Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony

Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE insisted Friday that he won’t watch special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s testimony before Congress next week.

Trump, who was asked directly if he would be watching the marathon testimony, also told reporters that Democrats need to “stop playing games,” and called the recent effort by Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Memo: Will Iran crisis sideline impeachment process? Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely GOP set to make life difficult for Democrats on impeachment MORE (D-Texas) to force a vote on impeachment a “big waste of time.”

"As far as I’m concerned they already took their impeachment vote, and the impeachment vote was so lopsided, it was a massive victory,” Trump said, referring to a House vote earlier this week that quashed an impeachment resolution introduced by Green.

“And you know what, at some point they have to stop playing games, because they’re just playing games. No, I won’t be watching Mueller,” Trump said, speaking to reporters Friday afternoon as he departed the White House for a roundtable with supporters and fundraising event in New Jersey.

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Mueller is slated to testify for a combined five hours before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees at back-to-back public hearings Wednesday.

Democrats hope the hearing will illuminate the details of Mueller’s 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which provides an exhaustive account of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and nearly a dozen potential episodes of obstruction of justice by Trump.

Some pro-impeachment Democrats hope the hearing will move the needle towards beginning impeachment proceedings against the president.

But House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan James Taylor to perform at awards ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week Trump offers two-state peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid skepticism MORE (D-Calif.) has remained expressly against the possibility, noting lawmakers need to focus on their investigations and going to court as necessary to enforce subpoenas issued to the executive branch and other witnesses.

Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to charge members of the Trump campaign with conspiring with Russia to interfere in the investigation, though he wrote that the campaign expected to “benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts." Trump and his Republican allies have cheered the result as vindicating him of allegations of “collusion” with Russia.

Mueller also did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, and Democrats argue that the evidence laid out in the report would result in charges if he weren’t president. Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGiuliani calls Bolton a 'backstabber' over Ukraine allegations Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report DOJ says surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Page lacked evidence MORE and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE reviewed the evidence and judged it insufficient to accuse Trump of criminal wrongdoing.

Trump has continued to attack the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” and excoriated Democrats in the House for what the president has termed an attempted “re-do” of the Russia probe.

Wednesday’s hearing is likely to dominate the airwaves as Democrats drill down on the more unsavory details about Trump’s conduct documented in the report, which many Americans have not read.

Brett Samuels contributed.