President, Donald Trump And Don Mcgann discussed on Clark Howard


Special counsel. Robert Muller said if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of Justice. We would so state mother said we are unable to reach that judgment. The report was more definitive about collusion despite finding hundreds of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians were joined now by three members of the ABC news investigative team. Chris Vlasto Johnson Tucci in Matt Moscow. Matt let's start with you. If I could numerous links, the report said between Russia and those in the Trump orbit, but insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge. Yeah. I mean, you just nailed it. Basically, there is no legal charge of collusion. And the attorney general came out this morning and told the world that there was no legal finding of criminal activity. In terms of conspiracy or coordination between Russians and the Trump campaign. But this is hundreds of pages of detailed examples of what I think the average person might consider something close to collusion. A lot of conversation. A lot of discussion between Russian agents seeking to influence the election seeking to help the Trump campaign and eager and willing followers from the Trump campaign who wanted to get that help or certainly didn't turn it away. So I think in that way, even though it was not a criminal indictment of the president. It was an indictment of him in some respects Matha contacts involve business, it involved campaign dirt it involved a scope of of different connections that it appeared the Russians were trying to make with associates of the Trump campaign if nothing. Was there an incident or two that was outlined that stuck out to you as as either particularly noteworthy or particularly damning, I think one thing that stood out as particularly noteworthy were comments from Michael Flynn who was one of the one of candidate trumps close to closest advisers, and who went into the White House for a brief period who said that the president was aggressive in his desire for the campaign team to find Hillary Clinton's missing thirty thousand emails, and that the people working on the campaign and Flint among them responded to that that they actually went in various ways in pursuit of Hillary's emails. And so it's not a distant leap to go from from there to what ultimately happened, which is the hacking of of the. Allies to the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee. John lemme ask you to even as the the the the president has for the last couple of years called everything fake news. The the the way the report outlines some of what the president has said or done. Everything seems true everything that's been reported or that was at least suspected seems to be validated by by the report. So how is the president going to be responding? Well, listen, I mean, anybody that's covered. Donald Trump knows that the two words fake news or not gonna leave his vernacular. But the reality is, you're totally right. I mean, you you go through the scenarios that we were hearing over the course of the last two plus years at Donald Trump has been inside the Oval Office and the conversations that he was having with some of his top aides and some of his former aides about trying to remove Jeff Sessions multiple times. Trying to remove special counsel, Robert Muller things that we were reporting and tracking are all laid out in black and white based on interviews at the special counsel headed with many witnesses over the last twenty two months of his investigation, specifically, Erin, I think the amount of conversations that are detailed that the president had with his then White House counsel, Don Mcgann, trying to fire Jeff Sessions trying to fire special counsel, Robert Muller of the president reacting in one of the of reports details to a report in the New York Times that references a conversation. The president had what Mcgann about firing Robert Muller president. According to this report sees that story in the New York Times and demands that Don Mcgann gets out there and says that that's not true. The Don Mcgann, apparently shoots back. We'll that would be lying, sir. And you know, the president calls down Mcgann, quote, allying bastard. I mean, you just really get that inside fly on the wall feel from this report of what was happening in the Oval Office during some of these tense moments that we were reporting out in real time. Are they're going to be any repercussions. We had heard that a number of aides to the president or or Republicans in Trump's orbit generally were a little nervous. Not because of what the content was going to reveal. But because the report was going to reveal that they had said it about the president. Listen, I think that Donald Trump is going to take away from this report what he wants, right? So we know that as far as collusion he is taking that as a complete and total victory will he know what some of his aides said about him. Sure. But at the same time, you know, the president put everyone out there to cooperate. This White House did not push back on anybody going in for interviews. They didn't stop a handover of documents almost one point two million. We've heard that numerous times from Rudy Julie. Johny? But you know, I think the people that were nervous about this. And we did hear some of that reporting as you mentioned over the last couple of days are people that frankly, my understanding don't really have a relationship with the president anymore done Mcgann has no ongoing relationship with the president or his inner circle. Other people that told the truth and and good spelled out there like Corey Lindau sqi e details the conversation with the president with the president asked him to go deliver. A message to Jeff Sessions Lewin, douse key is one of the president's most trusted advisers. He still travels with the president today on board Air Force One. And I do not expect that to change chris'll returned to you. What's the portrait of the president that's painted by this report, even absent a criminal charge or or the specter of a criminal charge? What did we learn from this report about Donald Trump? Well, I think it it. We learn the the worst part for Donald Trump is back. The mount of lies the sheer volume of lies. He lies to the press. All the time. He lies in tweets. He gets back wrong, the Washington Post, but to have a prosecutor detailed in such a way that may be the lingering effect of this. And I I know that the Democrats the leadership is saying that there's they're not going to impeach. And I think because they learn the lesson of Bill Clinton. But the reason they put I think they're hoping for the Democrats is that when people go to the polls two years from now they're gonna look at this amount of deception and lying, and that's going to be a problem for the president. I know he thinks that the base is ninety percent behind him. But that but this portrait of the consistency. The disregard for the truth. That's a hard thing to overcome when? It's going to live now for history in black and white. I think late at night when he's sitting at home tonight in mar-a-lago. He's going to be wondering this is my this is my portrait this is what I will live in history forever. And I think the quote out of that he knew it when he said when the appointment with the think sessions, and he used an expletive and said, my presidency is expletive. He knew what this meant. He knew what this legacy is going to be whether it's going to bog him down, and he can't do the job. But now he's going to have to live with this for the next two years in terms of crisis communications crisis. PR it's hard to argue this as anything, but a masterful performance given the volume of bad facts that are stacked up in this report he has managed to blunt most of that most of what we saw here we already knew about. And so it's very easy for. For Trump and his allies to say this all feels old and there because there's no criminal charge. That is at the end of this. It's also easy for him to say that it ultimately bore no fruit yet, we see four hundred plus pages of of of an outcome, but to the general public it's hard to know how they'll take away from it. Matt moss. Chris Vlasto Johnson chief from the ABC news investigative unit. President Trump actually said nothing publicly after the reports released but took to his preferred medium Twitter to restate what has been his mantra all along quote. I had the right to end the whole witch on if

Coming up next