The Mueller Report Should Be the Last Straw for Trump’s Defenders, but It Won’t Be
Donald Trump is a shameless liar.
See? It’s not that difficult. There is no fundamental law of nature preventing us from stating the obvious, despite how it may sometimes seem that way. This isn’t even something new, established by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference. Rather, that’s just the latest and most prominent thing to confirm what we’ve known for a very, very long time. Trump’s been fact checked to infinity and back again, with flagrantly false statements flying left and right, never acknowledging his errors or backing down. In fact, he’s proud of the fact that he never admits he’s wrong.
Still, some people seem to have constructed an alternate universe in which that’s either debatable or flat out false, and the Mueller report has defined the difference between those two realities more clearly than ever. This, too, is unsurprising, considering that we already knew many of the things that the Mueller report confirmed, no matter how many times Donald Trump called them “fake news.”
In fact, the report should be a sobering moment for anyone who bought into the idea that Trump’s claims of “fake news” about him were anything more than his usual projection, as it corroborates several things Trump previously claimed were inaccurate when the information was coming from news outlets. But we all know by now that it won’t be, because we’ve already had many other moments like it come and go over the years of the Trump campaign and administration.
His press secretary has to lie regularly to defend him and his policies, another fact outlined by her own admission in the Mueller report, which she’s still writing off as a “slip of the tongue” in public:
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) April 19, 2019
In fact, a large part of what the report does is lay out, in detail, a bunch of things we already knew about and already knew were wrong, and spent the past few years wondering if anyone would ever do anything about them or if nothing matters anymore. We’re still wondering if even Congressional Democrats are going to do anything about the report, or if they’ll just wait to use it against Trump in the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, the blatant lies continue, even about the report. Even Vice President Mike Pence has said in a statement that the report “confirms what the President and I have said since day one: there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and there was no obstruction of justice,” and that’s just plainly untrue. The report stated that the investigation couldn’t gather solid evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy, not that it had found evidence that cleared Trump or his campaign and associates of “collusion”—not a legally defined crime itself, anyway.
It also stated that it would not render a judgment on obstruction of justice because of rules against indicting sitting presidents, instead leaving that authority to Congress—certainly not that Trump didn’t obstruct justice. In fact, Mueller’s report made a pretty strong case that Trump did and made sure to point out that he had not been exonerated by the investigation. The report even discussed Trump pressuring others to obstruct justice, and here’s Senator Lindsey Graham, currently on Team Trump, explaining his feelings on that:
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) April 18, 2019
Still, even now, the expected is unfolding. Trump’s defenders will simply continue to fly in the face of facts on cable news. Republicans are unwilling to acknowledge what we can all plainly read for ourselves, and that’s not likely to change. Donald Trump’s supporters and defenders gave up on simple truth a long time ago, and once that happens, there’s no reason to think any fact, or set of facts, is immune.
(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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