Trump on Mueller hearings: 'It never ends'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE on Wednesday scoffed at the news that former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE will testify before Congress next month about the Russia investigation.

“Well, my reaction is it never ends,” he said during a phone interview with Fox Business Network.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump repeated his stance that “we have no obstruction, we had no collusion” and accused Mueller without evidence of committing a crime by deleting text messages by two former FBI officials—Peter Strzok and Lisa Page—who criticized the president.

“Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal. That’s a crime,” he said.

House Democrats announced Tuesday night that Mueller has agreed to testify about his investigation, nearly three months after the release of his report detailing his findings about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction by Trump.

The two hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees could create a major public spectacle focused on the probe that has dogged Trump’s presidency at a time when the 2020 presidential race is heating up.

In a Tuesday night tweet sent after the hearing was announced, Trump declared it was a form of “Presidential Harassment!” The president has repeatedly railed against Democrats in the House who see the Mueller hearing as a possible step toward opening an impeachment inquiry.

Trump and Republicans have sought to paint Democrats as obsessed with impeachment and incapable of working on legislation. They have also tried to discredit Mueller’s probe by focusing on the actions of federal investigators accused of bias against Trump.

Strzok and Page, an agent and lawyer respectively, had an extramarital affair and exchanged texts in which they blasted Trump during the probe.

“Now here’s the problem. Robert Mueller, they worked for him; and the two lovers were together and they had texts back and forth and email back and forth ... Mueller terminated them illegally,” Trump said.

A Justice Department inspector general (IG) report released in December said not all of the texts between Strzok and Page could be recovered due to technical glitches within the department’s internal systems that have since been resolved.

But the IG wrote it did not find that “the gaps in collection were intentional on the part of the FBI or any FBI personnel.” Mueller is not mentioned as having any role in the deletion of text messages.

Strzok was taken off Mueller’s team in the summer of 2017 and later fired after the texts were discovered and Page left the bureau on her own.

Updated at 9:46 a.m.