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Mueller testifies before the House Select Committee on Intelligence on July 24, 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In his testimony Wednesday, former special counsel Robert Mueller disputed 5 of President Trump's frequent claims about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the president's potential efforts to obstruct justice.

The big picture: Many of the claims Mueller knocked down were already refuted in his 450-page report, but Democrats were seeking to animate the special counsel's findings through Wednesday's high-stakes testimony. That was clear from the moment that Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) opened the hearing with his line of questioning.

"No collusion"

Mueller said in his opening statement that the counsel's investigation did not address "collusion," since it is not a legal concept.

"No obstruction"

Mueller denied that the report concluded that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice. Mueller reiterated that he did not reach a "traditional prosecutorial judgment" as to whether Trump obstructed justice because the Justice Department's Office of Legal Opinion bars him from indicting a sitting president.

"Total exoneration”

In the first question of the hearing, Nadler asked Mueller whether his investigation "totally exonerated" Trump, as the president has so often claimed. Mueller responded, "No."

"The 3 year Witch Hunt" and the "Russia Collusion Hoax"

Mueller told the House Intelligence Committee that his investigation was "absolutely" not a "witch hunt," and that Russian interference in the 2016 election is not a "hoax." Trump tweeted both phrases in the hours leading up to Mueller's appearance.

Mueller's FBI job interview

Mueller said that DOJ ethics officials concluded that he had no conflicts of interest that prevented him from serving as special counsel. He also denied Trump's claim that his application for FBI director was rejected and said he discussed the FBI job with Trump, but "not as a candidate."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
24 mins ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
52 mins ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

52 mins ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hovering the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.