A weekly window on the American political scene hosted by the Monitor's politics editors.

As Mueller investigation nears end, Trump sharpens his attacks

Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for the American Farm Bureau Federation's 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans, on Jan. 14, 2019, in Washington.

“They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
President Trump on Thursday tweeted this angry charge against The New York Times. It appears to be the first time he has singled out an individual media organization, by name, for such a serious accusation.
What made the president mad? Likely the paper’s lead story – a lengthy account of Mr. Trump’s unprecedented public attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller and other federal law enforcement investigations into his campaign and administration, and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
It may also reflect the fact that Mr. Mueller’s Russia probe could be close to an inflection point. On Friday, prosecutors are scheduled to file a new sentencing memo for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has been convicted of financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine. In the past, Mueller’s team has used such documents to make public details of their findings – and Mr. Manafort was involved in many of the activities that are main threads of the Russia probe.
NBC’s Pete Williams has reported that a Mueller “final report” could come as early as next week.
Trump believes fervently that offense is the best defense, particularly when it comes to legal troubles. The Times story, which is largely a narrative recap of events, counts more than 1,100 times Trump has publicly attacked the Russia investigation.
The president and his supporters see charges of bias and bad faith as their best weapon to beat back a “deep state” assault that threatens to consume the Trump presidency. In this regard they plan to highlight recent revelations by former FBI official Andrew McCabe that top Justice officials talked about invoking the 25th  Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Mr. McCabe didn’t actually put the 25th  Amendment tidbit in his new book, “The Threat.” It would have been distracting and “inflammatory,” he told The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand. In news interviews, he has portrayed it as an offhand discussion during the internal chaos that followed the firing of ex-FBI Director James Comey.
“It was absolutely crazy. The world was upside down,” he told Ms. Bertrand.
Let us know what you’re thinking at csmpolitics@csmonitor.com.

Why We Wrote This

Believing offense is the best defense, the president is launching charges of media bias and a ‘deep state’ conspiracy in advance of whatever may emerge from the special counsel’s investigation.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to As Mueller investigation nears end, Trump sharpens his attacks
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today