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October 2017


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Mueller Hides from Spotlight to Avoid Leaks in Russia-Trump Probe

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

Special counsel Robert Mueller has slinked into the shadows to avoid the media and others as he embarks on one of the most high-profile investigations in decades.

Politico reports that Mueller has stayed out of the public spotlight, often interviewing people in a conference room in his Washington D.C. office, a location that is a closely guarded secret. 

Mueller was appointed to investigate suspected collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

Politico wrote:

Militant about leaks, the former FBI director swears participants to a secrecy that they have honored to a remarkable degree. Reporters have long considered him among Washington’s toughest nuts to crack: “You’d be embarrassed to ask Bob Mueller for a leak,” said the veteran journalist Steven Brill, who has written extensively about media coverage of special counsels. “It’d be like asking him to watch a porn movie with you.”

Occasionally a savvy Washingtonian scores a chance sighting. When public relations professional Eddie Gonzalez saw the Russia investigator walking alone near Capitol Hill on a mid-September weekday afternoon, he suppressed an instinct to chase Mueller down for a selfie, he said. But a hotel restaurant worker did score a picture with him this spring, which her son posted on Twitter. Mueller grinned for that photo, slightly. But when a CNN crew chased him down a Senate hallway in June — “The president thinks it’s a ‘witch hunt.’ Is there any way you can respond to that?” — the poker-faced G-man just stared ahead and kept walking.

The moment illustrated the strange dynamic of Mueller’s mission. He is leading a highly secretive investigation into a president who publicly criticizes the probe on a regular basis. It also underscored what former colleagues, fellow prosecutors and people close to the investigation call Mueller’s calculated effort, in the face of a president who has contemplated his firing, to make himself as small a part of the story as possible.

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