Before Russia Investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller released two new filings in the Russia investigation on Friday, detailing crimes by Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen and 2016 campaign chief Paul Manafort, as CNN reported, Trump unleashed a series of six Twitter posts attacks Mueller and the Russia probe. Trump’s Twitter explosion continued later in the day when Trump posted a message declaring incorrectly that Mueller’s filing “totally clears” him.
In fact, as Politico reported, far from “clearing” Trump, Mueller said he has evidence that contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign began as far back as November 2015, and that Cohen had discussed the possibility of Trump meeting Russia President Vladimir Putin not only with a Russian official but with Trump himself — indicating that Trump likely had direct knowledge of his campaign’s involvement with the Russian government.
The contacts with Russia were not merely incidental, Mueller’s filings showed, according to a Daily Beastaccount. One Russian official offered to create “political synergy” — in other words, cooperation, or “collusion” — between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Yet on Saturday, Trump returned to his Twitter account at 8:01 a.m. Eastern Time, to declare, “AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!”
Trump has mentioned Mueller in his Twitter posts many times before — invoking Mueller’s name 66 times already this year alone, according to The Trump Twitter Archive. But never before had Trump mentioned Mueller’s name on Twitter as many as four times in a single day, as he did on Friday.
Why does Trump now seem to have reached an increased level of concern over Mueller’s Russia investigation? According to what longtime Trump friend and political mentor Roger Stone told The New York Times on Friday, Trump has finally come to understand that Mueller’s Russia probe “was not going away, his lawyers’ promises notwithstanding.”
As MSNBC reported, for more than a year, Trump’s lawyers have given him repeatedly assurances that the end of the Russia probe was imminent, starting in November of 2017 when Trump’s then-lawyer Ty Cobb promised him that the investigation would end “before Thanksgiving” of 2017.
Cobb and Trump’s other lawyers then repeatedly extended their projections to “Christmas,” “the end of the year,” and then, “the end of March.”
When Trump replaced Cobb with his current lawyer Rudy Giuliani in April of this year, the former New York City mayor immediately announced, according to CNN, that the Russia investigation would end in “maybe a couple of weeks.” Giuliani later revised his prediction to September 1 as his projected end of the Mueller investigation.
But as Mueller has only become more active, Trump has now come to a new understanding — one that has driven his angry Twitter activity — according to what Stone told The Times.
“He has finally figured out that this is about him,” Stone said. “I think he has finally woken up.”
Stone himself in under investigation by Mueller for his alleged role in possible collusion, and as Inquisitrreported, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination earlier this week to avoid testifying to congress about the 2016 campaign.