‘We look like a bunch of nerds’: CNN's Smerconish explains why Trump’s talking points on the Mueller report are misleading — yet effective


When Michael Smerconish announced, during the 2008 presidential race, that he was voting for Democrat Barack Obama rather than Republican Sen. John McCain, it was obvious that he wasn’t afraid to be a political wild card on the right. And the Philadelphia-based conservative/libertarian pundit, now with CNN, lived up to his reputation for being unpredictable during a CNN appearance on Friday morning, March 29, when he discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 300-page final report for the Russia investigation and Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of it.

Although Barr has yet to make Mueller’s report public, President Donald Trump and his sycophants at Fox News have been celebrating Barr’s assertion that Mueller did not find sufficient evidence of a 2016 Trump campaign/Russian government conspiracy. But the 57-year-old Smerconish, on Friday morning, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that Trump is “conflating no collusion with no conclusion about obstruction”—although Smerconish stressed that politically, “no collusion” and “total exoneration” are an effective soundbite for the president and his supporters.

Smerconish (who practiced law in Philly before becoming famous in AM talk radio and cable news) told Camerota that although Trump’s “total exoneration” soundbite is inaccurate from a legal standpoint, it is effective as far as rallying his base—and he added that when cable news pundits like himself get into the intricate details of Mueller’s investigation, “We look like a bunch of nerds, picking slow, one by one, and saying, ‘Well, that’s not true. But that’s not true.’ But frankly, the facts are not on their side.”

Smerconish also told Camerota, “I think that (Trump) is involved in a very aggressive attempt at inoculation. And the attempt, Alisyn, is one of convincing his base that they know everything they need to know about those 300 pages based on the four pages that they saw from Bill Barr.”

Early Friday morning, Smerconish was also active on Twitter, asking in an online survey, “By the time the #MuellerReport is released to the public, will its contents matter?”

Smerconish was a registered Republican until 2010, when he said that although he was fiscally conservative, he found the GOP’s emphasis on social conservatism to be divisive and resented GOP purity tests for candidates.

Watch the video below:

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