Donald Trump and his Republican allies are claiming that Trump has been “exonerated” by the report submitted by Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as The Inquisitr reported. Media reports have also claimed that Trump was “exonerated,” even though the public summary of Mueller’s report written by Attorney General William Barr clearly states that Mueller “does not exonerate” Trump.
Trump himself is now planning, according to Axios, to demand that media organizations fire their members who made what Trump calls “false accusations” against him — even though the Mueller Report itself remains hidden from the public. Not even the number of pages in the report has been revealed to Congress or the public.
Why has the actual content of the report and even of Barr’s letter been apparently mischaracterized by the media, as New York Magazine documented? One House Democrat, appearing on the MSNBC program Meet the Press Daily, offered a possible answer on Monday afternoon.
Barr and Trump, said Virginia Representative Gerry Connolly, are working together to “frame the narrative” around the Mueller report, by releasing Barr’s interpretation of Muller’s findings while the findings themselves remain locked behind closed doors, without Barr even releasing the report to Congress.
“Somehow collusion is completely exonerated. The report’s pretty dead. We need to move on. Those are all White House talking points,” Connolly told interviewer Chuck Todd, as quoted by The Hill. “And they don’t reflect what I think is probably in the Mueller report.”
WATCH: Were Democrats put on the defense by the attorney general's letter? #MTPDaily@GerryConnolly: "The attorney general, working hand in glove with the White House, is gaming the system to frame the narrative." pic.twitter.com/lfq4FBnk5D— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 25, 2019
“The attorney general, working hand in glove with the White House, is gaming the system to frame the narrative,” Connolly told Todd, as seen in the video above.
In addition to stating that Mueller’s report “does not exonerate” Trump of obstruction of justice accusations, Barr’s summary — which is posted online by the House Judiciary Committee — also says that the 2016 Trump campaign received “multiple offers from Russia-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
But Barr’s summary is silent on how the Trump campaign responded to the offers of help from the “Russia-affiliated individuals.”
The Trump campaign’s response to at least one such offer is publicly known, however. In June of 2016 when Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., received an email from a Russia-linked associate offering supposed information that would “incriminate” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, according to CNN, Trump Jr. emailed back, saying, “I love it.”
Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, and Campaign Chair Paul Manafort then met with a group of Russians in Trump Tower, to receive the information, which they claim was never delivered. But according to University of California-Irvine law professor Richard L. Hasen, writing in Slate, the meeting itself was a crime that could have been charged by Mueller but for reasons that Barr did not explain, was not.
“Federal law makes it a potential crime for any person to ‘solicit’ (that is, expressly or impliedly ask for) the contribution of ‘anything of value’ from a foreign citizen,” Hasen wrote.
“Despite this seemingly strong case, Mueller never indicted Trump Jr. or anyone else for federal campaign finance violations.”