House Democrat: Mueller testimony 'tiptoed outside four corners of report'

Rep. Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (D-Wash.) said Thursday that even though Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE said he would stick to his public findings, the former special counsel did speak on matters outside the report at times. 

“He indicated that he wouldn’t speak outside the four corners of his report,” Heck, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising.”

“But in fact I thought you saw that on a number of occasions, he actually did at least tiptoe outside the four corners of the report,” he added.

Mueller spent almost seven hours testifying before lawmakers on Wednesday.

In his back-to-back testimonies before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Mueller largely followed the Justice Department’s instructions to limit his testimony to the 448-page report, which did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and didn’t come to a conclusion over whether Trump obstructed justice, though he outlined nearly a dozen instances he investigated.

But Mueller did make a few critical comments about President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE, even though he didn't mention him by name. 

Mueller pushed back on one of Trump's favorite attacks on the Russia probe, insisting that his investigation was “not a witch hunt” as the president has repeatedly claimed. 

The special counsel also criticized Trump’s past praise for WikiLeaks, saying that calling it “problematic is an understatement.” He also said that Trump could still be indicted and charged with obstruction of justice upon leaving office.

Trump and his allies, meanwhile, have deemed Mueller's testimony a “good day” for the White House. The president also tweeted calling Mueller's testimony a "disaster."

Liberal and conservative pundits echoed some of Trump's sentiment, and criticized the performance of Mueller, who appeared shaky at times.

During the network's special coverage of the testimony, NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBooker dismisses early surveys: 'If you're polling ahead right now, you should worry' O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump MORE said "on optics, this was a disaster" for Democrats.

But Heck defended Mueller and called the hearings a "victory" for government transparency. He insisted that the Judiciary Committee did, in fact, establish a "clear and compelling case" that Trump actually obstructed justice. 

"The other victory yesterday was a victory on behalf, frankly of openness and transparency," Heck told Hill.TV. "The American public was entitled and deserved to hear this conversation.

⁠—Tess Bonn