Wednesday was the day of Robert Mueller’s much-anticipated Congressional hearing, when he would be grilled, live on television, about his two-year investigation into Russian wire-tapping and any possible collusion with then-presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump. It wasn’t the fireworks event many had hoped for, in part because Mueller is low-key, withholding, and, arguably to a fault, subtle. But there were some moments ripe for memes, particularly his exchange with Rep. Louie Gohmert.
Gohmert, from Texas’ 1st congressional district, used his five minutes not to ask questions but to lay into Mueller, screaming at him about “injustice,” of the importance of “credibility,” and of the innocence of Trump. Mueller calmly took it all, then responded with a masterpiece of understatement and brevity: “I take your question.”
Gohmert: "If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election & they see the big [DOJ] with people that hate that person coming after them…the fact that you ran it out 2 years means you perpetuated injustice."
Mueller: "I take your question." pic.twitter.com/buO4pqQ2bV
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 24, 2019
Mueller has already been criticized for being too dry, for being evasive, for being low-energy, and for simply not making it loud and clear, in language everyone can understand, what he thinks Congress and the Senate should do about a president he says was certainly not exonerated by a massive and ambitious investigation into his alleged actions. There’s still a chance it could lead to nothing, perhaps because Mueller did not take too hard a stand.
But for now, this simple exchange — whose timing was kind of ruined due to chaos in the room — has been deemed badass enough to inspire a good old fashioned Twitter meme.
— Lolo (@Peacheslolo2) July 24, 2019
"I take your question" I assume is Special Counsel for "Fuck you, idiot"
— Peter Ramsey (@pramsey342) July 24, 2019
*pulls up to drive thru*
Wendy's: "What can I get for you today?"
Mueller: "I can't get into that."
Wendy's: "You can't get into what?"
Mueller: "It's in my report."
Wendy's: "What report?"
Mueller: "I take your question."
Wendy's: "Sir, this is a Wendy's."
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) July 24, 2019
It reminded some people of another classic line.
"I take your question" sounded a lot like … pic.twitter.com/cbalqYJm4h
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 24, 2019
It also seems to have become an instant classic retort, reminiscent of “I’d prefer not to” from Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener.
HUSBAND/ACCOUNTANT: Have you done your billing for last month?
ME: I take your question
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) July 24, 2019
"I take your question" is the new "Bye Felicia."
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) July 24, 2019
“I take your question” oh man. That’s amazing. I will use it no less than 10 times in conversation today.
— JOHNNYSWIM (@JOHNNYSWIM) July 24, 2019
"I take your question" is a great burn that I don't quite understand but will now adopt whenever anyone yells at me on Twitter. #MuellerHearing
— jon ronson (@jonronson) July 24, 2019
Evergreen response: "I take your question."
— Erin Perrine (@ErinMPerrine) July 24, 2019
when, in the future I tell you "I take your question" – be aware I don't mean anything nice.
— Justin Gray (@grayjustin) July 24, 2019
EDITOR: Where is your story? It was due hours ago!
ME: I take your question
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 24, 2019
So the next time you need to shut someone down with a simple mic drop, you know what to say.