Mueller probe debate distracting from America’s leadership role, former director of national intelligence says

Former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte tells FOX Business the political arguments over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings are distracting the United States from its leadership role in the world.

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“The impact of markets on the impeachment proceedings, I think the very fact of this internal political dispute is already distracting from our ability to play the important leadership role that we ought to be playing in the world,” Negroponte told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “There’s already a cost in terms of distraction. If the distraction becomes intense, as it no doubt would were there to be some kind of an impeachment proceeding that would even reflect further and deflect further from our ability to play an international leadership role. At least in the short term.”

In Negroponte’s opinion, the ball is in Congress’ court.

“It signals an end at least for the time being to the Justice Department phase of this, at least as far as the President is concerned. And so I do think that if there’s going to be any action in the short term, that is to say during the time that the President’s still in office, it would have to be by the Congress, and going that route. Now whether the Congress will do that or not? I don’t know. We see that debate unfolding in front of us. It’s been going on for quite a while,” he said.

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Mueller made his only public remarks on the Russia probe saying said the investigation team there was insufficient evidence of conspiracy charges against the president. On obstruction, Mueller said, if the special counsel had confidence Trump committed no crime, it would have said so.