We all craved at least some resolution of the president’s role during his 2016 campaign and his various connections to Russia after special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr over the weekend. No such luck: We are left untangling what the combination of “no collusion” and “no exoneration” actually means, and the jury’s out on obstruction of justice.
Nonetheless, Trump has turned this into an inevitable victory lap, with characteristic Trumpian vengeance. Speaking in the Oval Office on Monday, Trump said he had been victimized by Mueller’s investigation, and, ominously, he’d be taking “a look” at those he deemed responsible. “We can never let this happen to another president again,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things.”
His team named and shamed enemies—such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)—and his allies fanned out in war formation across television to claim ultimate vindication, opening what has become a new front in his 2020 campaign. The campaign even sent a letter to TV networks with their own list of journalists, pundits, and others it says should never be booked because they dared question the president’s Russia connections.
So, aside from all the bluster, the threats, the assurances by the Democrats that the full report must be released, the continued excesses of the president and his fans, where are we right now? Put simply, we are in a kind of political wilderness, without either a roadmap or an actual report to read, and lots of unanswered questions.
In the podcast studio this week, David Corn, Washington, DC, Bureau Chief, and national security and foreign influence reporter, Dan Friedman help sort things out in the post-Mueller investigation world. A little clarity in the midst of the chaos can always help.
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