Jeff Merkley has made a name for himself by challenging President Trump on the courts and immigration, inspiring some chatter that the junior senator from Oregon might run for president. But earlier this year, Merkley joined a rarefied group: Democrats who considered a run for the presidency, but decided against it. Instead, he will be seeking re-election to the Senate where he hopes to thaw the “deep freeze” that he says has rendered the deliberative body largely inert. Merkley, who is among the most progressive members of the Senate and is the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016, tells the Washington Post's Philip Rucker how he plans to fix it and what he thinks about the investigation into the president by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.