‘Collusion delusion’ becomes new Trump mantra

Donald Trump has produced what sounds like a 2020 campaign slogan, referring to the “collusion delusion” as he continues his touchdown dance after Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into The Russia Thing.

It’s a knee-slapper! Don’t you think? Well, me neither. The president is reciting it and getting lots of laughs, cheers, whoops and hollers from the adoring crowds.

It is good to put a couple of issues into perspective.

First of all, special counsel Mueller did not say that there was “no collusion.” He said, according to Attorney General William Barr, that he found insufficient evidence to produce a complaint of collusion with the Russians against the president and his 2016 campaign team.

We haven’t yet seen Mueller’s report. William Barr today said he intends to release the report, with redactions, in a couple of weeks. We don’t yet know what precisely Barr is going to black out from public view. He has talked openly about grand jury testimony, issues related to national security and statements that mention individuals who aren’t formally charged with wrongdoing.

My sincere and fervent hope is that the AG releases as much as of the report as possible. He has pledged transparency. I want to believe him.

Absent any knowledge of what Mueller has concluded, it is impossible — even for the president — to say categorically that he has been “exonerated” at any level regarding any allegation that has been leveled against him.

Trump is incapable of being magnanimous in victory. He vows revenge against those who he says have done him wrong. That includes damn near everyone who didn’t vote for him, or so it sounds to me. He continues to label the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” that failed. He continues to refer to the media as the “enemy of the people.” Trump hurls despicable personal insults at congressional Democrats; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has become his latest target.

One more point: We haven’t seen anything yet about obstruction of justice. Barr said that Mueller did not “exonerate” the president, even though he did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that he did obstruct justice. Once again, we need to see precisely what evidence Mueller collected and we need to be able to assess how he reached his conclusion.

Yet the president of the United States, as he is prone to do, is getting way out in front of this still-developing story.

Hey, he still has his campaign slogan that he thinks will serve him well. “Collusion delusion” it is. My sense is that Donald Trump is wallowing in his own delusion as well.

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