Even though the Mueller report explicitly refused to exonerate Trump, he's claiming complete and total vindication.
William Barr's letter summarizing special counsel Robert Mueller's report dropped Sunday. While there's still a lot we don't know about the full report, one of the few direct quotes included in Barr's summary made clear that the report "does not exonerate" Trump on the question of whether he committed a crime by obstructing justice.
But you wouldn't know it from listening to Trump, his family members, or his press secretary.
"No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!" Trump tweeted on Sunday. (He only tweeted about it once, though, which is pretty mild by Trumpian standards.)
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made an official statement to that effect as well. She falsely claimed that the special counsel "did not find any obstruction," and said that because Trump's hand-picked attorney general refused to prosecute him, that means a "total and complete exoneration" of Trump.
The Trump children decided to tweet about this, too. Don Junior definitely took the oddest tack, tweeting out a picture of him and his Trump super PAC-helming girlfriend, Kim Guilfoyle, and saying: "Can everybody stop calling us Russian bots for being hot Trump supporters now?"
Ivanka went with a more classic approach, googling to find an Abraham Lincoln quote about truth and slander that she somehow found apt. Eric wants an apology from CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Trump also gave a brief statement at the airport where he again called the letter a complete and total exoneration — even though the letter itself literally says that the report "does not exonerate" Trump.
And even though Trump now wants everyone to take the conclusions of the Mueller report, as filtered through Bill Barr, as gospel, he still attacked the investigation. He faulted the special counsel for "not looking at the other side" — presumably a reference to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats — and grumbled that the investigation "began illegally."
Trump seems to forget that the Democrats didn't have any hand in creating the special counsel investigation. Trump's deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein — who Trump himself nominated — did that.
Later, Trump inexplicably decided the matter warranted yet another statement, taking 15 seconds outside the White House to say, without any context, that America is the greatest place on Earth.
Trump and those who surround him can make as many statements as they want about how the Mueller report exonerates him, but that won't make it true.
And the real truth will come to light.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is set to call Barr to testify about his impossibly speedy decision not to charge Trump, and the House voted 420-0 to make the report public.
Trump shouldn't get too complacent, because more trouble is coming his way.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.