United States Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday testified to a congressional committee that he plans to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia investigation “within a week,” according to a CNN report, and now White House aides are bracing for what they believe the report will reveal, even in its heavily censored form.
According to a Washington Post report on Wednesday, Trump’s aides “fully expect” that Mueller’s report contains “specifics” that will prove “embarrassing” for Trump — but what those specific details might be remained elusive.
However, the aides also expect that no matter what the report ultimately reveals when it becomes public, or at least partially public, nothing will deter Trump from his claims of “total exoneration” by Mueller. Trump, they say, “views politics and policy almost entirely through the lens of public relations,” brushing aside factual information and coherent policies in favor of “incendiary statements, demeaning nicknames, marketing-style proclamations,” according to the reporting by Post reporter Ashley Parker.
After Barr issued his four-page letter on March 24, posted online by Vox, in which he stated that Mueller “did not establish” that there was conspiracy between Trump and the Russian government, as well as his own decision not to pursue charges against Trump for obstruction of justice — even though Mueller failed to “exonerate” Trump on that count — Trump declared that he had been fully exonerated by Mueller.
But last week, reports surfaced in multiple media outlets that members of Mueller’s own investigative team were upset at Barr’s letter, believing that he had soft-pedaled their conclusions. In fact, as The Inquisitr reported, they hinted that the Mueller report includes “detailed accounts” of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians — and that Russia was able to “manipulate” the Trump campaign.
Other aides and current, as well as former, White House officials are reportedly worried that Trump will “go bonkers” when he sees what the report contains — not necessarily because it details his campaign’s Russia ties, but as The Inquisitr reported, because those officials were interviewed by Mueller, where they told the truth about Trump’s “work habits” and his “temper,” as well as other details of Trump’s personal, private behavior that could prove less than flattering.
Nonetheless, according to Parker’s reporting, Trump has already decided on a strategy for selling the Mueller report’s conclusions to the public — claiming that Trump’s critics and Democrats in Congress predicted that the report would prove Trump’s collusion with Russia, and that those predictions were wrong.
“The strategy is classic Trump,” Parker wrote. “Taking a maximalist position and then doubling down on it, even as reality shifts beneath him.