The Trump administration has performed victory laps since the Mueller report––or shall we say Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report––was released. The Mueller report, according to a letter penned by Barr on Friday, found insufficient evidence that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
The battle to release the full report is well underway, but this hasn't stopped prominent Republicans, like commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., from suggesting that the matter is settled and that Congress must investigate those who propagated the "Russia hoax."
GUILFOYLE: It’s Time To Investigate Those Behind The Russia Hoax https://t.co/wHUhGQE7Cd via @dailycaller— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@Kimberly Guilfoyle) 1553697831.0
Guilfoyle has an even more prominent supporter in Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who concurred with an assessment she penned for The Daily Caller. In fact, he suggested Congress should begin by investigating former President Barack Obama.
"What did President Obama know and when? How did this hoax go on for so long unabated?" he wrote.
I agree with @kimguilfoyle Time for Congress to investigate. What did President Obama know and when? How did this h… https://t.co/utWH5rymk7— Senator Rand Paul (@Senator Rand Paul) 1553698280.0
Paul was immediately savaged by critics. As others pointed out, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has already blocked two resolutions to release the full Mueller report.
@RandPaul @kimguilfoyle I want to know why McConnell obstructed and covered up Russian interference.— mel567 (@mel567) 1553700514.0
@RandPaul @kimguilfoyle Oh for effs sake Rand....why not just release the entire Mueller report???— Sarah B (@Sarah B) 1553711487.0
@RandPaul @kimguilfoyle Let me say this slowly. It wasn't a hoax. Their was enough indication IN PUBLIC VIEW that… https://t.co/Q61ALOw1wd— Shawn Wesley (@Shawn Wesley) 1553713418.0
@RandPaul @kimguilfoyle Great, so yet another elected official taking marching orders from a Fox News personality.… https://t.co/nZUimU4Gk5— Commit to Vote (@Commit to Vote) 1553704552.0
@RandPaul @kimguilfoyle You are so full of it! The Russians met with Trump's campaign staff. There are indictment… https://t.co/x4Vc4AfGt9— Vince (@Vince) 1553716660.0
In 2016, the FBI informed Obama that the bureau was investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the presidential election. Senator Mitch McConnell warned Obama against going public with the news, and said he would consider any attempt by the Obama administration to challenge the Russians publicly a partisan act.
Other Republicans who attended the briefing expressed concerns about going public with the allegations in the final stages of an election, arguing that they would only strike a blow to already shaken public confidence and give Moscow the upper hand.
Paul's comments came as the newly emboldened Trump administration launches an effort to hound critics who supported Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s Director of Communications, sent a memo to television producers blasting Democrats and television networks for “lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion" and included a list of Trump critics, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Representative Adam Schiff (CA), who should be scrutinized.
The Trump campaign is sending this memo to TV producers: https://t.co/yhr03LAI7N— Jonathan Swan (@Jonathan Swan) 1553540284.0
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared the New York Post’s “Mueller Madness” graphic to Twitter on Monday, which features high-profile personalities across cable, print, network, and social media who criticized the president as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation wore on.
Sanders asked her following to answer which of the president’s “angry and hysterical haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?”
Mueller Madness! Which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?… https://t.co/ne49uph9XH— Stephanie Grisham (@Stephanie Grisham) 1553563087.0
The president, meanwhile, has continued to assail the media and regularly tweets analysis from Fox News pundits.
The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of… https://t.co/3zByjVZIkO— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1553650041.0
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Intelligence Committee, managed to get unanimous support to release the Mueller report in the House, but McConnell blocked her efforts in the Senate.
"The fact is that a four-page summary cannot possibly illuminate what this thorough of an investigation uncovered. I find it so disappointing that so many are rushing to judgement without being able to see the full report or all of the underlying facts," Feinstein said.
McConnell objected, saying Barr is currently working with Mueller to determine what to redact from the report in the interest of national security.
"I have consistently supported the proposition that his report ought to be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the law. … I think we should be consistent in letting the special counsel actually finish his work and not just when we think it may be politically advantageous to one side or the other," he said.