Mueller Report Fades From Political Conversation

Robert Mueller’s Russia report has largely faded from the airwaves less than a month after the former special counsel’s high-profile congressional testimony, a possible warning sign to Democrats that most voters have lost interest in the probe.

Even President Trump has made fewer mentions recently of the investigation that spanned 22 months of his presidency.

During a campaign-style rally in New Hampshire on Thursday, the president did not launch into his once-regular diatribes decrying the Mueller probe as a partisan “witch hunt.” Instead, Trump focused his ire on two Muslim congresswomen — Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — and their thwarted attempt to visit Israel.

Trump is not the only one shifting focus away from the probe, which until recently dominated cable news.

In late July, discussion of Mueller’s investigation and possible impeachment were largely absent as the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates debated each other on issues like health care and who is best positioned to beat Trump in the general election.

Fading public interest in the Mueller probe would be an unwelcome development for House Democrats, particularly as the House Judiciary Committee presses forward with its investigation into possible obstruction and potential abuses of power by the president.

Republican strategists say they also see evidence the president and Democrats are moving away from the Russia probe, arguing that neither party wants to run on the Mueller probe next year.

“Both sides at this juncture think that they don't gain anything electorally from talking about Russia. The Democrats would prefer to put all of their energy into the idea of cultural issues that Trump may be a white supremacist, that's the reason why they're moving off of it,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.

“Trump's moving off of it because he realizes, too, he gains nothing by talking about it. Because the second that Bill Barr and Mueller and everyone basically said he wasn't an agent of Russia, then pretty much the whole storyline ended,” O’Connell added.

Read more from Olivia Beavers at The Hill

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published this page in In The News 2019-08-20 12:30:38 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy