Jake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M Defense secretary fires Navy chief over SEAL war crimes case Democrats look to next steps in impeachment MORE on Wednesday fact-checked what he called "lies" and "flat-out misleading" statistics displayed on a sign President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE used to complement his criticism of Democrats and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE's investigation. 

"We’re going to fact-check the sign he brought to today’s Rose Garden rant," Tapper said on his daily CNN program before diving into Trump's talking points about Mueller's probe into Russian interference. 


Tapper began by calling out the statistic that the special counsel's team spent more than $35 million throughout the course of the 22-month investigation. The host noted that it's not clear where Trump gathered that figure, but that the Justice Department said that Mueller's expenses were around $12 million by September 2018. 

"The final price tag will no doubt be higher than that, but the data's not public. Where he got $35 million, no idea," Tapper said.

He then targeted the claim that the investigation was led by "18 angry Democrats," noting that Mueller hired 19 lawyers and that Mueller himself is a "well-known Republican," as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and oversaw the investigation.

Tapper acknowledges that Trump is correct about length of the investigation, the amount of subpoenas issued and the number of witnesses involved. 

But he takes issue with the poster's inclusion of the statements, "No Collusion" and "No Obstruction." Tapper notes that while Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to conclude a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow took place, it did identify numerous links between the two. 

"Mueller specifically said that collusion was not a legal term and the report was not going to address it all," Tapper said, going on to note that Mueller made no conclusive determination regarding obstruction of justice.  

"And if you read the report, Mueller in detail describes at least 10 instances which may have constituted obstruction. And Mueller clearly leaves it up to Congress to proceed," he said. 

"There was a time in the Trump administration when his people would try to either explain his falsehoods as somehow in the neighborhood of something possibly accurate, or they would just change the subject," Tapper continues.

"But there has been a long slow slide into just taking his lies and asserting them to you. You are paying for those lies."

Trump has continually railed against Mueller's probe, and on Wednesday used a placard describing facts from it to complement his criticism. The placard stood in front of Trump as he threatened to block infrastructure talks until Democrats' investigations into him finished.