Trump Melting Down Over the Russia Investigation - Rolling Stone
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Trump Has Resumed That Whole Melting Down Over the Russia Investigation Thing

The president spent Thursday morning railing against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing for France on the South Lawn of the White House, in WashingtonTrump, Washington, USA - 09 Nov 2018President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing for France on the South Lawn of the White House, in WashingtonTrump, Washington, USA - 09 Nov 2018

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing for France on the South Lawn of the White House.

Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

It’s been a while since Trump has railed against the Mueller investigation like we saw Thursday morning. “The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess,” the president tweeted 15 minutes after touting how “smoothly” the White House is running. “They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our nation and don’t…” *deep breath* “…care how many lives they ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

There’s no public evidence that Mueller’s team has been “screaming and shouting” at each other. The claim could be another indication that, post-election, Trump is no longer just exaggerating, inflating or distorting reality, but totally fabricating events he believes prove whatever half-baked point he is trying to make. On Wednesday, he claimed to the Daily Caller — again, without evidence — that people were voting, going into their cars to put on a “different hat” and going back into the polls to vote again. “They mixed the votes up and now you can’t find the ones that were put in,” he said nonsensically of the situation in Florida. “They just put them into a batch.”

Provably false is Trump’s claim that Robert Mueller “worked for Obama for 8 years.” A lifelong Republican appointed by George W. Bush, Mueller led the FBI from 2001 to 2013. Obama took office in 2009. After serving under Obama for four, not eight, years, he was replaced by James Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, ostensibly because he refused to quash the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The day after last Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump fired yet another top Justice Department official, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for their inability to protect Trump from the investigation. To fill the vacancy at the top of the DOJ, Trump tapped Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, a former attorney with a reportedly Trumpian penchant for grifting and a long history of bashing the Russia investigation. When Trump was asked last week by CNN’s Abby Phillips if he wanted Whitaker to “rein in” Mueller, the president exploded. “What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question,” he said. “But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions!”

Trump’s outburst Thursday morning could indicate Whitaker has clued him into some concerning piece of information regarding the investigation, and possibly provided insight into its “inner workings.” Either that or someone was ranting about it on Fox News. Regardless, it’s been months since he’s strung together so many panicked tweets about Mueller and his team. A few hours after writing that the investigation is “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY,” he doubled down on the posterity angle, suggesting that “universities will someday study” what Mueller and his “gang of Democrat thugs have done to destroy people.”

Though Trump now has someone loyal presiding over the investigation, who has even been described as Trump’s “eyes and ears” inside the Justice Department. Several outlets have reported Mueller’s work may be close to done and indictments could be coming soon. On Monday Joe Corsi, a conspiracy theorist and longtime ally of former Trump adviser Roger Stone, said in a YouTube livestream that he expects to be indicted for perjury. “I‘m going to be indicted,“ he said. “I anticipate being indicted.“ Corsi had reportedly been meeting with Mueller’s team for months about his 2016 communications with Stone regarding the Clinton campaign emails released by WikiLeaks. Corsi said this week that these talks had “all blown up” and that his only crime is “supporting Donald Trump.”

Stone could be in trouble, as well. Evidence has mounted that the “dirty trickster” of Republican politics hasn’t been totally forthright about his relationships with WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. The Mueller investigation has reportedly been looking into whether Stone shared information from WikiLeaks — like, say, their plan to release hacked Clinton campaign emails, which Stone appears to have known about in advance — with Trump or his campaign. Though Stone denies colluding with WikiLeaks, he had backchannel communications with founder Julian Assange, and, according to a CNN report published Wednesday, on several occasions spoke about his regular communications with Trump and his campaign. No public proof exists that Trump knew about the hack of Clinton-campaign emails before WikiLeaks began to release them, but it certainly seems like a possibility.

Though Mueller’s investigation has found its way back into focus now that the midterms are over, no bombshell report has been released that would have spurred Trump’s panicked tweets. There’s no telling what insights Whitaker is providing the president that he wasn’t able to wrest out of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had overseen the investigation up until last week, or how he might be willing to work with Trump to hamstring Mueller. If they seek to do so, Congress doesn’t look like it’s going to do much to stop them. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a bipartisan bill that would have prevented the Trump administration from undercutting the Russian investigation.

In This Article: Donald Trump, Russia


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