As Mueller Testifies About Trump and Russia, Melania Tweets About Christmas in the White House
For much of Wednesday, Robert Mueller, the former special counsel named to investigate President Donald Trump‘s ties to the Russian government, captivated Washington, D.C., with his testimony before Congress about what he had learned.
The president — who had maintained he would not be watching Mueller’s appearance — nonetheless had clearly been keeping close track, speaking with reporters about it later Wednesday outside the White House after spending much of the day inside, with no publicly listed events.
First Lady Melania Trump, however, had other things on her mind.
“#Christmas planning has begun in the East Wing at the @WhiteHouse,” she tweeted on Wednesday around lunchtime, in the middle of Mueller’s testimony. “I’m looking forward to sharing our final vision for this unique tradition in the coming months.”
Trump’s Twitter critics, always eager to push back on the social media platform that has defined the president’s administration, pounced on the incongruity of the first lady’s messaging.
“Sweetheart, I don’t think you’re still going to be living in the White House in December. Are you not listening to the Mueller testimony?” one user replied to her.
Wrote another: “What’s the theme this year … ? Kids in cages?”
And a third user said, “it[‘]s July, you loon.”
In turn, supportive users gushed over the post.
“Thank you for a wonderful break in this #Circus of a #Testimony led by #Mueller and #Nadler. May God bless you and your entire family, for sending an uplifting message, when we needed it most,” went one characteristic post.
According to another, “Our lovely FLOTUS has been the classiest and most beautiful lady our country has been blessed with. We are so proud of her accomplishments and great influence on our children.”
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For nearly seven hours on Wednesday, Mueller testified before two Congressional committees about his investigation — detailing and confirming on live TV the conclusions of his team’s dense report about Trump and Russia.
Mueller also said he believed a president could be charged with a crime after leaving office and said Trump’s written answers to his team about the Russia investigation had not “generally” been truthful or complete.
Following a two-year investigation, Mueller’s team documented the president’s extensive efforts to control Mueller once he became a target of the probe.
Though Mueller did not find a conspiracy between Trump and Russian nationals, he showed multiple links between their worlds, including a kind of a passive symbiosis as the Russian government worked to boost Trump’s candidacy and his campaign realized they would likely benefit from Russia’s efforts.
Mueller declined to exonerate or accuse Trump of a crime, given the federal government’s longstanding position that a sitting president should be impeached by Congress rather than prosecuted.
A growing chorus of Democrats have called for such an impeachment inquiry.