Last night the New York Times and the Washington Post each separately reported that, in the eyes of Robert Mueller’s team, Attorney General William Barr grossly misrepresented Trump’s obstruction antics when he published his now-infamous four page “summary.” Then this morning NBC News reported that, according to Mueller’s team, Barr also misrepresented Trump-Russia collusion. Now that the Trump-Barr coverup is being exposed from within, Trump isn’t exactly taking it well.
Late this morning, Donald Trump tweeted this: “The New York Times had no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report. In fact, they probably had no sources at all!” Wait a minute here. Why is Trump only attacking one major news outlet, when three different major news outlets reported similar stories? Even more strangely, what exactly does he think is supposed to be “illegal” about any of this reporting?
Both newspapers have said that members of Mueller’s team expressed these views to their associates, who then turned around and relayed those views to the reporters. This is a common sense method for insiders like the Mueller team to leak information, as it allows them to avoid having to risk interacting with the media directly, at a time when people like Trump and Barr may be watching their every move. Despite the fact that Mueller’s team members obviously haven’t leaked anything classified or even sensitive, Trump is falsely accusing them – and the New York Times of somehow having broken the law.
This tells us two things. First, Donald Trump is clearly petrified that the public might be about to find out what the Mueller report really says about this. Second, he’s implying that he’ll abuse the power of the presidency to try to punish those who dare to try to bring any details of the Mueller report to the surface – including those in the media. We would argue that Trump just committed felony obstruction of justice with this tweet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report