While speaking at an event for wounded warriors on Thursday, Donald Trump claimed he was having “a good day”.
“It was called, ‘no collusion, no obstruction'”, he cooed.
It wasn’t immediately clear what “it” referred to nor was it obvious why Trump used the word “was” when talking about the “good day” he was currently having, but if the allusion was to the Mueller report, the president was mischaracterizing things.
The report presented a far more nuanced take on how the special counsel went about making a determination in the “coordination” probe and when it comes to obstruction, Mueller presented voluminous evidence to support a case. Democrats are torn on how to use that evidence. Most still see impeachment as long shot, but Jerry Nadler (who has asked Mueller to testify and will subpoena the unredacted report and underlying evidence) did not rule it out when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
Among the damning evidence contained in the report, was a somewhat amusing assessment of the extent to which Trump avoided obstruction by accident thanks his subordinates refusing to carry out key instructions. You can read all the highlights in the linked post above, but here is the passage that finds Mueller explaining why the president was unsuccessful in obstruction:
Don McGahn of course features prominently in the report. In one section, Mueller details Trump’s questioning of McGahn’s note-taking practices. To wit:
The President then asked, ‘What-about these notes? Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.’
McGahn responded that he keeps notes because he is a ‘real lawyer’ and explained that notes create a record and are not a bad thing.”
The President said, ‘I’ve had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes.’
The allusion to Roy Cohn is hilarious for obvious reasons.
On Friday, Trump appeared to lash out at McGahn and, in what one can only assume will be the first of many tweets designed to discredit the report, generally flew off the handle.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue”, Trump said, before warning nobody in particular to “watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed.”
That tweet ends with “Because I never….” and picks up in a subsequent blast as follows:
…agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a…
More than an hour later, the next installment had not been posted.
Perhaps one the president’s lawyers advised him to stop tweeting. After all, tweets are just public “notes” and we know how pernicious “notes” can be.