For all the attention on Robert Mueller's comments yesterday -- and on Trump's weird, contradictory tweets in response (most notably changing his cry of "No collusion" into "insufficient evidence," which, for the record, is quite a strikingly-different thing...), what most stood out for me is one particular sentence. It was when Mr. Mueller said, or actually,, made a point of"reiterating" that --
"There were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American."
Not only was this the core focus of his investigation -- something lost over time -- but it's a conclusion that supports all the reports from every U.S. intelligence service. And which Trump has repeatedly denied, taking instead the word of Vladimir Putin, the despotic leader of America's major adversary.
But making it all the more weird (although of course, given that this is Trump we're talking about, it's also understandable) is that on the one hand he's tried to claim that the Special Counsel report exonerates and so he insists it's the final word on matters, "Case closed. Thank you," as he puts it. On the other hand, though, he completely ignores this blunt and specific finding by Mueller. Which was the whole point of the Special Counsel's investigation.
Making this all the more important is that this isn't the finding of a crime in the past, but an ongoing activity by Russia, one that we can be absolutely certain will be ratcheted up again in even higher gear for the 2020 election. And despite this strong statement from the intensive Mueller Report -- and let's repeat it for its importance: "There were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American" -- we have silence from Trump. Silence. Crickets chirping. Which bizarrely is almost a good thing, since he's usual comment is denial and believing Russia's side.
But, as has been the case all along, this is not about Trump. We know who he is. This is about the elected officials of the Republican Party. Because they are just as silent about Robert Mueller's statement yesterday. No fire alarms going off. No cries of taking action. Just more enabling of Trump and ultimately of Russia's systematic efforts to interfere in our election.
The allegation does indeed deserve the attention of every American. It sadly raises the question of how concerned today's Republican Party is with that concept.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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