The Republican National Committee and the pro-Trump super PAC America First plan use donor money to attack journalists who report on President Donald Trump rather than his opponents.
Trump celebrated that he was “totally exonerated” by the Mueller report, even though the report specifically said it did not exonerate him and the full 300-pages detailing the evidence of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian operatives have been hidden by Trump’s attorney general. Now, Trump’s team is planning to use donor money to air 30-second ads to attack journalists who report on the ample evidence of collusion that has long been reported on.
“Any reporter who tries that will be hit with 30-second spots of all their ridiculous claims about collusion,” an anonymous source “familiar with internal discussions” at both the RNC and America First told The Atlantic. “Their tweets have all been screencapped. It’s all ready to go.”
“We're going to hold the media accountable when we see fit,” added an RNC official.
Trump campaign creates journalist blacklist:
The Trump campaign has also created a blacklist of sorts that it sent out to TV producers earlier this week. The letter warns producers against booking journalists who reported on the ample evidence of collusion as well as Democratic officials like Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, California Rep. Adam Schiff, and DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
“Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions,” the memo read. “You should begin by asking the basic question: ‘Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?‘”
Collusion scandal far from over:
“Barr’s letter isn’t the last word on the subject. Mueller’s report clocked in at more than 300 pages … raising the possibility that Trump’s handpicked attorney general elided more troubling conduct on the president’s part,” The Atlantic reported. “Congressional Democrats are demanding to see the full report, raising the prospect of a standoff with the Justice Department. But should more damaging material come out, Trump’s legal team says they have a lengthy rebuttal at the ready.”
Even Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano sided with Schiff this week, calling the House Intel Committee chairman "correct" on his assertion that the evidence shows collusion between Trump and Russia.
“I think that Congressman Schiff is correct, in that report will be evidence of the existence of a conspiracy, not enough evidence to prove the existence beyond a reasonable doubt,” Napolitano said. “In that report will be evidence of obstruction of justice, interfering with an FBI investigation for a personal gain but not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”
There’s also the matter of the former Trump associates who were indicted and convicted on a sweeping number of charges in the Mueller probe. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told The Atlantic Trump “hasn’t decided” whether he will pardon them.
“I mean, are there cases that are worthy of it? Probably. People have been pardoned for far worse,” he said. “Flynn is a very sympathetic case, and in some ways [the former Trump campaign chairman Paul] Manafort is, because he’s already spent a year in jail.”