trump, and Trump welcomed Russian efforts on his behalf. Not news to us, but nice to see Mueller say it on TV.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:09 AM
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Nadler: Did the President refuse a request to be interviewed by you and your team?

Mueller: Yes.

Nadler: And Is it true you tried for more than a year to secure an interview with the President?

Mueller: Yes.

Nadler: And is it true that you and your team advised the President's lawyer that, quote, an interview with the President is vital to our investigation, closed quote?

Mueller: Yes.

Nadler: And is it true you also, quote, stated that it is the interest of the Presidency and public for an interview to take place, closed quote?

Mueller: Yes.

Nadler: But the President still refused to sit for on interview by you and your team?

Mueller: True.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:12 AM
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Rep. Jerry Nadler: "What about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the president?"

Robert Mueller: "No."

Nadler: "In fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president."

Mueller: "It does."
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:17 AM
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"Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California asked Mueller if his investigation found that "the Russian government perceived it would benefit from one of the candidates winning."

Mueller said they did.

She continued: "And which candidate would that be?"

Mueller responded: "Well, it would be Trump.""
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:17 AM
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What's the D strategy here? They just seem to want Mueller on record reiterating their talking points about the report. Is there no avenue for uncovering new information?

The R strategy is clear, and I fear it's going to be a lot more effective than whatever the Ds are doing -- get everyone to forget about the bad stuff Trump and Russia did and focus on anything else.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:18 AM
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Ratcliffe, a Republican: “...the Democrats and Socialists and babykillers...”

Okay, he didn’t actually say “babykillers.”
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:19 AM
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What's the D strategy here? They just seem to want Mueller on record reiterating their talking points about the report. Is there no avenue for uncovering new information?
Mueller has made it clear that he has no intention of revealing any information not contained in the report. I think there's a lot of value in these soundbites from the report, with Mueller saying "yes" and "that's accurate", since most Americans have not read the report, and TV soundbites are going to reach a lot more people than the dense verbiage of the report.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:21 AM
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Mueller has made it clear that he has no intention of revealing any information not contained in the report. I think there's a lot of value in these soundbites from the report, with Mueller saying "yes" and "that's accurate", since most Americans have not read the report, and TV soundbites are going to reach a lot more people than the dense verbiage of the report.
Yes, I'm sure lots of minds will be changed with that strategy. All those fence-sitters and ball-washers out there.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:23 AM
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Mueller has made it clear that he has no intention of revealing any information not contained in the report. I think there's a lot of value in these soundbites from the report, with Mueller saying "yes" and "that's accurate", since most Americans have not read the report, and TV soundbites are going to reach a lot more people than the dense verbiage of the report.
This.

There will NOT be anything new. But having Mueller say it out loud, or at least monosyllabically answer questions, IS new. And important.

Some doofuses (doofi?) on Twitter are in a snit because Mueller is doing exactly what he said he would do: stick to the report. They want fireworks, when what this report is is a slow-burning fuse.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:24 AM
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Yes, I'm sure lots of minds will be changed with that strategy. All those fence-sitters and ball-washers out there.
It's not about fence-sitters and ball-washers, it's about people who pay little attention to politics and know nothing about what Mueller said in the report. This is more likely to reach them than just relying on the report. And I think there's a lot of such folks. Even if this only sways a tiny percentage of them, that could be enormously political valuable.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:25 AM
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Another good liveblog: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-...efore-congress
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:32 AM
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What's the D strategy here? They just seem to want Mueller on record reiterating their talking points about the report. Is there no avenue for uncovering new information?

...
Considering that there are Republican congresspeople proud to have not read the report, and Faux news zombies under the influence of misinformation, stating the truth on television has become an unfortunate necessity. If members of congress refuse to read the report, this will have to do.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:33 AM
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Kyle Griffin, MSNBC producer, also with live updates: https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:40 AM
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Yes, I'm sure lots of minds will be changed with that strategy. All those fence-sitters and ball-washers out there.
There are millions of people who literally get their news from nothing but video sources - FB, TV, etc. There has been no video source of Mueller saying he did not exonerate the President, only "Democrats" have appeared on video and said that.

This solves that problem.

And as to why that is a problem, well, that's beyond the scope of this thread. But this matters for that reason.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:41 AM
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It's Louie Gohmert time! And it's just as stupid as we should expect...
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:46 AM
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Yes, I'm sure lots of minds will be changed with that strategy. All those fence-sitters and ball-washers out there.
I'll reiterate that I think the key audience here are the 143 House Democrats who have not yet endorsed an impeachment inquiry. Most of them are on the fence, or have simply been trying to avoid dealing with the subject.

