Trump changes tune, says he 'might' watch part of Mueller testimony

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE on Monday acknowledged he might watch some of Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's testimony on Capitol Hill this week as he renewed his attacks against the former special counsel's credibility.

"No, I’m not going to be watching — probably — maybe I’ll see a little bit of it. I’m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the Pakistani prime minister.

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Trump on Friday said he would not be watching, but changed his tune as he lit into Mueller before his highly anticipated testimony on Wednesday.

Trump asserted that Mueller found "no collusion" in his report, issued earlier this year, and that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE "was easily able" to rule that the president did not obstruct justice.

"This thing should have ended a long time ago," Trump said. "This has been going on for 2 1/2 years, and we’re never going to allow this to happen again because most of them wouldn’t be able to take it."

Trump revived his grievances that Mueller is "best friends" with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyChris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' Day one impeachment hearings draw 13.1M viewers, down 32 percent from Comey hearings There are poor ideas, bad ones and Facebook's Libra MORE, though it is not clear that the two were more than colleagues.

He also asserted that Mueller is conflicted because he interviewed for the FBI director's job and because of a business issue involving a Trump property.

Mueller's 448-page report addressed both of those claims. 

Former top White House adviser Stephen Bannon told federal investigators that Mueller did not go to the White House seeking to become FBI director for a second time, and was instead invited to offer “a perspective on the institution” to the president.

Mueller’s report also addressed his membership at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., saying he wrote a resignation letter in October 2011 explaining “we live in the District and find that we are unable to make full use of the club” and inquiring about a partial refund for his initiation fee.

The special counsel has said he does not intend to deviate in his testimony from the findings of his report, which did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government, and neither implicated nor exonerated Trump on obstruction charges.

But Democrats believe that having Mueller testify on camera about his findings could spark new interest into the debate over whether to impeach Trump, and deliver a televised spectacle to Americans unwilling to read his full report.

Trump scoffed at the prospect of impeachment on Monday, referencing a vote last week to table articles of impeachment introduced by Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenIf we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat Trump administration suspends oil and gas production on 130 plots in Utah after challenge Why fear should not blind us to the promise of AI: A healthy dose of optimism MORE (D-Texas).

"They tried an impeachment vote and they got slaughtered last week. They got absolutely slaughtered," Trump said. "I have a lot of respect for the Democrats because most of them voted against impeachment last week. And I have a lot of respect for those Democrats that did that."

The barbs toward Mueller at the press availability with the Pakistani prime minister were the second time Trump has gone after the special counsel on Monday. 
 
In a pair of tweets earlier in the day, Trump repeated his claim that Mueller is “highly conflicted” and accused him of leading a “ridiculous Witch Hunt.” The president for more than two years has leveled both charges in an attempt to undermine Mueller’s credibility.

Trump, who tends to fixate on cable television coverage, is set to attend a fundraiser in West Virginia on Wednesday evening, but otherwise has a light schedule.