- President Trump and his 2016 campaign were cleared of any collusion with the Russian government in special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, Attorney General William Barr said Sunday.
- Trump’s political foe Michael Avenatti was charged with attempting to extort Nike for more than $US20 million.
- Trump’s biggest allies are touting the big week he is having.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is having one of the better weeks of his entire presidency and Republicans are running victory laps after former FBI Director Robert Mueller concluded the special counsel investigation and Attorney General William Barr said Mueller’s final report cleared the president’s 2016 campaign of any collusion with the Russian government.
Earlier in the month, Trump suffered multiple embarrassments when Congress rebuked him on key policy areas like the national emergency declaration and US military support for the Saudi-led war campaign in Yemen. But this week Trump is racking up wins.
On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to congressional leaders summarizing Mueller’s final report. The report, as Barr described, clears Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign of any allegations of collusion or attempts to conspire with the Russians.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia,” the letter reads.
The news sent shockwaves around the political world and led to victory laps from Republicans who touted Barr’s conclusions about collusion.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close confidant of Trump’s who played golf with him on Sunday shortly after the news broke, told reporters that Trump conveyed a “sense of relief” and happiness that his 2016 election will have “legitimacy” it did not have before.
“I saw him on the plane afterwards. I don’t know how to explain this,” Graham said. “You’ve been under extreme scrutiny, you’ve been shouting from the mountain top ‘I didn’t do this.'”
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who chairs the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said during a Monday interview on Fox News the conclusion of the report is “a total vindication of the president.”
“But it’s not just for the president,” he added. “It is indeed for the American people who trusted this president, who voted for him and now can say to the mainstream media, ‘why have you lied to us for two years?’ It’s about time.”
Trump spent the day with one of his closest international allies
Trump spent much of Monday with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of his closest allies and supporters of his administration among world leaders.
“And I’ve met many friends of Israel in this office,” Netanyahu told Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office. “But as I said in the other room, just now, in a day of history, we have never had a greater friend than President Trump.”
Netanyahu also presented Trump with a bottle of wine from Israel, which he used to crack a joke about the many investigations into the president by House Democrats.
“I understand you’re not a great wine drinker but could I give it to your staff?” he said. “I hope they don’t open an investigation on it.”
Michael Avenatti charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and extortion
And as icing on the cake, one of Trump’s primary political foes over the past two years found himself in legal hot water Monday afternoon.
Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit over alleged hush money payments from Trump, was charged on Monday in two separate investigations. Prosecutors in New York alleged that Avenatti attempted to extort Nike for more than $US20 million, while prosecutors in California charged Avenatti with wire fraud and bank fraud.
Avenatti had been a fixture on cable news networks like CNN and MSNBC during the Trump presidency, where he repeatedly used his air time to attack the commander in chief. Avenatti also mulled a 2020 presidential run against Trump, but ultimately bowed out.
Donald Trump Jr. jumped on the Avenatti news to poke fun at his father’s nemesis, writing on Twitter, “#MAGA – Michael Avenatti Getting Arrested!!!”
Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump’s 2020 re-election effort, responded to a tweet about the Avenatti news saying, “Wow. What an amazing last 48 hours. I can’t stop watching.”
While the president is still set for some less than favourable news, he is winning big this week, which the White House and its allies are having no trouble promoting.
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