If this gives a bunch of them enough reason to come out and join the 92 House Dems who've already come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, then we may actually get a vote on having an impeachment inquiry. It would be hard for Pelosi to stare down the majority of her caucus.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:49 AM
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It's not about fence-sitters and ball-washers, it's about people who pay little attention to politics and know nothing about what Mueller said in the report. This is more likely to reach them than just relying on the report. And I think there's a lot of such folks. Even if this only sways a tiny percentage of them, that could be enormously political valuable.
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Considering that there are Republican congresspeople proud to have not read the report, and Faux news zombies under the influence of misinformation, stating the truth on television has become an unfortunate necessity. If members of congress refuse to read the report, this will have to do.
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There are millions of people who literally get their news from nothing but video sources - FB, TV, etc. There has been no video source of Mueller saying he did not exonerate the President, only "Democrats" have appeared on video and said that.

This solves that problem.

And as to why that is a problem, well, that's beyond the scope of this thread. But this matters for that reason.
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I'll reiterate that I think the key audience here are the 143 House Democrats who have not yet endorsed an impeachment inquiry. Most of them are on the fence, or have simply been trying to avoid dealing with the subject.

If this gives a bunch of them enough reason to come out and join the 92 House Dems who've already come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, then we may actually get a vote on having an impeachment inquiry. It would be hard for Pelosi to stare down the majority of her caucus.
I gotta say, if the D strategy is really just to get sound bites of Mueller confirming parts of the report, this is going to be real disappointing for Democrats. IMHO. I don't think it's going to have the effect on public opinion any of you are suggesting.

Over on 538 there's some discussion that ignoring questions and just grandstanding for 5 minutes might be a better strategy. I'm starting to agree with that.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:50 AM
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I'll reiterate that I think the key audience here are the 143 House Democrats who have not yet endorsed an impeachment inquiry. Most of them are on the fence, or have simply been trying to avoid dealing with the subject.

If this gives a bunch of them enough reason to come out and join the 92 House Dems who've already come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, then we may actually get a vote on having an impeachment inquiry. It would be hard for Pelosi to stare down the majority of her caucus.
...and then it will go to the Senate and be defeated and thump can claim a WIN! This is not the time-- yet. The time will come. To do it prematurely would be a big mistake.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:51 AM
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I suspect Democrats are doing the only thing here that could possibly be beneficial -- get Mueller to reiterate and highlight the most damning parts of the report. He's just not going to cooperate with anything else.

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I gotta say, if the D strategy is really just to get sound bites of Mueller confirming parts of the report, this is going to be real disappointing for Democrats. IMHO. I don't think it's going to have the effect on public opinion any of you are suggesting.

Over on 538 there's some discussion that ignoring questions and just grandstanding for 5 minutes might be a better strategy. I'm starting to agree with that.
I think grandstanding would be pointless, and just look mostly silly. I think this is about the only possible thing they can do.

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Old 07-24-2019, 08:52 AM
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Memorable shot. THIS is why this needs to be televised.
https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/di...5610f4ca3e.jpg
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:00 AM
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Getting these solid, short, factual sound bites straight from the horse's mouth makes it more difficult for Trump, Fox&Friends, and Republican cronies to spin the false narratives they have about what the report did and didn't conclude.
It shoots down all kinds of claims they've made over the past months.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:02 AM
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Getting these solid, short, factual sound bites straight from the horse's mouth makes it more difficult for Trump, Fox&Friends, and Republican cronies to spin the false narratives they have about what the report did and didn't conclude.
It shoots down all kinds of claims they've made over the past months.
Exactly. Because it's on TV, and will undoubtedly be edited into sound-bite form for the most damning stuff.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:03 AM
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Jim Jordan is an idiot.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:03 AM
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Mueller also directly refutes Trump's assertion that Mueller spoke to Trump about possibly becoming FBI director.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:04 AM
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Mueller is a textbook lesson in how not to take the bait. He will not be tricked into saying anything he doesn't want to say. All the "I stand by my report" and "Outside my purview" replies are annoying some people, but I say, "Bravo!" Keep control of your side of the testimony.

Also, making the questioner repeat the question-- brilliant. Keep control of the tempo, too. They're trying to trip him up, and he's not having any of it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:05 AM
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Jim Jordan is an idiot.
Is he contradicting the R position that the investigation was started by the "phony dossier"? Seems like it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:06 AM
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One thing I'm getting from listening so far is that even Robert Mueller hasn't read the entire Mueller report.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:08 AM
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I gotta say, if the D strategy is really just to get sound bites of Mueller confirming parts of the report, this is going to be real disappointing for Democrats.
I don't hold out high hopes that these hearings will change things very much.

But there are people out there who literally do not even know that the report didn't exonerate the President, and who literally don't know that there are places where it suggests things like obstruction of justice. I saw an interview with a woman at a Republican gathering of some sort, who got all her information about the report from FOX News, and she was surprised to learn these things from the interviewer. It wasn't like she had heard the negative stuff and rejected it; she literally had not heard these things before.

