President Donald Trump employed a visual aid on Wednesday in an impromptu press event to refute House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accusation that he is “engaged in a cover-up” of the Mueller investigation.
Before Trump took to his podium in the Rose Garden to respond to Pelosi’s accusation, the president’s staff adorned the lectern with a sign detailing the cost and extent of Trump’s cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of him. The “MUELLER INVESTIGATION by the numbers” graphic read:
“$35+ Million spent,” “2,800+ subpoenas,” “675 days,” “500+ witnesses,” “18 angry Democrats”
Earlier in the day, Pelosi told reporters that she had just met with fellow Democrats and "We believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up -- in a cover-up."
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then met with Trump at the White House to discuss infrastructure, but Trump quickly terminated discussions to hold his press event responding to Pelosi’s “cover-up” claim.
Discussing Trump’s comments with Fox News co-anchor Bret Bair, America’s Newsroom’s Sandra Smith highlighted Trump’s use of the lectern graphic to document the cost and thoroughness of, and the Trump Administration’s cooperation with, the Mueller investigation:
Baier: “This is the moment where President Trump is putting his foot down and saying this is his President Obama ‘pen and a phone’ moment. Congress obviously is obsessed with this investigation on the House side and I'm going to do everything outside of that until they get over what he calls the nonsense of these investigations.
Smith: “And, he went on to detail the thoroughness of the Mueller investigation: $35 million. Over two thousand subpoenas, 500 search warrants. In fact, he had some of those statistics from the Mueller investigation right there on the lectern, Bret.
“But, he came out and directly responded to the words of Nancy Pelosi from a short time before he began, saying that she believed -- this was after she met with her caucus, that the president is engaged in a cover-up. He took that face on. He said, I do not do cover-ups. The whole thing with Russia is (as we’ve heard him, time and time again, Bret) a hoax.” He said, “I'm the most transparent presidency. A horrible thing has happened to this country.
“He then said this whole thing was a takedown attempt of the president of the United States. He went on to call what the Democrats and what they're doing ‘abuse.’”