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President Donald Trump on Thursday called former special counsel Robert Mueller "a fool" and derided House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as "a disaster" during a television interview conducted at the site of a ceremony in France commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

During the interview with Fox News conducted ahead of a ceremony that paid tribute to soldiers who stormed a shore occupied by Nazi Germany 75 years ago, Trump said that Mueller -- a former Marine who served in Vietnam -- had made "such a fool out of himself" last week when he made a public statement regarding his investigation into Russian election interference.

Trump also referred to Pelosi, D-Calif., as "Nervous Nancy."

"Nancy Pelosi is a disaster, OK? She's a disaster," Trump said, according to excerpts released by Fox News.

On Tuesday night, during a weekly check-in about the status of investigations, Pelosi told five of her committee chairmen that she would rather see Trump defeated in 2020 and facing charges of a crime after leaving office than impeached and acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.

"I don't want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison," Pelosi said, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations.

Pelosi, who attended Thursday's ceremony, declined to respond to Trump's comments, according to CNN. During a brief interview near the cemetery where nearly 10,000 American war dead are buried, she said she would rather not criticize Trump while she is out of the country, according to a tweet by a CNN correspondent.

During his public appearance last week, Mueller said that his office could neither clear nor accuse Trump of obstructing his investigation into Russian election interference, citing a long-standing Justice Department opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

During the Fox interview, Trump seized on a joint statement issued later that day by the special counsel's office and the Justice Department clarifying that Mueller's account did not conflict with Attorney General William Barr's previous characterization of Mueller's thinking.

"Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself ... because what people don't report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong," Trump said to host Laura Ingraham, according to the excerpt released by Fox News.

During his public appearance, Mueller cited the Justice Department policy and said that if his office "had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." He also said that the Constitution "requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing," a reference to impeachment.

Barr previously testified to the Senate that Mueller had told him that he did not conclude that Trump had committed a crime and that the Justice Department policy regarding indicting sitting presidents did not keep him from filing obstruction charges.

While some congressional Democrats suggested that Mueller contradicted Barr, the joint statement from the special counsel and Justice Department said there was "no conflict" between their statements.

Information for this article was contributed by Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, Josh Dawsey and Rachael Bade of The Washington Post.

A Section on 06/07/2019

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