Chuck Todd: Mueller Hearing An Optics "Disaster," Didn't Advance The Cause For Trump Impeachment


NBC News political director Chuck Todd weighs in on former special counsel Robert Mueller's performance at today's House Judiciary Committee hearing. Todd called the optics of the hearing a "disaster" and the special counsel did nothing to advance the cause for impeachment.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS: When the Democrats were asked why, why would they put Robert Mueller on the witness stand, why did he come before Congress when he's issued this report, they said, because you needed to have this report come alive, because the movie will be better than the book, that it would capture and captivate America's attention and focus them on the issues here. And to our panel, I ask the question, is it mission accomplished, if that was the goal?

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: If that was the goal, it's a complete failure on that front.

On substance, Democrats got what they wanted. They got him to confirm that he didn't make a charge because of the Justice Department memo. He confirmed that you can still indict him on these charges after he leaves office. And he seemed to confirm the idea that under any other circumstance, he likely would have filed some charges. So they got some substance on what they wanted him -- but it provided such uncomfortable clarity. As they were using him for clarity, he'd somehow fog it up in how he would do certain things. So look, on the optics, this was a disaster.

On substance, they got what they wanted, but if they were looking for this dramatic moment that would capture the imagination -- and remember, House Judiciary members do believe they should start impeachment. If that's what Bob Mueller thought needed to be done, he didn't do anything today to help advance that cause, if he believes that is where this should head.

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