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

President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE's repeated embrace of WikiLeaks and its distribution of Clinton campaign emails was "beyond problematic," former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE testified Wednesday.

Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyFitness industry group hires new CEO amid lobbying push House Democrats introduce bill to close existing gun loopholes and prevent mass shootings Bipartisan Senate bill introduced to give gyms B in relief 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.