Robert Mueller said Wednesday
After Democratic Representative Mike Quigley read out some tweets from Trump and Donald Trump Jr., regarding WikiLeaks, he asked if the former special counsel if the quotes hit him a certain way.
”Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks,’ Donald Trump, October 10, 2016,’ Qugiley recited. ”This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart. You gotta read it,’ Donald Trump, October 12, 2016. ‘This Wikileaks is like a treasure trove,’ Donald Trump, October 31, 2016. ‘Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks,’ Donald Trump, November 4, 2016.’
All of the tweets were sent in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
‘Would any of those quotes disturb you Mr. Director?’ Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked.
Robert Mueller said Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s praise of WikiLeaks is ‘problematic’
Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley asked Mueller what his thoughts were on Trump’s tweets and Don Jr.’s contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election
‘I’m not certain I would say–’ Mueller tried to defer.
‘How would you react to it?’ the Illinois congressman pressed.
‘Problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays, in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is, and should, be illegal activity,’ Mueller offered.
Mueller also agreed that he would likely describe WikiLeaks as a ‘hostile intelligence service,’ and conceded that Don Jr.’s statements likely warranted a separate investigation.
”Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks during the campaign period. On October 3, 2016 Wikileaks sent another direct message to Trump Jr. asking ‘you guys’ to help disseminate a link alleging candidate Clinton had advocated a drone to attack Julian Assange,” Quigley quoted from Volume 1 page 59 of Mueller’s 448-page Russia report. ”Trump Jr. responded to that quote ‘he had already done so.”
‘Same question,’ Quigley posed. ‘This behavior, at the very least, disturbing? And your reaction?
Mueller kept a mostly tight-lipped testimony when answering questions during two committee hearings, but strayed from his normal line of answers for this topic
He also claimed Don Jr. speaking with Wikileaks during the campaign was grounds for its own investigation and, when prompted by Quigley, called the action “disturbing’
‘Disturbing and also subject to investigation,’ Mueller quipped.
Throughout his over five hours of testimony, the former FBI chief delivered a series of crisp answers like, ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘true’ and sometimes claiming the question was outside the scope or ‘purview’ of his investigation.
This instance was an exception.
Just months ahead of the election between Trump and Hillary Clinton, and on the even of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released a trove of information.
This included 20,000 DNC emails providing an inside look at Democratic Party operatives and discussion of Clinton’s primary rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.