It’s the day after the actual Mueller Report dropped—albeit with redactions from Attorney General William Barr, who has been exposed as the president’s pet toad. We now know The Barr Letter three weeks ago was comically skewed to the point that the attorney general’s position is untenable. He so misrepresented the contents of the actual report, in a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion about its findings, that he can no longer reasonably lead a Justice Department that is nominally independent from the White House. He’s supposed to be the nation’s top law-enforcement officer. If he wants to serve as the president’s personal lawyer, he should resign and start spending some more time with Rudy Giuliani.
If you’re interested in a further reminder that Barr’s initial letter—and his behavior over the last three weeks that crescendoed with yesterday’s reprehensible press conference—was an orchestrated scam, look no further than the president it was meant to protect. Donald Trump has always been one to say the quiet parts out loud, and now that Robert Mueller’s actual findings are public, our fearless leader has decided to sweat them just as publicly. You may remember that, after The Barr Letter, Trump embarked on a victory lap in which he declared Mueller had TOTALLY EXONERATED! him. Based on his stylings Friday morning on the Tweet Machine, something done changed.
He never finished the tweet thread. Maybe he had to attend to the actual affairs of state. Or Hannity called. Anyway, “Crazy Mueller Report” seems like one of the more Low Energy branding exercises rolled out by President Business Deals. His heart’s not in it, probably because he is palpably terrified.
There’s also that nice reminder that the president doesn’t trust anyone, especially a lawyer, who takes notes—a sure sign that his business dealings before he took office were Totally Above-Board. To be clear, one of the core guiding principles for the President of the United States is that you should never leave a paper trail. You know, like a mobster. What do you expect from a guy of whom former FBI Director Andrew McCabe said, “It has occurred to me on a number of occasions that, you know, Donald Trump and I know some of the same people,” referring to some of the people McCabe came to “know” in his time at the FBI’s New York bureau, where he spent a decade investigating Russian organized crime.
But the real peach is towards the end there: “some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).”So, if we’re keeping score here, The Mueller Report went from a COMPLETE EXONERATION! to TOTAL BULLSHIT! in a little over three weeks. Or, alternately, it underwent this transfiguration from the time it was being totally misrepresented by William Barr to the time we actually got to see it. Even now, Trump seems to be trying to say it’s both at the same time: The good parts for me are true. The bad parts are fake. Needless to say, nothing in the report has been proven false. In fact, it corroborates the vast majority of mainstream reporting on Russia, all of which Trump screamed was Fake News.
These people are relentlessly truthless, a pack of liars who have no shame in any context. The Goldfish Brain approach to political reporting that’s all too common will not work here. You can’t just look at what they said today. Whenever White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks and the media relays her message, it should come with the disclaimer that she has a proven record of fabricating entire conversations from the White House podium to justify the president firing the FBI director leading an investigation into him. The fabricator’s kryptonite is history and context. The president is trying to lie his way to the end of each day, and he’s hoping you’re not taking notes. Take notes.