- The Department of Justice released the special counsel report on Thursday.
- Republicans in President Trump’s inner circle celebrated the report’s findings that there was no collusion between the 2016 campaign and the Russians.
- Supporters of the president also demanded Democrats and members of the media take a lesson from what they characterized as a smear campaign against Trump.
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WASHINGTON – Republicans closely aligned with President Donald Trump met the official public release of the special counsel report from former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s team with anger and cries of vindication, marking yet another chapter in probes of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
After the initial conclusion of the special counsel investigation, in which Attorney General William Barr summarized how Mueller determined there had been no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians but left the question of obstruction of justice wide open, Republicans celebrated and claimed complete exoneration.
With Thursday’s release of the official report to Congress, those same Republicans ran victory laps around those who had previously said there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and demanded swift justice for what they characterized as a smear campaign against the president.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement the report was a “complete and total vindication of President Trump.”
“It is increasingly clear that the only scandal here is the Obama administration’s repeated failure to act against Russian cyber meddling,” she added. “Instead, they prioritized spying on a political opponent – the Trump campaign – and used a phony DNC-funded dossier as justification.”
McDaniel then called for a probe into how the investigation began, citing “fake and partisan information.”
“After two years and over $35 million, American taxpayers deserve answers and the integrity of our democratic process depends on ensuring this never happens again,” she said.
The president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., took to Twitter to defend himself against accusations he might have colluded with the Russians, reiterating he was fully transparent with Mueller’s team.
“Despite the media’s endless lies about me supposedly committing perjury, I spent 27 hours testifying under oath to Congress & was always open/honest with them,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s pretty clear that had I done something wrong, Muellers team of Dems would have charged me. Better luck next hoax!”
Brad Parscale, the manager for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, said in a statement that Trump has been “fully and completely exonerated yet again” and took aim at those who spurred the investigation in the first place.
“Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever,” Parscale said. “There is simply no denying that ‘spying did occur’ on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, as Attorney General Barr himself noted in testimony before Congress.”
“Now that the collusion and obstruction conspiracy theories have been exposed for the pathetic hoaxes they always were, the Obama-era DOJ and FBI must answer for their misdeeds and the scam that they perpetrated against the American people,” he added. “Justice will be served.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a close confidant of Trump’s, said in a statement, “It is time to move on.”
“Americans deserve better than this partisan quest to vilify a political opponent and I urge our Democratic colleagues in the House to put their emotions and opinions aside, and instead use that passion to come to the table and work on real solutions for all Americans,” McCarthy added.
Jason Miller, a former senior communications adviser to Trump’s campaign, mockingly told his Twitter followers to be kind to anyone who might have been hoping for an alternate conclusion.
“If you see a crazed, triggered #CollusionDelusion truther today, particularly in the DC area, please show them compassion,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “You have no idea how hard this is for them.”
Andrew Surabian, a former assistant to President Trump and confidant of Trump Jr., suggested reporters should be less trustworthy of Obama era officials.
“The biggest lesson for the media regarding the #RussiaHoax is that they should be a lot less trusting of using current & former national security state officials as anonymous sources,” he wrote on Twitter. “Maybe just maybe, people who are trained in disinformation aren’t the most trustworthy sources?”