U.S. Sen. Tim Scott met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 13, 2017
South Carolina's junior senator, Tim Scott, was one of several members of Congress who told Politico that they have not read the full 448-page report containing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"What's the point?" Scott reportedly told Politico when asked about reading the entire report. "I haven't thought about it, to be honest with you," Scott explained, saying that he had read "lots" of the report when it was released.
Sean Smith, Scott's communications director, says that the senator told Politico he had read "most" of the report. "We have staff who have reviewed the report, and in turn supplemented the Senator's reading with discussions based on staff readings," Smith said in an email Tuesday with the City Paper.
But Scott wasn't the only D.C. politician to express a bit of ambivalence about reading the entirety of a document that at least investigated potential wrongdoing by the president and at worst could have questioned the legitimacy of the 2016 election.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia even put a clever spin on his admission: "I didn’t have to read it. I lived it," referring to his time on the ticket in 2016 as Hillary Clinton's running mate. Few responses were directly dismissive, but GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma noted, "We've been a little bit busy."
The report represents the culmination of a 22-month investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference into the 2016 election and whether President Trump obstructed that investigation. Mueller found no collusion with Russia, but did not clear the president of obstruction of justice, leaving action on that front to Congress.
Smile if you haven't read the Mueller Report
The other half of the state's Senate delegation, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has mounted a constant defense of President Donald Trump against the implications of Mueller's investigation. On April 22, days after the report was released, Graham told CNN, "The Mueller report is over for me. Done."
A week later on May 1, Graham opened a Judiciary Committee hearing about the report with Attorney General Bill Barr by saying, "I can't say I've read it all, but I've read most of it."
An inquiry Tuesday to Graham's office about whether the senator has read the report was not immediately answered.
Graham and Scott were on hand as Barr visited South Carolina this week. After touring a prison in Edgefield, the attorney general remarked that the Trump administration Department of Justice would work to find a way to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, checking off a conservative talking point that's floated over Fox News airwaves for years.
Mueller will appear before a House committee next week in response to a Democratic subpoena to discuss the report.