President Trump said on Thursday that he would leave it up to Attorney General Bill Barr to decide whether special counsel Robert Mueller may testify before Congress on the Russia investigation. In a surprise news conference, the president talked about trade negotiations with China and the Mueller report, saying Mueller was "tremendously conflicted."
"Bob Mueller is no friend of mine, I've had conflicts with him," the president said. "We had a business dispute, we had somebody that is in love with James Comey. He liked James Comey. They were very good friends. Supposedly best friends. Maybe not, but supposedly best friends. You look at the picture file and you see hundreds of photos with him and Comey. With all of that, and other things, he wanted the FBI job... And the day after he didn't get it he became the special counsel. That's a conflict. And we had other things, but those are tremendous conflicts."
"My son is a good person," Trump said about the subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "My son testified for hours and hours. My son was totally exonerated by Mueller... We’ll see what happens. I’m just very surprised."
QUESTION: Will you allow Robert Muller to testify to Congress?
TRUMP: Well, I'm going to leave that up to our very great attorney general, and he'll make a decision on that. But I will say this, look, the Mueller report came out, it was done at I got some hearing numbers now close to $40 million with 17 or 18 very angry Democrats who hated Donald Trump and also everything that they could possibly have at their disposal.
There was nobody that was in the history of our country more transparent than me. I said give them every document, give them every person. Let the White House counsel testify. I think he testified for 30 hours. I guess they must have asked him the same question because there wasn't very much to testify about. But I said let him testify and let him--keep him as long as you want.
Actually, when I heard 30 hours, I said that's a long time, but I let him testify. I didn't have to. I have presidential privilege. I could've stopped everything. I didn't have to give them a document. I gave them 1.5 million documents. I gave them White House counsel, I gave them over other law--anybody you want, you can talk to. At the end of the testimony, no collusion and essentially, no obstruction.
Of course, a lot of people say how can you obstruct when there was no crime, when there was no collusion, how can you possibly obstruct? I'll tell you, but it's worse than that. It's not only was there no crime, but the crime was committed on the other side. So we are protecting against the crime committed on the other side. So after spending all of that money, all of that time, two years, they come up with a report.
And Bob Mueller is no friend of mine. I had conflicts with him. We had a business dispute, we had somebody that is in love with James Comey. We like James Comey. They were very good friends, supposedly best friends. May be not, but supposedly best friends. You look at the picture file and you see hundreds of pictures of him and Comey. And with all of that and other things, he wanted the FBI job. I don't know if anybody knows that, but as you know, he was considered for the FBI job, wanted it, and the day after he didn't get it, he became the special counsel. That's a conflict. And we had other things, but those are tremendous conflicts.
Listen to this. Your judge, call him a judge, is a--has a business dispute with me. Your judge has a fantastic relationship with James Comey. Well, he's a part of this. He lied to Congress, he leaked--he's a liar, a leaker. And your judge has a situation where he wanted to become the FBI director. We chose Director Wray instead and told him I'm sorry. That's--those are tremendous conflicts. Those are tremendous conflicts.
And then he puts on his staff almost all Democrats, many of whom contributed to Hillary Clinton. None of them contributed to me. That I can tell you. And it started out at 13 and it went to 18. And these were angry Democrats. These were people that went to her, in one case, went to her what was supposed to be a party and turned out to be a funeral on election evening and was going wild. He was so angry. And this man now is judging me. You had other people made big contributions to Hillary Clinton's campaign. They were angry Democrats in I think almost all cases.
One of the people worked on the Clinton Foundation as just about the top person at the Clinton Foundation. With all of this, they came back no collusion. There is nobody in this room including you if they were--that's you, John. If they looked at you with $40 million, 18 angry people that hated you and all of the other things I mentioned, they'll find something. I don't know, maybe John, not. Go ahead, finish up.
QUESTION: But Mr. Mueller is also friends with Mr. Barr. And as you're aware, Mr. Barr told lawmakers that he didn't have a problem with Mr.--with Mr. Mueller testifying.
TRUMP: I'm going to leave that up to the attorney general as to whether or not--I think to me it looks like a redo. Here's what happened, the report comes back, it's perfect. It's beautiful. There's no collusion. Nobody even talks about collusion. You know, I haven't heard the word Russia in a long time. There's no more talk about Russia. What happened to Russia? The Russian witchhunt--they don't talk because it was so on collusion, which by the way, is by far--that's the big deal because it was all about Russia. So I haven't heard the word Russia. They don't use the word Russia anymore.
So there's no crime. There know what never was a crime. It was a hoax. It was a witchhunt. So this comes back, and it comes back totally exonerating Donald Trump and a lot of other people. This was a terrible thing that happened to our country.
Now I'll tell you what they are asking. They are asking about how did this whole thing started. That's what people want to know, and I want to tell you, I had a--an event last night. A lot of you were there. Thousands and thousands of people standing in a field. They've never seen anything like it, meaning even the press. But it's always that way. We never had an empty seat. Thousands of people last night. You know what they want to know? How did this whole thing start. It's going to be hard for them to answer that one. Yeah, please.