You know what it’s like when you’ve put an enormous amount of time, energy and effort into making your dream a reality. You’ve put your heart into it, you’ve focused on it, fantasized about it, lived it, breathed it.
Then, one day, you are told the answer is no. The prize has been stolen from you. You are reeling. It’s even difficult to breathe for a moment or two. You recover slightly, but move through the rest of the day in a daze.
This is what members of the mainstream media experienced when the Senate Intelligence Committee announced on Tuesday they had found no direct evidence that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.
Their reactions were exactly what you would expect them to be.
MSNBC’s Malcolm Nance wins the prize for the most creative response. (segment starts at 2:45 in the above video.)
Let me just say one thing. When Benedict Arnold gave the plans to West Point to Major Andre and they captured Major Andre, they did not have any real information linking those plans to Benedict Arnold other than the fact that he was in his presence earlier that day. Everyone knew it was treason when they caught the man and they hung him. So, at some point there is going to be a bridge of data here that is going to be unassailable…
Malcolm is really reaching here. But, we’ll forgive him. He’s received some traumatic news and needs more time to process it.
Another noteworthy reaction comes during a discussion between MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson and Ken Dilanian. Dilanian starts out by making a real effort to be objective, but appears to stop trying toward the end. (The segment can be viewed at 15:45 on the video below.)
Dilanian: After two years and interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate Intelligence Committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s according to sources both on the Republican and the Democratic side of the aisle.
Jackson: If and when the President, as he may inevitably do, points to this reporting, points to these conclusions and says, “Look, the Senate Intelligence Committee found that I am NOT guilty of conspiracy.” He would be correct in saying that?
Dilanian: Well, except, except that the term not guilty was not really appropriate because they’re not a court of law. That said, Trump will claim vindication through this and he will be partially right…
Okay. Dilanian starts off being fair and balanced. Then it goes down hill. Note that he repeats the word “except.” He offers a weak rationale for why the term “not guilty” is not “really” appropriate. He tells Jackson that the Senate Intelligence Committee is not a court of law.
Then, he says ” Trump will claim vindication through this and he will be partially right…” Partially right? He can’t quite bring himself to say it, can he?
Dilanian then continues speaking. He needs to inform viewers that it’s not quite over after all.
The disagreement comes, though, over the pattern of contacts we’ve all seen and heard about over the last few years, more than 100 contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians. The Democrats say that those are — those remain highly suspicious and that there’s a pattern that still raises questions. But the Republicans say we don’t know in the end what those were, and Richard Burr said publicly look, the motives for those are unclear. We may end up with a report that says you decide, American public, whether there was collusion. Another important fact here, Hallie, is that they are nearing the end of this investigation, we are told. But that once they interview their final witness, it will take another six or seven months to prepare a report. The American public may not see the fruits of this for some time…
They are nearing the end of their fact gathering process. Richard Burr said that. My sources are confirming. There aren’t that many witnesses left to interview for senate investigators. But after they conclude that, then they’re going to sit down and write their report and the Democrats say this report will not be good for Donald Trump. It will question the judgment of many people in the Trump orbit for having the meetings and allowing themselves to be preyed upon by a Russian intelligence operation that sought to interfere in the election and to help Donald Trump. But, again, no direct proof of a conspiracy.
He must keep his viewers hopes (and also his own) alive.
If Trump’s former attorney John Dowd is correct, there may never be a Mueller report. On Tuesday’s radio show, Rush Limbaugh reported:
Dowd said Mueller’s got nothing, is probably not gonna issue a report, and even if he does issue a report, there’s not gonna be anything about Trump in it because there isn’t any collusion. He said this in a podcast that has been reported by ABC News. (Dowd spoke with ABC for the premiere of a new podcast called The Investigation.) ABC News is devastated by this news.
On the podcast, Dowd said:
I know what the case is. There is no case. People in the press say, “Well, they must have some surprise.” He doesn’t have… I know exactly what he has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he has, and I know what the conclusion and result is. There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time. This is one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.
In the meantime, I suppose we must be patient with the Democrats. They’ve experienced a terrible shock. They will wait until Mueller issues his report. That’s the one that counts anyway.