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Chris Matthews: How Can Mueller Investigation Wrap Without a Direct Interview With Trump?

Chris Matthews went off tonight after Robert Mueller‘s report was filed to Attorney General Bill Barr, repeatedly asking how the investigation could wrap when President Donald Trump never did a direct interview with the special counsel.

As he opened, Matthews asked his panel, “How can the president be pointed to as leading collusion with Russia, aiding a Russian conspiracy to interfere with our elections if none of his henchman, none of his children, none of his associates have been indicted?… If none of them were indicted, how can he be blamed?”

NBC News national security reporter Ken Dilanian said “he cannot be, in a criminal sense,” before noting that Mueller could end up accusing the president of “impeachable offenses.”

At one point Matthews asked, “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… How can they let Trump off the hook? 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?”

Dilanian said he could only concluded Trump indicated he would take the fifth and Mueller “decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight that would delay his investigation and report for months.”

Minutes later Matthews asked Congressman Joe Neguse how the collusion accusation can be “laid against the president by Mueller if he’s not indicting any of Trump’s people here.”

Neguse said it’s “hard to speculate” until the report comes out, but Matthews jumped in and said, “I’m asking. I’m not speculating. Why didn’t he indict? We were told by a DOJ official tonight there will be no indictments. That means no indictments about collusion. Doesn’t that startle you after all these meetings?”

The congressman said the rationale will likely be detailed in the report and it’s important to see what it says.

Matthews then asked again, “Does it bother you the President of the Unied States, the target of this whole inquiry, was never interviewed?”

Neguse again told Matthews he wants to see the report first.

In talking with Congressman Ted Lieu, Matthews again expressed bewilderment and said, “You said this report was a conclusion, but my question is it wasn’t really conclusive, because they never interviewed––under oath––the President.”

Lieu said it would’ve been great if Trump was “courageous” enough to sit down with Mueller, but added he wasn’t required to.

You can watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac