Trump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE knocked former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE on Friday and Saturday after he struck a deal with the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to give extended testimony.

The July 24 testimony will help illuminate Mueller’s report into Russia's election interference and potential obstruction of justice by Trump for a nationally televised audience.

Seeking to preempt the appearance, the president turned to Judicial Watch, a conservative advocacy group, to hit at the former special counsel. 

“This is one of the most horrible abuses of all. Those texts between gaga lovers would have told the whole story. Illegal deletion by Mueller,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, quoting a video from Judicial Watch founder Tom Fitton accusing Mueller of a “HUGE” cover-up.

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Trump was referring to missing text messages between former investigators Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, two FBI agents who were involved in a romantic relationship, in which they bashed the president during the 2016 campaign.

Strzok was swiftly removed from Mueller’s team after the texts were unearthed, and a Justice Department investigation found that while the messages did go missing for a time, their absence was attributed to a technical error rather than any malicious intent. 

The president retweeted several of Judicial Watch’s messages, including one that said the Mueller probe was “part of an effort to remove the president from office improperly.”

Trump also promoted Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannitySarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Trump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Trump calls Juan Williams 'pathetic,' 'always nasty and wrong' MORE’s special Friday night bashing Mueller after the agreement for testimony was agreed upon.

Mueller’s July 24 appearance will feature a three-hour testimony before the Judiciary panel and a two-hour testimony before the Intelligence panel. The agreement, which pushed the testimony back a week, was reached to allow every member of the Judiciary Committee to question the former special counsel.

“All members — Democrats and Republicans — of both committees will have a meaningful opportunity to question the Special Counsel in public, and the American people will finally have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Mueller about what his investigation uncovered,” Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerSecond Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death MORE (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Judiciary Panel, and Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Trump: Jews who vote Democrat show 'lack of knowledge or great disloyalty' Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Intelligence panel, said. 

While the hearing will allow Democrats to underline some of the more unsavory details about Trump’s conduct contained in the Mueller report, it’s revised timing just before the August recess will likely blunt a potential avalanche of calls for impeachment hearings stemming from the hearing.