Donald Trump Jr. Critiques Mueller in New Book

Donald Trump Jr. “almost felt bad” for Robert S. Mueller III, the special prosecutor who spent two years investigating President Trump and his campaign, after Mr. Mueller’s halting July testimony before House committees, the younger Mr. Trump writes in a new book.

“If it weren’t for the fact that I was probably number two on the guy’s kill list for years, I might have,” Mr. Trump writes in the book, “Triggered,” an evisceration of Democrats, the media and the president’s critics, which is to be published next week.

Mr. Trump mocked Mr. Mueller’s performance before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, and said Democrats pulled “him in front of Congress so he could stutter and babble his way through five hours of testimony.”

The remarks from Mr. Trump were striking. For the most part, members of the president’s innermost circle have refrained from publicly critiquing Mr. Mueller’s performance, which spanned several hours and were marked by the special prosecutor’s refusal to stray from the text of the report his team had prepared and submitted to the Justice Department. At different points, Mr. Mueller appeared uncertain about specifics that he was asked about.

The younger Mr. Trump was a focus of the Mueller probe in part because of his meeting in June 2016 with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who claimed to have “dirt” about Hillary Clinton. He also was a focus of the investigations by the House and Senate since soon after his father took office, sitting for hours of interviews.

Mr. Trump took an aggressive stance on social media countering allegations of a possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, a posture that he writes that he was cautioned against.

“Even my lawyers approached me and said, ‘Don, you might want to slow down on social media, maybe not be so aggressive.’ I politely declined. Shortly after that, my father — yes, my father, Donald J. Trump, our tweeter-in-chief, the so-called Shakespeare of 140 characters — told me that I might be getting ‘a little too hot’ on my social media accounts,” he writes.

“I respect the heck out of my dad, and when he gives me advice I take it ninety-nine point nine percent of the time. This, however, was probably the one time I decided not to listen!”

But he also describes Twitter as an “addiction” for many.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Trump said he decided to address the Mueller probe the way he did after he was subject to two years of acute scrutiny.

“The reality is, my life took a pretty big turn about three years ago,” Mr. Trump said.

In the book, Mr. Trump writes mockingly about the path he might have taken as the Mueller probe played out if he were a different person.

“If I were ‘most people,’ this chapter might be a little different. Maybe it would open on the afternoon the Mueller Report came out. There’d be some vivid writing about how relieved I felt, how I could breathe easily for the first time in years,” he writes.

“Or maybe there’d be scenes from right in the middle of the whole ordeal, and I’d tell you about how I’d curled up in a corner every night with a teddy bear praying that I wasn’t going to go to prison over this made-up nonsense,” he writes. “I might include some tear-filled speeches from my friends and family about how they were going to stick with me till the end, how they brought me strength in troubled times.”

He mentions Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president, but the book went to press before Mr. Trump’s father began drawing attention to work that Mr. Biden’s son Hunter did with a Ukrainian company while Mr. Biden was in office. That work was part of an investigation that the president pushed Ukrainian officials to pursue, which is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump spends sections of the book describing his father bringing him to building sites as a child. He talks about his childhood years spent with his mother’s parents, and how he ended up as the member of his family who speaks the language of the political right most naturally.

“I’m an unlikely conservative,” he said in the interview.


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