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Mueller on Trump's WikiLeaks embrace: 'Problematic is an understatement'

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE's repeated embrace of WikiLeaks and its distribution of Clinton campaign emails was "beyond problematic," 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 testified Wednesday.

Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyOn The Money: Biden signals he'll move forward on COVID-19 relief without GOP | Economy adds 49K jobs in January | Minimum wage push sparks Democratic divisions House bill introduced to give gyms B in relief Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE (D-Ill.) read Mueller several quotes from Trump in October 2016 after WikiLeaks released scores of hacked emails from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign in which the president spoke approvingly of the organization.

"Problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays in terms of giving some, I don't know, hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity," Mueller said when asked for his reaction.

Trump mentioned WikiLeaks regularly during campaign rallies in October 2016 as damaging emails about his opponent trickled out.

"I love WikiLeaks," Trump said in one instance. 

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"Boy I love reading those WikiLeaks," he said in another.

Trump mentioned WikiLeaks 145 times in the final month of the campaign alone, according to NBC News.

In April of this year, however, Trump sought to distance himself from Wikileaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeBiden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition Assange, Snowden among those not included on Trump pardon list Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon MORE following his arrest.