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Adam Schiff admits he regrets forcing Robert Mueller to testify over Trump-Russia investigation

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Adam Schiff has regrets.

The California Democrat who infamously parroted the now-debunked narrative that Donald Trump's presidential campaign colluded with Russia to undermine the integrity of the 2016 presidential election admitted recently that he regrets forcing Robert Mueller, who led the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, to testify before Congress in July 2019.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Rayburn House Office Building, July 24, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Speaking in an interview with NPR, Schiff admitted he regretted serving Mueller a subpoena to testify because he believes Mueller was suffering from cognitive decline.

"He is, I think, one of the greatest public servants, a decorated Vietnam veteran, a man with impeccable integrity who served as FBI director and distinguished himself in every way," Schiff said. "But he was not the same man I knew."

Schiff described Mueller's testimony as "painful" and admitted he would not have pushed for Mueller's testimony in hindsight.

I did understand immediately why his staff had been so protective and why they were so reluctant to have him testify. And I immediately told our members we need to cut down our questions. We can't ask for narrative answers. We need to be very precise in what we ask. We need to have the page references of the report ready. And it was painful. Honestly, it was painful.

Earlier in the interview, Schiff told NPR he pressured Mueller to testify, essentially through coercion, sending the former FBI director a note telling him that testifying was his duty to America.

"I had written to him a personal note when he was very resistant to testifying, telling him that he was an incredible public servant, but he had one more duty to perform, and that was speak to the American people," Schiff said.

How did Mueller's testimony go?

For Schiff, who claimed for years evidence existed proving former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia, Mueller's testimony was "painful" because it did not convince anyone of his allegations that Trump was guilty of colluding with Russia.

After all, Mueller's investigation, which cost tens of millions of dollars, reached that very conclusion.

As the Washington Examiner's Becket Adams observed of Schiff's newest remarks:

To be clear, no medical professional has publicly stated any such thing about Mueller's mental state. No doctor who has examined Mueller has said the man's mind has gone soft. Schiff — who peddled several major lies during the Russian collusion craze, including that he had personally seen evidence proving the then-president conspired with Moscow to steal the election — simply alleges Mueller's mind has slipped. For good measure, the California congressman dresses up his baseless assertion in faux concern.
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