Screengrab via BBC Newsnight/YouTube

Donald Trump goes on furious tweetstorm with first Mueller indictment looming

Is Trump panicking?


Chris Tognotti


Published Oct 29, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 12:56 pm CDT

Less than 48 hours after news broke that independent counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation had secured its first indictment, President Donald Trump sent off a series of angry series of tweets Sunday morning.

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Specifically, Trump echoed the same line advanced repeatedly on Fox News during the previous week, attempting to spin the Hillary Clinton campaign as the true beneficiaries of Russian collusion, blasting his critics and opponents as perpetrating a “witch hunt,” and calling for support from his fellow Republicans. In fact, the tweets included an all-caps plea to the GOP: “DO SOMETHING!”

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Trump then suggested that the investigation is a means to distract from Republican tax cut efforts, seemingly implying that Mueller—a career prosecutor and former FBI director—timed the indictment to interfere with a matter of tax policy.

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The identity of the first person to be indicted through Mueller’s investigation is not yet known, but according to NBC News, a U.S. official believes a public announcement is coming on Monday. While there’s no telling who might ultimately be named, there’s been an immense amount of scrutiny on a number of figures in Trump’s orbit during the past several months.

For example, there’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired from the administration in February amid revelations he’d been working as a paid agent of the Turkish government during the presidential campaign and who had allegedly discussed sanctions with Russia prior to Trump’s inauguration.

There’s also former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. In August, a team of FBI agents executed an early morning raid on his home, reportedly seizing documents and other materials pertinent to the investigation. A report from the Daily Beast on Sunday morning claims the FBI is specifically focused on a series of “suspicious wire transfers” involving Manafort.

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And there’s the president’s eldest son. Donald Trump Jr. was present at a heavily scrutinized June 2016 meeting between a number of Trump campaign figures―including Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner―in which a government-connected Russian lawyer reportedly floated the possibility of providing damaging information about the Clinton campaign. He also helped set up the meeting, telling an intermediary in an email that he ‘loved’ the idea of getting some dirt on Clinton, “especially later in the summer.”

All three have denied wrongdoing, as has the president himself, repeatedly calling the investigation “fake news” and a “ruse.”

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*First Published: Oct 29, 2017, 2:17 pm CDT