Bush attorney general defends Mueller as ‘man of integrity’ after Trump attacks
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday defended special counsel Robert Mueller after President Trump lashed out at the Russia investigation, comparing the special counsel to Joseph McCarthy.
“My experience is he’s a man of integrity,” Gonzales said of Mueller on CNN.
Gonzales worked with Mueller during the George W. Bush administration when the special counsel was the head of the FBI.
“Bob Mueller was the FBI director when I was the attorney general. And obviously I worked for Bob Mueller when I worked in the White House,” he said.
The former attorney general told CNN he saw no similarities between Mueller and McCarthy, who famously led a search for communists inside the U.S. government in the 1950s.
Gonzales said he thinks that the special prosecutor has handled his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election appropriately.
“He’s handled this investigation the appropriate way, not talking about the investigation,” Gonzales said.
Trump made the McCarthy comparison Sunday in a tweet.
Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018
Trump went on to insult Mueller further on Monday morning, calling the special counsel “disgraced and discredited” and called Mueller’s team “Angry Democrat Thugs.”
In his interview with CNN, Gonzales emphasized the importance of the Mueller probe into the possibility of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
“Because Russia interfered with our 2016 election, is going to interfere with this election, I think it’s very important that we allow this investigation to move forward so we know, we have a much better idea the extent of what Russia did so we can defend against this kind of meddling in the future,” he said.
Gonzales said he thinks Mueller is the one to finish the job.
“I’ve got confidence in Bob Mueller,” Gonzales said. “I haven’t seen anything yet that shakes that confidence, and I hope that the investigation reaches its ultimate conclusion.”
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