Bob Mueller’s indictments against Russian actors on Friday stated that Russian actors worked with “unwitting” Trump campaign members and Deputy AD Rod Rosenstein noted that the indictments made no conclusions about whether the Russians changed the outcome of the election. However, to anyone willing to read between the lines — even a little bit — the charges are damning indictments of the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. The Russians were spending millions of dollars on an influence campaign; they were paying people to participate in Trump rallies; they were clearly backing Donald Trump, and many of the tactics they used mirrored those of Donald Trump’s campaign.
The ultimate goal of the Russian meddling was to sow discord in American politics, and the Russians achieved exactly that when Donald Trump was elected. Were their tactics determinative in the election outcome? The way that Donald Trump — a historically sensitive person when it comes to the legitimacy of his Presidency — has been tweeting since Friday certainly suggests that, privately, he thinks so. That he also thinks there’s a growing number of people who believe so.
He’s tweeting desperately, defensively from a place of deep insecurity.
Here’s a sampling:
Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
Finally, Liddle’ Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
This tweet is just patently false:
I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
This tweet is one of the most offensively heinous things he’s ever tweeted: He’s using the deaths of 17 people in Florida to further undermine the FBI to protect himself from the Russian investigation:
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
What the president has not suggested may be responsible for the school shooting in Florida: guns.— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) February 18, 2018
What the president has suggested may be responsible for the school shooting in Florida: the Russia investigation.
And this tweet is galling, blaming the Democrats for a lack of gun-control legislation:
Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration. Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
Donald Trump has spent the weekend railing against everyone with one very noticeable exception: Russia. And still: Trump has not enforced those sanctions against Russia. That’s because, even if Trump’s campaign didn’t specifically collude with the Russians (and that’s a very big If), Trump understands what most people can clearly see: He benefited from the Russian meddling campaign, and he likely would not be President without the aide of bad Russian actors who — yes — are laughing their asses off this morning. They achieved exactly what they set out to do.