Donald Trump’s tweet-fidavit on the Mueller Report

Tabatha Southey: In the interest of fairness to the man at the centre of the story, an annotated look at President Trump’s own words on the Mueller matter

Content image

Photo illustration of Donald Trump and the Twitter logo. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It has been just over a week since the U.S. Justice Department’s long-awaited, much-speculated-upon, somewhat redacted Mueller report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was released. President Donald Trump—who is apparently much more comfortable making his case on Twitter than under oath—has been responding.

There are a lot of ways to tell the story the Mueller report told, but in the interest of fairness to the man at the centre of the story, I have chosen to tell it in, or at least, with, President Trump’s own words. Let’s consider these tweets Trump’s tweet-fidavit and examine them one at at time for insight the they offer us.

April 20: The President Makes 13 Equal 18 Again

The report makes no accusation of “collusion,” a term that has no legal definition anyway, unlike “conspiracy,” which Mueller didn’t find evidence of either. However, the report does establish that the Russian government worked overtime to help Trump win, that the Trump campaign was delighted to benefit from hackings that targeted Democrats, and that Trump’s campaign advisers had enough odd meetings, almost-meetings, crossed paths and clandestine communications with the Russians to mount a bedroom farce of the whole affair, What the Butler Assanged.

As for obstruction of justice, the Mueller report explicitly does not clear the president of that charge by any stretch. Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, while letting it be known that he believes he has full authority to clear Mr. Trump, is notably coy about his findings on the matter. The report explicitly lays out a dozen or so episodes in which Trump’s actions in connection to the investigation raised eyebrows higher than Trump Tower, and all of these instances were evaluated on three criteria: the act had to be obstructive, linked to an investigation and undertaken with a corrupt motive.

Then, having done all that, Mr. Mueller basically said to America, “I’m just going to leave this right here.”

Imagine I left all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies on you counter, and a definition for what I have determined constitutes a chocolate chip cookie, and that this definition includes the words  “Preheat oven to 350 degrees” and that I also left a note reminding you that while I do not have the constitutional authority to produce sweet baked goods, you do. That’s the Mueller report, only basically the recipe is for slow-cooked Impeachment Pie.

April 21

The president informs us that “nothing” happened at school today and he is “fine.”

April 21, continued

The president would like you to know that the whole investigation was a hit job run by “Trump Haters.” He would also like you to know these entirely unscrupulous Haters and Angry Political Opponents have written a report that totally clears him. I feel it may be years before the American alphabet economy recovers from the capitalization inflation Trump is inflicting upon it.

April 21, continued, continued

Local crumb-covered child demands to know how you can consider sending him to his room over missing cookies that you definitely ate yourself!

April 22

It’s true they talked to White House counsel Don McGahn. Mr. McGahn told the investigation how much Trump hated the investigation, and about the president’s attempts to have it curtailed. These attempts included Trump calling him at home one night and telling him to get the Justice Department to fire the special counsel and later telling him to deny that the entire episode ever happened. It’s true the Mueller team also talked to both former White House chiefs of staff, Reince Priebus and John Kelly, former strategist Steve Bannon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who got chatty real fast. He may in fact be known henceforth as “Chatty Cohen.” Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spoke with Mueller’s team a number of times, and a lawyer for Ivanka Trump had an attorney provide some answers, because she has people to do that for her. But did the Mueller team talk to President Trump’s longtime totally real friend and associate John Barron? I thought not. Check and mate, Mueller.

April 23

The president almost pivots to the economy. But in that there is literally nothing this man wouldn’t do to keep a story that’s trying to harm him alive. That fading story could be begging him, “Please, Donald, stop breathing into my mouth!” as the president attempted to ram one of his own kidneys into its belly; he’s not going to let it go.

April 23 II Attack of the Oversharer

The president had a dream last night he’d like you to hear about.

April 23rd Rides Again

The president has reached the “They called me mad, but I’ll show them all!” stage of super-villainy.

April 24

As a rule, it’s best not to attempt to answer accusations that you undertook to undermine your nation’s legal process—ostensibly because you determined that allowing it to operate freely and independently was not in you best political interests, and also it was hurting your feelings—by trying to deploy your nation’s legal process to your political advantage again. Either the president is working under the (very wrong) belief that the Supreme Court of the United States can override Congress’s constitutional power of impeachment or he’s just counting on his buddy Brett to do him a solid.

April 25

The One Angry President firmly states that he definitely did not want to fire the special counsel. You can tell he never even considered firing the special counsel based on how he’s obviously never thought of all the ways firing the special counsel would be justified. Or how he’d make sure to fire fire the special counsel in a really cool way and definitely wouldn’t have backed down from this totally great course of action because Don McGahn refused to play along with his “crazy shit,” as Mr. McGahn later put it to investigators.