Check Out These SHOCKING ABC Reactions to Barr Letter; ‘An All Out Win for the President’

Between their two Special Reports and World News Tonight, ABC personalities reacted to the Mueller report findings by repeatedly playing up the unambiguous nature of the day, calling it “an all out win for the President” and that Sunday will go down as an important “moment in our history” that “cemented the trust that millions of Americans have for President Trump.”

So while CNN, MSNBC, and NBC struggled all Sunday afternoon and evening with Attorney General Bill Barr’s letter on the Mueller report’s main findings, ABC News miraculously went about its business. 

 

 

During World News Tonight, weekday anchor and chief legal analyst Dan Abrams provided this stunning conclusion (click “expand,” emphasis mine): 

MUIR: Let’s break this down for folks at home, Dan because the attorney general summary said the special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

ABRAMS: It's an all out win for the President and consistent with what he's been saying since day one. They did find, though, that there was, as we’ve known, a Russian effort to influence the election. That is clear. That is repeated and restated in this report — in this summary. But not any connection with the Trump campaign. 

Rewinding to hours earlier, Abrams and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl underlined the significance of the conclusion by Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about obstruction of justice because of all the criticism that Rosenstein has been subject to by the President and his supporters.

Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas admitted that, despite everything that’s been said about the probe for nearly two years, “what Mueller did in public court was a precursor to what we see in this summary of conclusions.” 

Why? Well, because Trump-Russia collusion was never brought up in court (click “expand”):

One of the things that's remarkable as someone who has covered this for 22 months, in each indictment, we never had a case where Mueller brought before a court and accused any American, anyone associated with Trump with directly conspiring with the Russians. And I was speaking some sources about that and one of the things that some sources said is, look, we never could find that the Russians ever actually put anything in the hands of Trump campaign officials. Even on the Wikileaks issue in terms of the whole question about people associated with the Trump campaign trying to get information with Wikileaks, they never established anything was placed in the hands of Trump campaign officials, George, and I think that was a key issue that at the end of the day what Mueller did in public court was a precursor to what we see in this summary of conclusions, George. 

Showing remarkable sobriety considering what was going on elsewhere in the press, Thomas continued to surprise, telling chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he’s struck by how “this is a complete vindication on the issue of whether there was conspiracy with the Russians for the President and his campaign.” 

But on obstruction, Thomas highlighted the reality that “Mueller does make pretty clear based on this summary that he had some issues with actions that the President took.”

Senior national correspondent Terry Moran promised on March 10 that there would be a “reckoning for the media” if Mueller didn’t find collusion, so Moran appeared to do his best to not make matters worse for his compatriots.

On obstruction, Moran opined that the conclusion leveled by Barr and Rosenstein will make it “difficult” (for folks like House Democrats) to prove the President’s guilt.

“I just think it's going to be difficult doing forward to say a, that there was collusion or B, that you could win an obstruction case,” he added.

Even Stephanopoulos had to concede that “Robert Mueller is backing the President” concerning the hundreds of times Trump told the public that there was “no collusion.” Building off that, Moran responded (click “expand”):

And this is, therefore, a moment in our history, right? Since the President was elected there has been a shadow over this presidency. Some people have looked for it to end because of their belief that somehow his election was illegitimate because of the involvement of Russia. Robert Mueller one of the most respected prosecutors in America exhaustively investigated with the power of subpoena and access to signals intelligence, human intelligence, all kinds of things and he did not find evidence that Trump or members of his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. That is huge. It is something, frankly, that — that Americans should be happy about, that the President was not assisted by Russia. I doubt that's going to happen. But this is a conclusive determination as quoted. This is not Barr's spin. This is Barr quoting directly Robert Mueller. 

Offering his final thoughts, Moran focused on the President’s credibility going forward and the 2020 campaign:

[I]t has cemented the trust that millions of Americans have for President Trump. He said for years there was no collusion, they’re not going to find anything and, in fact, that appears to be what, after this investigation, has happened. For the Democrats, they’ve got all these candidates out there who longer want to fight the battle on — on Russia and Trump. They’ve got their own ideas....There could be tension between the eagerness of House Democrats to investigate the President and some of those campaigns which want positive ideas before the voters[.] 

