MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews expressed fury on Friday evening over special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to conclude his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election without an “interrogation” of President Donald Trump, asking how Mueller could let the president “off the hook.”
A partial transcript is as follows:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why was there never an interrogation of this president? We were told for weeks by experts you cannot deal with an obstruction of justice charge or investigation without getting to motive. You don’t get to motive until you hear from the person himself who’s being targeted, a subject of the investigation. How can they let Trump off the hook? So far tonight, so far tonight, we have no reason to believe Trump is going to be charged by rhetoric in the document itself, in the Mueller report, he will not be charged with obstruction or of collusion, without ever having to sit down with the special counsel and answer his damn questions. How can that happen?
KEN DILANIAN: That is a great question. The special counsel talked to Bill Clinton, the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump would not sit down with him. My only conclusion, Chris, that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him, and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight that would delay his investigation and his report for months, to go down that road knowing he would lose. You don’t have to testify yourself, and if at the end of the day President Trump was just going to assert his Fifth Amendment rights and never sit down with Mueller, which if you’re his lawyer, that’s what you would advise him to do, then why delay the investigation? But, you could argue he should have done it anyway, Mueller should have sent the subpoena to stand on principle to show that he took that extra step. He chose not to do that.