The Trump campaign is trying to take a victory lap over Thursday’s release of the Mueller report, which the president and his defenders still view as a total exoneration of all the charges hurled at Trumpworld over the last two years. Given the points being turned up by close readings of the report, which unequivocally paints a picture of a president who attempted multiple times to obstruct justice and a circle of hangers-on who absolutely were willing to listen to offers of help in the election from Russia even if doing so didn’t rise to the level of chargable criminal offenses, it is a bit like watching Richard Petty take a victory lap with four blown tires and an engine on fire.
The campaign’s argument is two-fold. One, there is “no collusion, no obstruction, no wrongdoing, no crimes, and an innocent President,” according to a press release.
And second, it is now time to “investigate the investigators,” by which they mean the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI, which Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale says “must answer for their misdeeds and the scam that they perpetrated against the American people.”
To drive home the point, the campaign put out an incredible video. It starts with dramatic music playing under clips of various high-profile Democrats and other figures claiming on television that there is evidence the president and others obstructed justice, perjured themselves, and even committed outright treason. In a particularly petty move, the logos of the networks are blurred.
These opening clips are followed by video of television commentators saying, in the wake of William Barr’s memo that allegedly summarized the Mueller report four weeks ago, that the report would show no collusion and was a “huge victory” for President Trump.
These clips are not damning for the commentators for the reason that Trump’s team thinks. Rather, they are damning in painting a portrait of a media that uncritically swallowed Barr’s memo last month and regurgitated the narrative that Trump had been totally exonerated by the report. Which was exactly the narrative the Trump team wanted them to run with before the full report was released to knock holes in the argument.
The video concludes with footage of Trump, in a recent Oval Office appearance, repeating his belief that the investigation was unfounded, followed by a graphic calling for an investigation of the investigators and video of Barr telling Congress he thinks “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign in 2016.
Watch the entire video up top, via the Trump campaign.