Robert Mueller answered incorrectly when Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) questioned him about his appointment as U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.
“Which president appointed you to become the United States Attorney for Massachusetts?” Stanton asked, during the perfunctory lead toward his primary questions on Wednesday’s testimony. Unfortunately, this one proved a bit of trouble for the special counsel.
“Which senator?” Mueller asked.
“Which president,” Stanton repeated.
“Oh, which president?” Mueller said, then paused. “I think that was President Bush.”
With a smile, Stanton corrected him. “Um, according to my notes, it was President Ronald Reagan had the honor to do so.”
The response drew scattered chuckling.
“My mistake,” Mueller said, drawing further laughter.
The next question proved a bit easier. Asked which administration he served as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Mueller stopped to clarify.
“Which president?” he asked. “That would be George Bush I.”
“That is correct!” Stanton enthused.
Mueller’s misremembering of who appointed him to the Massachusetts post wasn’t the only time he seemed confused during Wednesday’s hearing. Matt Drudge captioned a photo of Mueller with “dazed and confused” and tweeted, “Drug test everyone in Washington.” Fox News’ Chris Wallace noted Mueller “seemed very uncertain with his brief; he doesn’t seem to know what is in the report,” while former Obama adviser David Axelrod said Mueller did not seem as “sharp” as he used to.
Donald Trump, Jr. also called the hearing a “disaster” for Democrats after Mueller contradicted his own report’s findings in regards to the meanings of “collusion” and “conspiracy,” while multiple media members described Mueller as appearing “frail in his grasp of the report,” “shakier,” and “having a hard time following the questions.”