With the White House making the media rounds and taking a victory lap on Monday following Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that found the Trump campaign didn’t conspire with the Russian government in its 2016 presidential election interference, MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson grilled White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley on President Trump’s harsh rhetoric towards Mueller.
Noting that the administration and Trump’s allies are now praising the Mueller investigation after relentlessly attacking the special counsel for nearly two years, Jackson asked Gidley how that wasn’t hypocritical.
“The president was defending himself against what we know was a hoax,” the White House flack replied, prompting Jackson to point out that Trump was “proactively” attacking Mueller.
“He was defending himself because the entire process was predicated on a lie,” Gidley said. “There has been no collusion. There’s no obstruction. And it’s a complete and total exoneration.”
Jackson pushed back against Gidley’s claim that the report was a “total exoneration,” explaining that Mueller was quoted in Barr’s letter that the president was not exonerated on the issue of obstruction of justice. She then circled back to to the issue of Trump’s attacks on Mueller.
“Does Mueller deserve thanks for his service? Did he conduct himself honorably?” Jackson asked.
“Look, I don’t know Robert personally,” the spokesperson responded. “The Democrats have been praising him for a long time. They talked about how he would do this in a straight manner. I’m sure he did a thorough job. The fact is the results are clear and clean for the president. There is no collusion. It’s time for the country to move on.”
The MSNBC host wanted to know if the president should apologize for attacking the former FBI director, causing Gidley to say that Trump was “defending himself against what is a total lie.”
“Is that a no?” Jackson shot back.
“The president has made his position very clear on Robert Mueller,” Gidley concluded.
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.