'Fills me with disgust': Ex-Republican blasts the 'morally bankrupt' GOP's reaction to the Mueller report

News & Politics

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report is a devastating deconstruction of President Donald Trump's behavior and the dozens of acts he carried out of the course of the Russia investigation that could constitution obstruction of justice. But you wouldn't know that from looking at Republicans' reactions.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), notably, said he felt "sickened" after reading the report, but falsely said it found "insufficient evidence" to charge the president with obstruction. In fact, it laid out the case of obstruction in numerous instances in persuasive detail.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said only that it was an "unflattering portrayal." Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), in absurd understatement, said Trump “has a brash demeanor, that’s about all I can say.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said nothing at all about the obstruction effort, and instead only attacked the U.S. intelligence agencies and the media.

And, as Washington Post columnist and ex-Republican Max Boot recounts, right-wing media has been even worse. All of Trump's favorite news outlets are declaring the report a complete exoneration for the president, despite, again, the fact that it lays out the case for obstruction of justice on numerous acts.

"I am not remotely surprised by the party’s dishonorable and dishonest reaction to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report," wrote Boot. "But I am nevertheless dismayed and disgusted that a once-great party — to which I belonged for most of my life — could become a handmaiden to foreign attacks on the United States and blatant lawbreaking by the president."

He continued:

Mueller uncovered not only extensive connections between the Trump campaign and Russia but also extensive evidence of lying and obstruction of justice by the president. As former attorney general Eric Holder noted, “ANY competent public corruption prosecutor would bring obstruction charges against Trump and win.” Only the Justice Department position that a president can’t be indicted saved Trump — for now.

Boot concluded that the GOP's responses to Mueller's report are classic examples of "how morally bankrupt people talk. If a latter-day Diogenes were wandering around Washington, lamp in hand, looking for an honest Republican — well, he would be in for a looooong walk."

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