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Trump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify

President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE knocked former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 HannityCruz blames criticism of Cancun trip on media 'Trump withdrawal' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB Former Trump officials eye bids for political office 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 NadlerNadler presses DOJ to prosecute all involved in Capitol riot Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Judiciary Panel, and Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden administration open to restarting nuclear talks with Iran Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons 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.