US President Donald Trump said Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller "should not testify" before Congress on his Russian Federation election meddling inquiry, setting up a confrontation with Democrats already irate over what they view as increasingly brazen administration stone-walling.
Trump says on Twitter that he opposes Bob Mueller testifying.
The Mueller report does not specify that "collusion" did not occur, in part perhaps because "collusion" is not a legal term to which he and his team could investigate.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer responded to Trump by saying in a tweet of his own that the president first refused to be interviewed by the special counsel and "now he's trying to silence" Mueller.
The document, however, does detail 10 instances in which Trump himself may have tried to obstruct the investigation, although the president's attempts failed due to U.S. officials refusing to accede to Trump's requests.
Trump told reporters last Friday that he would leave the decision whether to allow Mueller to testify up to Barr.
Trump's Sunday tweets also place him in opposition to some House Republicans who have expressed their support in bringing Mueller to testify.
The Mueller report chronicled Russian efforts to help Trump win election in 2016 but found that Trump and his campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with Moscow.More news: Terrorists Launch Rockets at Israel from Gaza, Prompting Air Strikes
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The House Judiciary Committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, said last week the committee was "firming up the date" for Mueller's testimony and hoping it would be May 15.
Cicilline later stepped back from that, tweeting that "nothing has been agreed to yet".
"These aren't, like, impartial people", Trump said of the Democrats' subpoena requests. That's the date the Committee has proposed, and we hope the Special Counsel will agree to it. "We must hear from Director Mueller".
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Sunday.
Cicilline also said that if Barr doesn't comply with the committee's demands for Mueller's report and underlying documents by the Monday 9 a.m. EDT deadline, he thinks Nadler "will ask the committee to move forward with a contempt citation".
House Democrats are seeking Mueller to testify about his 448-page report after they criticized Attorney General William Barr of mischaracterizing the special counsel's conclusions in a four-page summary released in March and in testimony to a Senate panel last week. Christopher Coons, D-Del., who pressed the attorney general on whether he omitted key details of Mueller's report from his initial account of the findings.
Cicilline said there has not been "compliance yet" from the attorney general.