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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

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.