ABC TV's senior national correspondent predicts 'reckoning for progressives, Democrats ... and media' if Mueller finds no Russia collusion
The Democrats, the Deep State, and their media allies placed an enormous bet on the bespoke fantasy concocted by Fusion GPS that Donald Trump stole the 2016 election with the assistance of Russia. Now, like a poker player trying to fill an inside straight, they are concerned that the big pot they created with all that attention focused on the allegation might be lost. The many signals that the Mueller investigation soon will be public and has no evidence at all of collusion have got a lot of people worried.
Will the mainstream media be able to avoid responsibility for peddling a fantasy?
ABC TV's senior national correspondent Terry Moran, appearing on his network's Sunday morning political show This Week, predicted just such a "reckoning":
Transcript via Grabien:
RADDATZ: And I want to turn to the Mueller probe here quickly, Pierre. We've all heard that the investigation may be coming to an end. I feel like we've heard that before. So what can you tell us about that?
THOMAS: Well, based on our sourcing, Mueller is nearing the end of his work. And we expect that in the coming days he will turn over his confidential report to Attorney General Bill Barr and then Barr will have one of the most momentous decisions that any attorney general has had in 30-some years, which is, how much of that report is made public and turned over to Congress?
RADDATZ: And do you have a sense of that?
THOMAS: You know, Barr has said during his confirmation hearing that he will – he wants to be transparent, but he will abide by the standards of the Justice Department. That typically says where people aren't charged with crimes, that you don't do much talking about them. But there's so much in this investigation about the number of contacts between people associated with Trump and Russians that people will want to know and how Mueller chose to deal with these issues.
RADDATZ: And the big topic, of course, Terry, collusion. The president said there was no collusion, there was no collusion. There are hints that that's certainly what Mueller may have been looking at. How big a deal is it if they don't find collusion for the president?
MORAN: Huge. He's cleared. If Robert Mueller comes back – Mueller became a folk hero in the United States. Robert DeNiro (ph) …
RADDATZ: Even if he finds all sorts of things?
MORAN: Sure. No, but the central and most serious question in this investigation, the reason Robert Mueller started it is, did the current president of the United States assist the Kremlin in an attack on our democracy? And if Mueller, after two years, comes back and says "I don't have the evidence to support that charge," that's a reckoning. That's a reckoning for progressives and Democrats who hoped that Mueller would essentially erase the 2016 election, it's a reckoning for the media, it's a reckoning around the country if, in fact, after all this time, there was no collusion.
THOMAS: Well, the fact is, if you look at all the charges so far, no one Mueller has charged so far has been charged with directly conspiring with the Russians. That's a fact. But the Mueller Report is shrouded in secrecy. There's just a lot we don't know and there's certain facts that Mueller has hinted to throughout the case. Like the fact that Paul Manafort allegedly gave polling data to a suspected Russian intelligence officer. Roger Stone, a confidant of the president, communicating with one of the Russian hackers.
So, again, stay tuned. We have to see what the report says.
RADDATZ: And – and Terry, even if there's nothing there, the Hill will start several investigations into all kinds of things.
MORAN: That's right. There are certainly other investigations about the Trump businesses, about Trump Tower Moscow which – which may draw the interest of prosecutors and congressional investigators, and certainly these issues need to be brought to light. But that (ph) …
RADDATZ: And how about the attention of the American public? If – if the Mueller – that's a question.
MORAN: It is a question. In fact, Democrats have to worry that they don't look like they're just throwing anything against the wall that'll – and hope it'll stick and get back to the old kind of politics. If they want to beat Donald Trump, beat him. Beat him on the issues, beat him in politics, don't beat him on investigations.
RADDATZ: It's great to have your perspective this morning. Thanks for coming in, guys.
My prediction is that most of the media will follow the lead of Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, and the other House committee chairs and essentially say, "That was then, this is now. Move along and find other dirt on Trump."
And it will work with most of the mainstream media. They know that the public has a limited attention span, and their constituency of Trump-haters has no stomach for reflection on their obsessions. They have no desire at all to make themselves look bad, and they will find, or be handed, other shiny objects with which to distract their followers.
On the other hand, President Trump will loudly, repeatedly, and forcefully make the case that he was unjustly pilloried, and that further House investigations are a waste of time and energy. That will resonate with his supporters, conservative media, and a few honest scribes in the MSM, a group that, at least on this issue, seems to include Terry Moran. That may be enough to reach the swing voters, those without amnesia, who remember all the implicit promises of proof that something awful happened: that a foreign power put a Manchurian candidate in office.
Image credit: Grabien screen grab.