95°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Trump team, unburdened by Mueller probe, now turn to critics

Updated March 25, 2019 - 6:32 pm

WASHINGTON— The Trump White House and Republican allies moved from claiming vindication after they learned Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion between Russian actors and the Trump 2016 campaign to calling out critics who they say should be held accountable for a high-stakes investigation they contend should not have happened.

President Donald Trump voiced general complaints about the length and pace of the $25 million investigation, but left the naming of names to his aides.

The Trump campaign also sent out a memo to TV news networks that named six high-profile Trump critics who made “outlandish, false claims” about Trump campaign collusion with Russians during the 22-month probe. Campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh suggested producers re-think booking Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan.

If they do book these critics, Murtaugh suggested, networks should air their false comments and “challenge them to provide evidence.”

“The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump,” countered Swalwell. “If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”

“The last I checked,” former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told the Review-Journal, you can be a former intelligence official and “you’re allowed to have an opinion.”

“I would caution people on the Trump side not to get carried away with irrational exuberance,” Harlow added.

On Monday morning, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway took on Schiff singularly when she told Fox News that the California congressman “ought to resign today” in light of his assertions that he had seen “evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Schiff has contended that a June 2016 meeting between a Russian attorney and top members of the Trump campaign at the Trump Tower showed “clear evidence of an attempt to collude.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy later told Politico that he thought Schiff should resign from his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.

Using the hashtag #FullOfSchiff, Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that it might be embarrassing to have spent “the last two years as the leader of the tinfoil hat brigade and have it all come crashing down so quick. I’m legitimately concerned for his mental state.”

Perhaps the strongest denunciation came from press secretary Sarah Sanders, who faulted “Democrats and the liberal media” for “trying to take down the president” and delegitimize his 2016 victory at the ballot box with “breathless reporting.”

“If Congress is gung-ho to call people up to the Hill,” the list I would start with are (former FBI Chief Jim) Comey, (former Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper, (former CIA chief John) Brennan, and other people in the FBI who perpetuated this absurd lie and this absurd idea that the president of the United States was somehow a foreign agent and colluding with another government.”

Trump frequently has tweeted that FBI officials who opposed him were willing to use the probe as an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency, as FBI agent Peter Strzok texted to his then-lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

While Democrats demanded a release of the full Mueller report, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham held a press conference at which he called for a special counsel to look into whether a dossier, funded by Democratic donations, was the genesis of the FBI probe into Russian malfeasance.

Graham also derided a double standard that, for example, led journalists to downplay the role of the Democrats’ dossier.

GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alice Stewart agreed with Graham on media bias. “They had their hopes on something so damning and it just wasn’t there,” Stewart said of news reporters.

“The Democrats have to recognize that the investigation is complete. There was no wrongdoing found,” Stewart observed. “And move on.”

She also cautioned Republicans, “As much as the American people were not concerned about the Mueller probe, they’re certainly not going to be concerned about the origin of the Mueller probe.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.
Clark County commissioner calls on landlords to bring properties up to code
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom has called on landlords in older parts of the valley to bring their properties up to code and keep them well-maintained or face the prospect of inspections, fines and citations. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Harry Reid speaks out against anti-Semitism
Unnerved by the rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and the general pervasiveness of bigotry, including in Nevada, former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid organized an educational forum at UNLV on Thursday as part of his call to unite people against it. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and updated on Israeli relations. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump says border wall will have 'hundreds of miles' built by end of next year
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and discussed the progress of the border wall and the current relations there. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Protesters disrupt Trump's speech
Just as President Donald Trump started to make his opening remarks during his appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting, protesters disrupted his speech. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roerink On The Problems With Taking Water From Eastern Nevada - Video
The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to take billions of gallons of water that doesn’t exist from Eastern Nevada via a pipeline that would cost ratepayers $15 billion. Doing so would devastate the wildlife and people who live there. That’s according to Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, which opposes the pipeline.
Las Vegas Election Night Wrap-Up
The Review-Journal's Politics and Government Editor, Steve Sebelius, wraps up election night. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Olivia Diaz Speaks To Ward 3 Supporters After Primary Election - Video
Olivia Diaz speaks to her supporters at a election party after results started coming in for the Ward 3 primaries.
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (edited)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife, Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (Full)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Gun Debate Shows Limits Of Government - Video
On Monday, the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on Assembly Bill 291. It would ban bump stocks and allow local governments to pass additional restrictions on firearms.
Lucy Flores speaks out about Biden incident
Former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, expresses her feelings about an incident with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Harry Reid takes the stand in injury lawsuit
Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took the stand on Thursday in the product liability lawsuit brought against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
THE LATEST
Kellyanne Conway will skip Hatch Act hearing

Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Trump, won’t testify at a hearing called to examine the Office of Special Counsel’s recommendation that she be fired for engaging in political activity while working as a federal employee.

9/11 first responders say McConnell pledges vote on bill

The meeting came two weeks after comedian Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, offered withering criticism of Congress at a public hearing.

Fed chairman says economy facing growing uncertainties

Jerome Powell said the Fed is now grappling with the question of whether those uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and require action.

US government investigates poultry price-fixing claims

The suit claims the companies shared information through a third-party data firm and restricted supply by destroying breeder hens on several occasions.