The Trump administration, newly emboldened by Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller Report asserting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller couldn't establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, is looking to get even with those who defended the Russia investigation.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's Director of Communications, sent a memo to television producers asserting the President's alleged innocence:
"As you know, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that no one associated with President Donald J. Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, despite repeated offers from Russia-linked operatives," the letter says. "The only way to interpret these findings is as a total and complete vindication of President Donald Trump."
The memo then goes on to list Democratic leaders and other pundits for "lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion," implying that networks should no longer interview the persons listed and, if they do, recommends their past statements be replayed and explained.
Those listed in the memo are:
- Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
- Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA)
- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
- DNC Chairman Tom Perez
- Former CIA Director John Brennan
Many of the persons noted in the letter have already faced immense backlash from President Donald Trump for their criticisms over the last two years.
The President called Congressman Adam Schiff "Little Adam Schitt" on Twitter after Schiff criticized his choice for acting Attorney General following the departure of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. After heavy criticism from former CIA Director John Brennan, the President revoked his security clearance—a move seen by many as vindictive when a former CIA Director's advice could be invaluable.
Many were shocked at the blatant pettiness of the memo.
Others balked at the criticism at Democratic pundits for so-called lies, while many statements from the Trump administration—including the assurance that the Mueller report (which no one but AG Barr has seen as of now) found "no evidence" of collusion—are patently false.
While Trump's camp may be emboldened enough to attempt to strong-arm television news producers, the determination of American journalists isn't something they'll be able to dictate.