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HORIST: Mueller is less popular than Trump

HORIST: Mueller is less popular than Trump

In a recent poll, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation have a lower favorable rating than President Trump.  That is big news, but do not expect to see it widely reported in the elitist east coast media.

It was, however, mentioned briefly on CNN since it was their poll that showed that confidence in the Mueller probe had dropped from an already unimpressive 48 percent at the beginning of the year to just 41 percent today – and it is still trending downward.  CNN spun the figures as support for their narrative that Trump’s criticism – that they call “attacks” – on the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion with the campaign is having an untoward effect on the opinions of we the people –  viewed by the anti-Trump media as a basket of low information deplorables.  

The media narrative is based on a specious allegation that Trump’s complaints are without justification – and that President is undermining the integrity of a fair and necessary investigation – and even the integrity of the entire American justice system … no … the very foundations of the republic.  And also, on an assumption that Americans less intelligent than them are being fooled.  In other words, that very large portion of the American public that does not fully subscribe to the persistent and dubious #NeverTrump narratives of the Big Seven (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC New York Times and Washington Post) are a bunch of dupes.

The left-leaning media determines intelligence on a simple dichotomy.  Agree with them and you are intelligent in their mind.  Disagree with them and you are not only stupid, but of low moral and ethical standards.  Actually – and unfortunately for all those elitists who slander the commoner — we are a lot smarter than they think.  

People do not have to have advanced degrees to have common sense and the ability to comprehend complex issues that affect their lives.  On a personal note, my mother used to say of some people that “all they know is what they read in books” and that was not meant as a compliment.  She recognized that difference between being educated and being smart.  Arrogant elitists fail to comprehend that distinction.

Since I do not reside in either the core of the Big Apple or inside the Beltway, where truth, common sense and logic are in short supply, perhaps I can explain why the public is losing confidence in the Mueller investigation – and why Trump’s constant criticisms, as overly repetitious as they may be, have an increasing credibility. 

In general, we see more than one investigation going on.  Under the liberal interpretation of the authorization letter creating the Special Counsel, Mueller can probably investigate scofflaws in San Francisco.  The Russia meddling probe has two prongs – spreading campaign-related chaos through social and mass media.  That has resulted in the indictments of a bunch of Russian oligarchs and companies.  That indictment specifically stated that no Americans were involved.

Then there is the issue of investigations unrelated to the campaign.  These have to do with the past business dealings of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.  There is a hope in the anti-Trump media that these might embroil Trump and lead to an impeachment.  But, they have nothing to do with Russian meddling.

Then there is that portion of the investigation that leads to indictment or guilty pleas by Rick Gates, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos.  While these may have occurred during the Russian investigation, we have no idea what the lies were about.

The other Russia investigation is the hot topic.  Was there criminal collusion (conspiracy) between Russia and the Trump campaign – including the President, himself?  This is the portion of the investigation that Trump calls a “witch hunt.”  He has already conceded that the Russians meddled in the election – a public statement that is never resurrected by the media — as have the heads of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies headed by his appointees.  They are working diligently on the problem – another fact conveniently ignored by most of the media.

One of the reasons public confidence in the propriety of the probe has declined is that in more than a year and a half, nothing has yet been found.  Granted, the Mueller investigation is not yet completed, the fact that no evidence of criminal collusion has leaked out to the media strongly suggests that there is no there, there.

We also recall that before the appointment of Mueller, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe confided to then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that there was no evidence of collusion with the campaign. Trump was told the same thing by then-FBI Director James Comey. The fact that none of these people would say so publicly is what led to Trump’s frustration. Had that issue been resolved at that point, all this controversy might have been avoided.

More than a year after those conversations, the shadow of suspicion has been kept alive by Democrats and their media allies – without a scintilla of evidence, we should note.  All those Russian meetings – some merely social encounters – amount to nothing.  They are not illegal, and they are not even unusual for people with business interests around the world or for people about to assume the country’s top executive offices.

What has caused the declining confidence of the American public in the Mueller probe is not Trump’s complaints in and of themselves.  A major reason has been the revelations about the investigation.  The first was the packing of the investigative team with partisan Democrats.  It is just not credible or common sense to argue that they can or do leave their partisan biases aside.  The fact that Peter Strzok had to be fired from the investigation team for his strong anti-Trump bias is significant.  Others may not have been as indiscreet in expressing such animus toward the President, but it is not unreasonable to believe it exists.  

The fact that Mueller has been a lifelong Republican is irrelevant to whether he has an anti-Trump bias.  After all, he has been part of the Republican Washington establishment that now despises Trump.

The Strzok text messages and emails are particularly troubling because he intimated that forces within the FBI have the desire and ability to prevent Trump’s election and later to prevent Trump from completing his four-year term of office.  It is increasingly clear that there was a cabal of FBI, White House and intelligence officials with unusually strong discontent over the election of Trump.  There is increasing evidence that there were either independent or coordinated efforts to derail Trump’s election – and to undermine his presidency after his election.

The fact that Comey, McCabe and Strzok conducted themselves improperly, and perhaps illegally, is evidence of a corruption at the top of the FBI unlike anything since J. Edgar Hoover ruled over the agency with despotic authority.  As FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in his report, the misconduct at the top of the agency has damaged the integrity of the FBI.  While the report focused on the mishandling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, it is not unreasonable to note that the same bad actors were in charge of pushing the Mueller investigation out of a disdain for Trump.

Then there is the new issue of the meeting between a man named Henry Greenberg — a person with alleged ties to Russia — and sometimes Trump advisor Roger Stone in which a request was made for $2 million dollars for “dirt on Hillary.”  That offer was rejected out of hand by Stone.  The fact that Greenberg has been a longtime friend and paid informant for the FBI raises the question of entrapment.  Did the FBI send Greenberg to make the offer in hopes the bait would be swallowed up and lead to meetings higher up the campaign food chain?

Regarding the question of those other investigations unrelated to Russian meddling, I believe there is a feeling that those came about because Mueller was not investigating an alleged crime but investigating to find a crime at any cost (tens of millions of dollars) and over any length of time.  That approach may come the closest to Trump’s claim of a witch hunt.

Even Trump’s critics seem to be giving up on proving campaign collusion with Russian actors, so they are hoping that an obstruction of justice case can be made – or that a perjury trap can be sprung on Trump.  Without the evidence of criminal collusion, it would be very dangerous to try to push Trump out of office on secondary charges.  That would lead to an enormous public backlash.  Push secondary charges when there is a failure to find criminality on the main issue runs contrary to the public’s sense of fair play.  Such charges are more popular to the prosecutorial community than they are with we the people.

What is bringing down Mueller’s confidence and popularity with the public is not the rants of the President, but the growing volume of evidence of partiality, bias and misconduct within the investigative community.  Unless Mueller can come up with a real “smoking gun” – not just something the Democrats and media will attempt to spin as a “smoking gun” – confidence in the Mueller probe is likely to continue its downward trend.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

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