WATCH: Robert Mueller testifies to Congress

Robert Mueller on Wednesday bluntly dismissed President Donald Trump’s claims of total exoneration in the federal probe of Russia’s 2016 election interference, telling Congress he explicitly did not clear the president of obstructing his investigation.

The former special counsel also rejected Trump’s assertions that the probe was a “witch hunt” and hoax.

In hours of sometimes halting and stilted testimony, reliant on terse one-word answers and a steely determination to remain outside the partisan fray, Mueller also declared Russian election interference was one of the greatest challenges to democracy he had encountered in his career.


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