Speed Reads

Mueller Testimony Preview

Trump's complicated relationship with Mueller's investigation is on full display before televised hearings

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify publicly before House lawmakers for five hours on Wednesday, and the TV networks are promising blanket coverage. Will President Trump be watching? "No, I'm not going to be watching, probably," he told reporters Monday. "Maybe I'll see a little bit of it."

Trump and his aides are pre-emptively dismissing the hearings as old sour grapes, The New York Times notes, but "Trump's history of remaining glued to television news — especially when the coverage is about him — suggests that he is certain to be tuned in as Democrats on Capitol Hill use Mr. Mueller's appearance to amplify the damning report about the president and the people in his orbit."

Trump's approach to Mueller's report and upcoming testimony "reminds us of the line from the opening of Annie Hall," Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly write at The Washington Post. "Two women are eating at a Catskills resort, and one says, 'The food at this place is really terrible.' The other replies, 'I know, and such small portions."' Trump has "spoken or tweeted about Mueller more than 300 times during his presidency," they add, and he appears to view Mueller's report as "both an exoneration and a source of bitter complaints," hailing "some of the report's findings — usually by mischaracterizing them — while denouncing its other conclusions."

This is the media's rare chance "to correct a serious wrong" from it's "gullible" coverage of Attorney General William Barr's slanted recap of Mueller's report, which "essentially transmitted to the public — especially in all-important headlines and cable-news bulletins — what President Trump desperately wanted as the takeaway: No collusion; no obstruction," the Post's Margaret Sullivan argues. "Many Americans have made up their minds already about Mueller's findings," but "there is an opportunity here to remove a false, cartoon version of Mueller's investigation and to substitute a well-rendered portrait of a subject that could hardly be more important to the country."