Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election was released today, prompting the president’s media allies to coalesce into one giant spin machine, falsely declaring that President Donald J. Trump had been exonerated on accusations of obstructing the investigation, and misrepresenting lack of admissible evidence as proof that Trump’s campaign had not colluded with agents of the Russian government to aid Trump’s presidential bid.
Preceding the public release of Mueller’s report late this morning, Attorney General William Barr opened the day with a press conference hosted at the Department of Justice. With redactions made pertaining to ongoing criminal proceedings against Trump associates who were caught in the scope of the investigation, the report was posted to the DOJ’s website. Other categories of redactions include classified information, resources and information obtained via grand jury proceedings, and some names of people cited but not charged
President Trump’s most ardent defenders online flooded the zone, asserting that the Mueller report had exonerated Trump of wrongdoing, and accused national media outlets of perpetuating a false conspiracy theory for years in order to undermine the president’s agenda. Now they were eager to proclaim outright victory.
Or as the president himself put it: “Game Over.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2019
Rep. Mark Meadows wrote that liberals “went all in on a collusion conspiracy that never existed, didn’t get the result they wanted, and now they’re throwing manufactured controversies at the wall to see if anything sticks.”
What you’re seeing is unprecedented desperation from the left. They went all in on a collusion conspiracy that never existed, didn’t get the result they wanted, and now they’re throwing manufactured controversies at the wall to see if anything sticks. It won’t work. #NoCollusion
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) April 18, 2019
TPUSA’s Benny Johnson tweeted a clip of the press conference, including “That sound you hear is libs screaming.”
“Thanks to the special counsel’s thorough investigation, we know the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign, or the knowing assistance of any other American.”
(That sound you hear is libs screaming) pic.twitter.com/j2cHzypewc
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 18, 2019
YourVoice America host Bill Mitchell said that now, America should “prosecute the hoaxers” who told the public that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Think about this.
“No American citizen colluded with Russia.”
That means this entire #RussiaGate thing was a HOAX from the beginning.
And next, we prosecute the hoaxers.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 18, 2019
Those who believe President Trump had no plan probably believe trees are an accident.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 18, 2019
Similarly, radio and TV host Mark Levin declared: “Now it’s time to investigate the true perpetrators of this coup attempt.”
…Thus entire Democratic-press effort to ruin this president has been exposed. Now it’s time to investigate the true perpetrators of this coup attempt. And for we, the people, to hold the press to account.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) April 18, 2019
One America News Network correspondent and ex-“Pizzagate” hoaxer Jack Posobiec thought he spotted a religious parallel.
Just realized Barr is saying this man committed no crime and the media is chanting ‘crucify him crucify him’ and tomorrow is Good Friday
— Jack Posobiec ✝️ (@JackPosobiec) April 18, 2019
Mike Cernovich wrote that the release of the report was “a new low for the ‘WMDs in Iraq’ fake news media.”
Today is a new low for the “WMDs in Iraq” fake news media.
Trump cleared! Trump cleared! Trump cleared!
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) April 18, 2019
Fox News host Laura Ingraham wrote that “any network who is claiming that AG Bill Barr was acting in any way unethically here has zero credibility on ANY legal or political matters.”
Anyone on any network who is claiming that AG Bill Barr was acting in any way unethically here has zero credibility on ANY legal or political matters. #NeverTrumpFrauds
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 18, 2019
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, simply wrote: “TOLD YA!!!”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 18, 2019
Breitbart News’ Joel B. Pollak wrote that the best case scenario for Trump would be if Democrats “continue to chase the Russia conspiracy theory.”
The best case scenario for Trump was that he would be exonerated, but Democrats would continue to chase the Russia conspiracy theory. That appears to be happening.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) April 18, 2019
Moderators running the Twitter account associated with Reddit’s leading pro-Trump subreddit posted an image of Barr that read “Deal with it Bitch.”
Oh, Attorney General Barr pic.twitter.com/303g2fywks
— /r/The_Donald (@thedonaldreddit) April 18, 2019
Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany declared that Trump was “fully and completely exonerated!”
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) April 18, 2019
Monica Crowley, a former Fox News host and plagiarist headed to a new post in the Trump administration, wished her followers a “Happy No Collusion, No Obstruction Day.”
Happy No Collusion, No Obstruction Day –again!
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) April 18, 2019
Pro-Trump commentary-and-entertainment duo Diamond & Silk—real names Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson—proclaimed that the report proved CNN was peddling some “S.ugar, H.oney, I.ce T.ea” (a phrase they use in place of swearing).
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) April 18, 2019
Despite the report’s numerous details about meetings and communications between members of the Trump team and agents of the Russian government, not to mention the matter of apparently deleted text messages between campaign figures about one such meeting, the National Review headlined Jack Crowe’s story, “Barr: Mueller Found ‘No Evidence of Any Collusion‘ Between Trump Campaign and Russia.” A headline on The Gateway Pundit reads “BOOM! NOT GUILTY!” The Daily Wire titled Ryan Saavedra’s article: “Trump Cleared: No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Coordination, No Conspiracy.” The Christian Broadcasting Network managed to find a Democratic state legislator in Louisiana to give the administration’s spin: “’We’ve Got to Get Back to God…What’s Best for Our Nation’: Dem Blasts His Party’s Obsession with Mueller,” CBN’s headline read.
Peter Montgomery and Kyle Mantyla contributed research to this report.