February 21, 2019
CNN’s Chris Cillizza is one of my favorite mainstream leftist commenters to read. Basically, his columns announce the narrative for CNN (which is a dumbed-down and hyper-sensationalized version of the NYT narrative) at least a week before they roll it out, and it’s fascinating to read them and then see it rolled out in force.
His latest column is entitled “What if the Mueller report changes nothing?“, and was published Wednesday, shortly after it was reported on CNN that the Mueller report is to be finished as early as next week.
Obviously, the Mueller report isn’t going to contain any damning information on Trump being a Russian agent. They know that as well as we know that. The difference between us and them is that they’ve spent two years saying that it will unmask a brutal conspiracy by Russia to elect Donald Trump as President.
So now they have to spin why a two year special investigation – along with the House and Senate intelligence committee investigations – led to nothing, but actually, Donald Trump really is a Russian agent somehow.
The assumption has long been that Mueller’s report, whenever it came out, would function as a sort of last word on all of this. It would either exonerate or implicate Trump and his closest confidantes. It would, no matter what it said, change the course of Trump’s presidency.
And yet, now that we have at least the possibility of a light at the end of this tunnel, I am more and more convinced that the clarity that so many people want from the Mueller report may simply never come.
That’s not because Mueller’s findings won’t be clear. I mean, they might not be — but my guess is that someone with Mueller’s background, including a decade at the head of the FBI, is going to deliver a final product that deals with the questions raised by the 2016 campaign and Russia’s role in it comprehensively.
I think the lack of clarity will instead arise from how the report is received. Trump has spent much of the past 18 months savaging the Russia investigation publicly even while privately working hard to end or curtail it, as this amazing New York Times piece documents.
Recent polling conducted by CNN suggests that Trump’s negative campaign against Mueller has had some effect: 44% approved of how Mueller had handled the investigation while 41% disapproved in the February poll. That’s down from a 50% approve/28% disapprove number for Mueller back in September 2018.
What numbers like those make me think is that no matter what is in the Mueller report — literally, NO MATTER WHAT — it won’t change the minds of most people following the story. For people who already hate Trump, they will see the Mueller report as confirmation that the President was compromised by the Russians. For Trump’s backers, they will dismiss the whole thing — aping their idol — as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” They likely won’t even engage with what’s in Mueller’s report, and Trump will egg them on to ignore it — so much “fake news” and all that.
Which will leave us, roughly, right where we are now. Which is bitterly divided without the ability to even agree on a set of facts and truths.
So basically, what they’re going to do is claim that whatever the Mueller report actually says, it means that Trump is a Russian agent. Obviously, Mueller has worked closely with CNN and other media during his little project, so he understands what they need to have injected in the report to take and misconstrue as saying that Trump is the KGB in real life.
So it will contain some vague part about “we can’t say for sure, but it looks like it’s real maybe.”
And CNN does count on the fact that their own viewers are so brainwashed that they’re never going to change their minds about anything, as Cillizza comes out and says frankly: “For people who already hate Trump, they will see the Mueller report as confirmation that the President was compromised by the Russians.”
So when the third report by the federal government says this is all a hoax, CNN is planning on just saying “nuh-uh, it’s all real.”
And then the plan is to pivot into the investigations that are going to be launched by Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee and the Southern District of New York. They will keep peppering in gibberish about how Trump is a Russian agent, but move the focal point to the various impending investigations of his businesses and personal life.
Remember that Rod Rosenstein never believed Trump was a Russian agent. He knew for a fact he wasn’t, because he was a key figure in spying on Trump with a fake FISA warrant he helped get with faked intelligence. The sole purpose of the Mueller investigation was obstruction, which worked, and a fishing expedition, which hauled in a motherload. They now have a framework upon which to investigate every aspect of Trump’s life.
The media has already announced that the investigations into Trump’s personal life are going to be more damning and much more difficult to fight, and I think that’s true.
It’s a weird ride.
And I’m getting boreder and boreder.