George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, is the latest person to point to one sentence of the Mueller report that made its way into the four page Barr summary. It is a quote from the Mueller report that includes only part of a sentence. The quote reads that the Mueller investigators “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Conway, like others before him concentrated on the fact that the quote is a sentence fragment and the full sentence likely starts with the word “although” and contains information at the beginning of the sentence that is damning to Trump. I agree, but I also think people are missing something telling about the actual quote.
The quote is oddly specific. It states that Trump camp members did not get involved in the Russian election interference efforts. It has widely been reported that Trump did not expect or want to win the election. If this is true, then of course he did not get involved or even want significant election interference.
This quote leaves wide open the real possibility that Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russians, changed the Republican platform in Russia’s favor, in exchange for potential business opportunities. Unlike the politicians we are used to dealing with, we have to permanently remove the idea that Trump was motivated by political power and always assume first that he is motivated by money and self preservation. This is what we should be looking for in the Mueller report.
Cheryl Kelley lives in the DC area with her husband and young son. She is active in government and politics.