Trump's Twitter Rant About The Russia Investigation Was Epic In All The Wrong Ways
For the past 24 hours, President Trump has been tweeting about the Russia investigation. There are now a huge number of tweets attacking just about everyone remotely related to the investigation — even his own national security adviser. And he's started cursing, too.
The tirade started on Saturday and mentions by name former President Barack Obama; the top Democrat investigating in the House, Adam Schiff; the news media; and even a Facebook vice president in charge of advertisements. Nearly everyone was blamed for the ongoing investigation into election meddling, except, notably, Russia. "They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!" Trump wrote.
The tirade comes after the Mueller investigation handed down indictments against 13 Russians on Friday. They were charged with attempting to influence the election and help Trump win office.
Trump focused on the fact that there is no proof in the charging documents that the Russia meddling changed the outcome of the elections. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said as much at a press conference, and a Facebook VP also gave Trump some cover.
Trump seemed to acknowledge everything about the Russians' goals — disrupting the system and increasing conflict between the country's two parties. What he did not seem willing to do was accept that he may have won as a result. "But wasn’t I a great candidate?" Trump wrote defiantly.
Here's everything he posted in 24 hours.
2:26 p.m., Saturday: He Quotes A Fox News Contributor
Trump references this New York Post article by Michael Goodwin that argues the charging documents were good news for Trump, that his win wasn't thanks to Russia.
But not all was good news in the piece. "The indictments are hardly the final word, and the charges leave plenty of daylight for continued speculation on two fronts," Goodwin wrote, noting that the verdict is still out on whether Trump associates conspired or colluded and whether or not Trump obstructed justice.
Trump is a big fan of Goodwin, who is also a Fox News contributor.
2:36 p.m., Saturday: The DOJ Helps Him Defend Election Outcome
Doubling down after the prior tweet, Trump quoted Rosenstein, who is also quoted in the Post article. The deputy attorney general noted that the indictment didn't allege that the outcome of the election was altered or Americans participated.
2:46 p.m., Saturday: The Timeline Argument
Reiterating something he tweeted Friday, Trump says that the Russian group that was indicted was formed in 2014, before he announced his run for president. "Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn't know!" Trump wrote.
The indictment explained, however, that the Russians goal changed from general interference to supporting his candidacy later in the race. Also, Trump tweeted in September 2014, "I wonder if I run for PRESIDENT, will the haters and losers vote for me knowing I will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? I say they will."
It's also been reported by The Daily Mail that Trump trademarked the MAGA slogan used in the race as far back as 2012.
3:11 p.m. To 3:16 p.m., Saturday: A Facebook VP Lends Another Argument
Then Trump went another route to point against the Russian influence in the election. He quoted Facebook Vice President of Facebook Ads Rob Goldman, who tweeted late Friday:
The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election.
Trump jumped on it to argue that his election win isn't tainted, and quoted him one more time in his next tweet.
11:08 p.m., Saturday: Always Time To Attack The FBI
As Trump pivoted briefly to gun control, he decided to attack the FBI for carrying on with the Russia investigation (that saw 13 more people indicted on Friday — clearly there's something there).
"They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" Trump wrote.
11:22 p.m., Saturday: When Trump Attacks His Own National Security Adviser
National Security Advisor and Army Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was appointed by Trump, spoke in Germany on Saturday at a conference and had an exchange with Russian officials. McMaster said that the evidence is "incontrovertible" that Russia tried to meddle. "As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain," McMaster said.
Trump wasn't happy and brought up earlier arguments against Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and other Democrats.
7:22 a.m., Sunday: Trump Shifts Blame To Obama
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee and frequent target of Trump attacks, was quoted as to blaming the Obama administration for the Russia meddling.
But Schiff argued on Sunday morning political show CNN's State of the Union that Trump "claims vindication anytime someone sneezes." He added, "I've said all along that I thought the Obama administration should have done more ... They were very wary of appearing to be putting their hand on the scale of the election."
But, Schiff argued, "none of that is an excuse for this president to sit on his hands." Trump hasn't put in place the sanctions that Congress gave him the authority to implement, missing a deadline in January.
7:33 a.m., Sunday: Trump Gives Russia Wiggle Room
Trump has been wary to admit that Russia is to blame since the election. In November, he said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial. "Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Mr. Trump told reporters while on his Asia trip.
7:43 a.m., Sunday: "Wasn't I A Great Candidate?"
Trump gets at his biggest preoccupation: that Clinton would have won in different circumstances (forget, that she won the popular vote by millions).
8:11 a.m., Sunday: Get Smart America!
Trump implicitly acknowledged that the Russia meddling has had a big impact in American politics — if not in affecting the election outcome. "They are laughing their asses off in Moscow," Trump wrote. "Get smart America!"
Trump made no mention of preventing the same thing from happening in the 2018 elections, something that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has already warned against.
Trump's Twitter tirade may not be surprising, but it does show that the administration's focus on Russia is purely reactionary to the ongoing investigation as opposed to building up faith in the country's election systems or preventing future attacks. As Trump would put it, "They are laughing their asses off in Moscow."