On Thursday, MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin confronted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) about his aggressive grandstanding against former special counsel Robert Mueller in his testimony before the House.
As Mohyeldin pointed out, Mueller directly contradicted much of Trump's rhetoric about the Russia investigation, like that collusion is a "hoax" or that he was the victim of a "witch hunt."
"So you heard, there, Bob Mueller contradicting the president on several points," said Mohyeldin. "Democrats may not have gotten their, quote, smoking gun moment, but wouldn’t you also agree that what we just heard there from Robert Mueller is damaging to the president?"
"Disagreeing with Robert Mueller isn’t an impeachable offense," said Gaetz. "Republicans are very happy with how it went. There seemed to be no new information ... Nothing that you saw yesterday is going to change the underlying political dynamic which is that the country wants the House Democratic majority to move on."
"So on one hand, the Republicans and president tout the fact that the Mueller report has exonerated him but at the same time, you attacked Mueller, you attacked the report, you questioned its credibility, and here we are at a point that you can’t have it both ways," said Mohyeldin. "How do you use the report to make the claim that the president has been exonerated and at the same time you’re questioning the credibility of that very same report?"
"I was questioning the choices made by the Mueller team to highlight certain contacts within their purview and then ignore others," said Gaetz. "How is it within Robert Mueller’s purview to write 3500 pages when a Russian lawyer meets with the Trump team, and then it is outside of Robert Mueller’s purview to make any mention of the very same Russian lawyer meeting with Democrat operatives the day before and the day after she met with the Trump team? So those choices are worthy of criticism even though at the end of the day Robert Mueller does clear the president on the issue of a criminal conspiracy with the Russian Federation and made no decision on obstruction. That decision had to be made by someone, so it was made by the attorney general and deputy attorney general. So no charges against the president, no articles of impeachment, just a lot of Democrats—"
"And if I may say, that is very questionable the way the attorney general and deputy attorney general decided not to bring those charges," cut in Mohyeldin.
"Questionable to who?" said Gaetz. "He is the head of the Department of Justice."
"Members on the other side of the aisle would disagree with the way [Bill] Barr handled that particular issue and conclusion of the findings there," said Mohyeldin.
"I think they just didn't like the result," sneered Gaetz.