I'm optimistic enough to believe that some people who get their information only from conservative news sites are, under the right circumstances, willing to adjust their assessments in the light of new information. And if the only way to get them the information about the report is for them to see Mueller himself talking about it on TV, then maybe these hearings will have done some good.

Of course, those same conservative news sources are probably only going to play footage that fits with their preordained narrative, so maybe nothing will change at all.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:08 AM
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One thing I'm getting from listening so far is that even Robert Mueller hasn't read the entire Mueller report.
My God. Do you expect him to have every statement in the report at his fingertips?? Besides, asking for the cite, and giving people time to look it up, instead of answering from the hip, makes perfect sense. I'm positive that he has read every word of this report several times.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:11 AM
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Over on the Fox news website, the main headline is "Flustered Mueller asks for questions to be repeated, blanks on Fusion GPS in contentious hearing". We know how the right will be painting this picture.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:15 AM
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But there are people out there who literally do not even know that the report didn't exonerate the President, and who literally don't know that there are places where it suggests things like obstruction of justice. I saw an interview with a woman at a Republican gathering of some sort, who got all her information about the report from FOX News, and she was surprised to learn these things from the interviewer. It wasn't like she had heard the negative stuff and rejected it; she literally had not heard these things before.
I'm pessimistic enough to believe that the next time she's told about it, she still won't have heard it before.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:16 AM
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Of course, those same conservative news sources are probably only going to play footage that fits with their preordained narrative, so maybe nothing will change at all.
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Over on the Fox news website, the main headline is "Flustered Mueller asks for questions to be repeated, blanks on Fusion GPS in contentious hearing". We know how the right will be painting this picture.
I'm shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that conservatives aren't going to hear these damning affirmations from the Mueller Report.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:16 AM
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Getting these solid, short, factual sound bites straight from the horse's mouth makes it more difficult for Trump, Fox&Friends, and Republican cronies to spin the false narratives they have about what the report did and didn't conclude.
It shoots down all kinds of claims they've made over the past months.
Yeah, but it only really shoots them down for people who see the "solid, short, factual sound bites," and are willing to listen to them.

As I suggested in my previous post, and as wguy123's most recent post shows, the people who get their news from FOX aren't going to suddenly receive a new and more honest summary of the report just because Mueller has appeared in front of a congressional committee.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:17 AM
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A question I thought of while watching the questioning: Why doesn't Mueller have someone beside him flipping to the appropriate parts of the Report, so Mueller doesn't have to do it himself? He's concentrating on finding the correct page and not listening to the Congressmen.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:21 AM
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I'm pessimistic enough to believe that the next time she's told about it, she still won't have heard it before.
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I'm shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that conservatives aren't going to hear these damning affirmations from the Mueller Report.
It will be hard to ignore all of these, but I guess they'll find a way. Probably by calling them fake librul media.

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A question I thought of while watching the questioning: Why doesn't Mueller have someone beside him flipping to the appropriate parts of the Report, so Mueller doesn't have to do it himself? He's concentrating on finding the correct page and not listening to the Congressmen.
I like that he is taking his time and setting his own pace. Why should he hurry just because his questioners are in a hurry? Let the panel dance to his tune at his tempo. He's not in a position to reveal much that's new, so at least he can remain in control in this way. How would it look if he rushed and had his aide flip pages-- to me it would be like "yassuh, yassuh, I'm goin' as fast as I can." Screw that. Make them wait while he finds the place. The man has a hell of a lot of gravitas.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:25 AM
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It will be hard to ignore all of these, but I guess they'll find a way. Probably by calling them fake librul media.
If they believe that Mueller is a compromised Trump-hating liar, then the contents of his report and/or his statements during this hearing won't even matter.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:28 AM
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If they believe that Mueller is a compromised Trump-hating liar, then the contents of his report and/or his statements during this hearing won't even matter.
True, but that is the crowd that would still cheer him on during his hypothetical shooting of somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue. There is literally, at this point, NOTHING that would sway that group of Americans.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:31 AM
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If they believe that Mueller is a compromised Trump-hating liar, then the contents of his report and/or his statements during this hearing won't even matter.
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True, but that is the crowd that would still cheer him on during his hypothetical shooting of somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue. There is literally, at this point, NOTHING that would sway that group of Americans.
Correct. They are not the audience for the report or for the hearing. They are lost.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:32 AM
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I like these questions from Rep Jeffries, he's trying real hard to get Mueller to put the pieces together in his own words. He's going to run out of time though.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:32 AM
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Paraphrased from my immediate memory:

Cedric Richmond: "Is it accurate to say that the President tried to force McGahn to say something McGahn did not believe was true?"

Mueller: "That is accurate".
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:34 AM
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Gah, and then Mueller specifically says he doesn't support that analysis. What a dick.
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