- President Donald Trump is reportedly out for revenge after a summary of the Russia investigation report cleared him of collusion.
- Trump plans to call for organisations to fire employees he believes made false allegations about the probe, aides told The Washington Post.
- Trump is using the report – which he used to call a “witch hunt” – to boost his support and credibility.
- However, Trump was not cleared of potential obstruction of justice, and is still facing a number of other investigations.
President Donald Trump reportedly wants revenge on the media for its coverage of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and plans to call for media organisations to fire journalists.
Trump aides told The Washington Post that Trump plans to lobby for hostile reporters and pundits to lose their jobs over what he says are false allegations against him made in connection with the report, which investigated links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report, which was submitted to Congress on Sunday, said that the investigation found that neither Trump nor his presidential campaign conspired or colluded with Russia.
The summary punctured expectations that the report could prove collusion and potentially even end Trump’s presidency.
But blaming any journalists or outlets for what Trump deems to be false or inaccurate reporting could prove difficult.
Much of the reporting that suggested Mueller could prove a heavy blow to Trump was based on predictions and comments from Democrats and former officials, which fall short outright falsehood, even if they ended up being wrong.
Meanwhile, outlets have been defending their coverage. Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said the stories it published about Russians trying to contact Trump were “true.”
“It is never our job to determine illegality, but to expose the actions of people in power. And that’s what we and others have done and will continue to do,” he said, according to the Post.
Trump is using Mueller’s findings as a campaign strategy to take on his biggest enemies
Mueller did not explicitly exonerate Trump, and instead declined to reach a conclusion as to whether Trump obstructed justice. A number of separate investigations into Trump are still underway.
Democrats have also begun proceedings to get Mueller’s full report made public, which has the potential to reveal questionable behaviour by Trump.
Nonetheless, Trump plans to use Barr’s summary as a strategy to fight for re-election and to take on the media, which he positions as his enemy, the Post reported.
The outlet said he will use the report – which he has repeatedly called “illegal” and a “witch hunt” – to increase his credibility as the next election draws near. Trump is already using it to fundraise.
He also plans to call for organisations to fire former government officials that he believes made false allegations against him, according to the Post.
One former White House official told the Post that Democrats “just handed the Trump campaign the greatest election issue in modern political history, on a silver platter” by focusing on the investigation.
Attacking the media as the “enemy of the people” was a large part of Trump’s original election campaign, and has remained a constant during his presidency.
- Read more coverage of the Mueller report:
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