POLITICS

ABC's George Stephanopoulos Hammers Trump On Mueller Report: 'Did You Read' It?

The president called the TV host a "little wise guy" for correcting him.

President Donald Trump repeatedly made false statements about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, but the TV host wasn’t having it.

In a clip of the interview aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” the president once again falsely claimed Mueller’s investigation, which he referred to as “a phony pile of stuff,” essentially cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“Mueller comes out ― there’s no collusion and essentially a ruling that no obstruction,” Trump told Stephanopoulos inside the presidential state car. “And they keep going with it. You know what? People are angry about it.”

But Stephanopoulos pushed back: “I don’t think that’s what [Mueller] found.”

The president then falsely claimed that the decision made by Attorney General William Barr, his own appointee, and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to not charge him with a crime following Mueller’s report meant the special counsel “didn’t find anything having to do with obstruction.”

Stephanopoulos noted that Mueller “didn’t examine collusion” and had “laid out evidence of obstruction.”

Trump interrupted, “Oh, are you trying to say now that there was collusion even though he said there was no collusion?”

“He didn’t say there was no collusion,” Stephanopoulos responded. “He said he didn’t look at collusion ―”

But Trump insisted, “George, the report said no collusion.”

“Did you read the report?” Stephanopoulos asked, to which the president claimed he had and suggested the ABC host do so as well. 

Stephanopoulos started to respond that he had read every page, but Trump abruptly cut the interview short, prompting laughter from the TV host.

In his 448-page report, Mueller outlined numerous contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia but said he did not find enough evidence to charge him with criminal conspiracy.

The special counsel also described 10 instances of potential obstruction committed by the president, but stopped short of charging him with a crime, pointing to a Justice Department opinion that says a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Still, Trump continued to bring up the Mueller report several times as Stephanopoulos followed him around for 30 hours last week, claiming in the Oval Office once again that the probe found “no collusion.”

“As you know, that’s not what Robert Mueller found,” Stephanopoulos said.

“It said no collusion,” Trump replied. “All I want is truth. All I want is fairness.”

Stephanopoulos also grilled Trump about his false claim that he answered Mueller’s questions about obstruction:

Stephanopoulos: “You didn’t answer questions on obstruction.”

Trump: “Wait a minute, wait a minute, I did answer questions. I answered them in writing. I don’t know about those ―”

Stephanopoulos: “Not on obstruction.”

Trump: “I don’t know. I answered a lot of questions. They gave me questions, I answered them in writing.”

Stephanopoulos: “Not on obstruction.”

Trump: “Look, George, you’re being a little wise guy, OK? Which is, you know, typical for you. Just so you understand ― very simple, it’s very simple ― there was no crime. There was no collusion.”

Trump also claimed then-White House counsel Don McGahn was “confused” when he thought he heard the president order him to have Mueller fired in 2017, as McGahn testified before the special counsel.

“I never suggested firing Mueller,” Trump claimed, adding that he believes McGahn testified that he did because he wanted to “show everyone what a good counsel he was.”

McGahn did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The full interview, titled “President Trump: 30 Hours,” is slated to air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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