- President Trump is reportedly concerned that testimony by special counsel Robert Mueller could captivate Americans and dominate cable news airwaves, reported the Associated Press.
- The president reportedly believes Mueller “has been unfairly lionized across cable news and the front pages of the nation’s leading newspapers for two years.”
- Over the weekend the president expressed opposition to Mueller testifying to Congress about his investigation into Russian collusion.
- Democratic lawmakers want to question Mueller about his probe and claims Attorney General William Barr misled Congress about its contents.
- The president is known for his love of cable news, and frequently rails against what he sees as negative coverage of his presidency.
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President Donald Trump is “stewing” over the prospect of special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress dominating cable TV news, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
White House officials and Republicans close to the White House told the AP that Trump believes Mueller “has been unfairly lionized across cable news and the front pages of the nation’s leading newspapers for two years.”
According to the report, if Mueller testifies, Trump fears a repeat of the the congressional testimony of his former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen back in February, which dominated news coverage for days and even overshadowed the President’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The president, who reportedly schedules up to five hours a day to watch cable television and tweet, believes that Americans would be captivated by Mueller’s testimony, particularly considering that the special counsel has not spoken out in public since his appointment two years ago.
Trump, who before launching his bid for the presidency hosted reality show The Apprentice, is famously hooked on cable TV ratings, and how his decisions and appearances play out on cable TV coverage.
However, recent data indicates that the president is having a tougher time winning the attention of the American public than at any other time in his presidency, with Google trends showing that interest in the president recently hit the lowest point of his time in the White House.
In a tweet Sunday, Trump for the first time expressed his opposition to Mueller testifying in public, having previously said he will leave the decision up to Attorney General William Barr.
Trump wrote that Democrats are “looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion.”
“Bob Mueller should not testify,” he added. “No redos for the Dems!”
In March, Mueller submitted his report on Russian collusion to Barr, who released a summary of its conclusions and a redacted version of the report in April.
The Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee said it wants to interview Mueller as it probes allegations that Barr deliberately misled Congress and the public about the contents of the report to cast them in a more positive light for the president than the facts warranted.
House Judiciary Committee officials are attempting to get Mueller to testify on or around May 15, although no firm date has been set yet and it is not certain that he will appear.
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