President Donald Trump’s supporters were doing victory laps on Twitter and television Monday, after a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report did not find Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump’s reelection campaign took it one step further, telling members of the media to question the credibility of past guests who made “false claims, without evidence, on your airwaves.”
In a memo, Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, warned “television producers” about booking a number of Democratic lawmakers and others who have made the collusion claims on cable news and Sunday talk shows, including: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), DNC chair Tom Perez, and former CIA Director John Brennan.
“As you know, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that no one associated with President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, despite repeated offers from Russia-linked operatives,” the letter stated. “The issuance of these definitive findings comes after two years of Democrat leaders and others lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion.”
The Trump campaign is sending this memo to TV producers: pic.twitter.com/yhr03LAI7N
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 25, 2019
“At a minimum, if these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place,” Murtaugh wrote.
There was reason for those high-ranking Democratic officials to believe the Trump- Russia collusion allegations, which took the special counsel two years to investigate. After all:
- Trump has ties to Russian mobsters going back three decades;
- Mueller’s team filed charges, and in some cases secured criminal convictions or guilty pleas, against six members of Trump’s inner-circle;
- Russian intelligence officers tried to sway the election in Trump’s favor;
- Trump’s son confessed to meeting with Kremlin-tied Russians knowing they wanted to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton;
- People within his inner-circle and campaign knew WikiLeaks was going to release Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, which were hacked by Russian intelligence officers;
- And Trump lied about the timeline surrounding a billion-dollar project to build a massive skyscraper in Moscow that was still ongoing through his campaign, among many other pieces of evidence.
What’s more, Trump lied throughout the entire process, refused to answer Mueller’s questions in person, and on many occasions, tried to disrupt the investigation.
This is nothing new for Trump. Since becoming president, he has made over 9,000 false or misleading statements, according to the Washington Post.
In 2016, the Trump campaign blacklisted a number of media organizations that called Trump and campaign officials out for their lies and reported the truth, revoking press credentials from the Washington Post, Gawker, HuffPost, Politico, BuzzFeed, the National Review, the New York Times, the Des Moines Register, Mother Jones, the Daily Beast, Univision, and The New Tri-State Defender.
“The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump,” Swalwell tweeted Monday in response to the Trump campaign’s memo. “If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”