Mueller Report: The (White) House of Lies

Source: Center for American Progress

Trump and Republican deceit are a disgrace to America.

In the 2018 midterm elections–the one in which the Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives by flipping 40-some seats–Republicans came up with a bizarre strategy of claiming that its candidates were the ones who supported the coverage of preexisting conditions in health care insurance.

The claims were totally untrue. Congressional Republicans for years tried to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which for the first time guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions. The Party’s replacement, nicknamed Trump Care, flatly denied preexisting coverage and watered down several other health care benefits in Obamacare.

Republican Party candidates in the 2018 midterms mostly lied to the American people.

White House Press Secretary’s Pants on Fire

The White House press secretary is probably the closest we have to a spokesperson for the United States of America.

On May 10, 2017, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had some ‘splaining to do in the aftermath of President Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. Reporters obviously wanted to know why. Here is briefly what Sanders said, published by PBS NewsHour via YouTube:

Sanders’ claim–that Director Comey had lost the support of rank-and-file agents across the country–was earlier directly contradicted by Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And we can now confirm that Sanders told a lie to the American people. For that, she would suffer no legal consequence. But for an impaneled FBI investigation, Sanders had to change her story.

From the Mueller Report:

Following the press conference, Sanders spoke to the president, who told her she did a good job, and did not point out any inaccuracies in her comments. Sanders told the Office that her reference to hearing from “countless members of the FBI” was a “slip of the tongue” [and that it was] a comment she made “in the heat of the moment” that was not founded on anything.

Mueller Report
Source: New York Times.
Lies, Damn Lies and…No Exoneration

President Trump’s common refrain that the Mueller probe is a “hoax” or “witch hunt” seems outlandish when you consider the results. Mueller’s team bagged 34 indictments or guilty pleas, including six from Trump’s inner circle.

Trump’s proclamation, “I have nothing to do with Russia” is repeatedly contradicted in Mueller’s report:

Trump responded to questions about possible connections to Russia by denying any business involvement in Russia–even though the Trump Organization had planned a business project in Russia as late as June 2016. Trump also expressed skepticism that Russia had hacked the emails at the same time as he and other campaign advisers privately sought information [redacted] about any further WikiLeaks releases.

Mueller Report

Lies on top of lies. The report describes how Trump pressured his White House counsel Don McGahn to lie and to say that Trump never ordered him to fire Mueller, when in fact Trump had. McGahn refused.

Mueller clearly connects the charges of collusion and obstruction:

[A]lthough the evidence of contacts between campaign officials and Russia-affiliated individuals may not have been sufficient to establish or sustain criminal charges, several US persons connected to the campaign made false statements about those contacts and took other steps to obstruct the Office’s investigation and those of Congress.

Mueller Report

Imagine if you will a political campaign that is made aware that an adversarial foreign power is deploying nefarious methods to influence the upcoming election. Instead of howling to authorities about this attack on our democracy, the campaign recognizes it is the beneficiary of the attack. Accordingly, the campaign echoes the foreign power’s claims of innocence and cheers it on.

But for sheer incompetence, how could this be anything other than treason?

Andrew Goutman

Andrew Goutman is the editor of The Record.

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