White House: Mueller hearing an 'epic embarrassment' for Democrats

The White House ridiculed former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's testimony Wednesday morning as "an epic embarrassment" for House Democrats.

"Expect more of the same in the second half," press secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote in a statement.

Minutes later, President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE tweeted a similar message and derided House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response 5 reasons Democrats fear Trump's coronavirus briefings Democrats introduce bill to set up commission to review coronavirus response MORE (D-Calif.), who will oversee the second hearing of the day.

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"I would like to thank the Democrats for holding this morning’s hearing," Trump tweeted. "Now, after 3 hours, Robert Mueller has to subject himself to #ShiftySchiff - an Embarrassment to our Country!" 

The statements came after Mueller completed roughly three hours of testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller is set to testify before the Intelligence panel for another three hours in the afternoon.

Trump and his allies generally embraced Mueller's performance during the first half of the day, arguing that Democrats largely failed to advance the case for impeachment and noting that Mueller's testimony was mostly reserved and at times uneven.

Trump earlier in the day tweeted six times about the hearings before they began. He has since tweeted a pair of quotes from Fox News personalities who criticized Democrats and Mueller over their performances.

"This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller," Trump tweeted, quoting Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceGovernors, health experts warn coronavirus restrictions must stay in place Public health expert: 'We are still at the very beginning of this outbreak' Mnuchin: US will bounce back after we 'kill this virus' and 'reopen this economy' MORE.

The president said before the hearing that he "might" watch some of it. His public schedule was open during the day Wednesday, with a fundraiser in West Virginia planned for the evening. 

Originally, Trump had said, "No, I won’t be watching Mueller,” but changed his tune early this week.

Mueller said ahead of the Judiciary hearing that he would not stray in his testimony from his team's 448-page report on the Russia investigation. He stuck to his promise, declining to answer a number of questions and referencing the report in response to numerous questions.

At the outset, however, he responded to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (D-N.Y.) that his report did not exonerate the president as Trump has repeatedly claimed, and that the report did not state there was "no obstruction."

--Updated at 1:15 p.m.