Of Course Trump Is Using the Inspector General’s Report to Attack the Russia Probe

The president previews his new line of argument against Mueller’s investigation.

Yang Chenglin/ZUMA

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As widely expected, President Donald Trump seized upon a newly released report by the Justice Department’s inspector general to attack James Comey and commend his own decision to fire the former FBI director in May 2017. “Good instincts,” Trump wrote of himself Friday morning.

The self-admiration comes despite Trump having said in a television interview shortly after the explosive firing that he got rid of Comey because of “this Russia thing.” Trump reportedly followed up on the startling admission by telling Russian officials the dismissal had relieved pressure on the White House.

The president on Friday also blasted two FBI agents cited in Thursday’s much-anticipated report, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. The inspector general criticized anti-Trump text messages they exchanged, concluding they had “cast a cloud” over the bureau. But Trump failed to mention that the report did not find any evidence of political bias in the actions of Comey or the two FBI agents. Trump instead retweeted a string of Fox & Friends clips featuring Jason Chaffetz, in which the former Republican congressman from Utah claimed the report undermined special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire investigation.

“Anything Mueller is doing with his investigation is tainted by the fact that you had these people who had a political objective to take down Donald Trump,” Chaffetz claimed.

The president’s tweets, which are his first public response to Thursday’s report, preview what is expected to be the newest line of attack against the ongoing Russia probes. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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