Donald Trump launches furious expletive-containing rant on Mueller report
Last month, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded a two-year-investigation into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election and possible obstruction of justice on behalf of Donald J. Trump. The investigation resulted in criminal charges for 34 individuals, including Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort, Trump's former political consultant Roger Stone, Trump's former policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen - but not President Trump.
On March 25, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the "principal conclusions" in Mueller's 400-page report. He said the Special Counsel did not establish conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election; nor did the Special Counsel make a decision as to whether to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice, quoting Mueller, "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
Trump celebrated Barr's summary as "Total EXONERATION," although Mueller did not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice. Critics pointed out that Trump appointed Barr as Attorney General, and that Barr criticized Mueller's investigation in the past. As a result, they demanded the release of the full report. The outcry grew increasingly louder, especially when some investigators from Mueller's team told the New York Times that the report was more damaging for Trump than Barr indicated.
Yesterday, the Department of Justice released a redacted version of the report, which reveals various examples of suspicious behavior on behalf of Trump. Here are some key takeaways, per CNN: Mueller was unable to conclude that "no criminal conduct" occurred; Trump's efforts to obstruct justice failed because others refused to "carry out orders;" members of Trump's campaign knew they would benefit from Russia's legal actions but did not take criminal steps to help; White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders conceded that she misled the media about the firing of FBI director James Comey; Trump's public comments can be considered as obstruction efforts due to his power; and, most notably, Congress has the right to investigate and take action on Trump for obstruction of justice.
In one of the more amusing passages, we learn that Trump allegedly dropped the F-bomb in despair after Mueller was hired. “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f***ed," Trump reportedly said, when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed him about Mueller's appointment in May 2017. Sessions recalled that Trump said something like "you were supposed to protect me," then added: "Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me."
Following the release of the report, Trump responded on Thursday by posting a bizarre Game of Thrones meme on Twitter. The image shows Trump with his back to the camera, shrouded in smoke, with the following text: "No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical Democrats, Game Over." Again, that statement is not accurate, as the report does not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice. Also, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led the investigation, is a Republican.
In response to the damning statements about him in the redacted Mueller report, Trump fired back again on Friday. In the early morning he responded with a furious rant described as "expletive-laden" by The Independent. "Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called 'notes,' when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never...."
He continued: "...agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the 'Report' about me, some of which are total bullsh*t & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a..."
The ellipse indicates that Trump meant to finish that thought, but he has not, as of this writing.
Trump's outburst is thought to be the first time a US president has sworn in a tweet, although only two sitting US presidents have used Twitter since it was founded in 2006. Somehow, President Barack Obama resisted the urge to tweet an angry rant with the word "bullsh*t."