Later during the second Special Report that included the President’s first on-camera reaction, Karl noted that “[t]he bottom line from the White House perspective” was that the Mueller conclusions were “emphatic.” And therefore, Karl admitted that this “is a big, big win for this President.”

To see the relevant transcript from the ABC News Special Reports on March 24, click “expand.”

ABC News Special Report
March 24, 2019
3:45 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: They're saying we have chose not to prosecute this or not go forward on this not because of the Office of Legal Counsel guidance that a president can’t be indicted, but based on the evidence they have.

DAN ABRAMS: And that's a win for the President. I mean, there's no question. Particularly when you have Rosenstein in there, right? And because we’ve all been talking

STEPHANOPOULOS: He appointed the special counsel in the first place.

ABRAMS: — exactly. Exactly. We’ve been talking so much about Rod Rosenstein. This is someone who has become — you know, has been criticized at length by many on the right who is now saying, along with Attorney General Barr, we do not think there's enough evidence here to move forward with obstruction of justice. 

(....)

3:47 p.m. Eastern

JONATHAN KARL: And as you said, although the special counsel did not make a determination either exonerating or finding the President guilty of obstruction, as far as Rod Rosenstein, top vilified critic — I mean, vilified by many of the President's allies, he and the attorney general have concluded that even if you look at a sitting president someone who can be indicted, there is simply not the evidence to charge him with obstruction of justice.

(....)

3:52 p.m. Eastern

PIERRE THOMAS: That's the deputy attorney general and William Barr, the attorney general concluding that, look, based on the evidence they saw they could not conclude the President of the United States obstructed justice. But George, it goes back to the underlying issue that because they never could prove anyone related to Trump or in the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians at all, that was the guiding point of their analysis on the obstruction of justice issue as well. One of the things that's remarkable as someone who has covered this for 22 months, in each indictment, we never had a case where Mueller brought before a court and accused any American, anyone associated with Trump with directly conspiring with the Russians. And I was speaking some sources about that and one of the things that some sources said is, look, we never could find that the Russians ever actually put anything in the hands of Trump campaign officials. Even on the Wikileaks issue in terms of the whole question about people associated with the Trump campaign trying to get information with Wikileaks, they never established anything was placed in the hands of Trump campaign officials, George, and I think that was a key issue that at the end of the day what Mueller did in public court was a precursor to what we see in this summary of conclusions, George. 

(....)

4:01 p.m. Eastern

TERRY MORAN: And their — their conclusions are based on two veteran prosecutors who know that you have to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt and if the President did not commit a crime, it's going to be difficult and operated within his constitutional authority in firing James Comey, for example, in public, it’s going to be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had a corrupt intent to — to obstruct justice. The tension there — I — Chris Christie I think is right in — in quoting me which is that I don't think someone in Robert Mueller's position, his Eagle Scout sense of his job, staying within the four corners of it, I'm not the guy, I believe he thought, to make this call. I am going to abide from my perspective on that — the Justice Department guidelines that a sitting president can’t be indicted. But ultimately the Attorney General is, you know, is constitutional officer there and that is his call as well. I just think it's going to be difficult doing forward to say a, that there was collusion or B, that you could win an obstruction case. 

(....)

4:03 p.m. Eastern

THOMAS: George, you know, the thing I’m struck is, look, this is a complete vindication on the issue of whether there was conspiracy with the Russians for the President and his campaign. But Mueller does make pretty clear based on this summary that he had some issues with actions that the President took. And — and reading from the summary from Barr it says: “For each of the relevant actions investigated the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as difficult issues of law and fact.” So, there is going to be an intense debate and I'm sure the Democrats are going to push on what was the specific evidence that gave Mueller pause about the actions of the President of the United States. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, they're going to push on that. But, Terry Moran going back to Pierre's original point right there, one of the things we heard from the President — what — 200 something times over the last 22 months? No collusion, no collusion, no collusion. Robert Mueller is backing the President up on that. 

MORAN: And this is, therefore, a moment in our history, right? Since the President was elected there has been a shadow over this presidency. Some people have looked for it to end because of their belief that somehow his election was illegitimate because of the involvement of Russia. Robert Mueller one of the most respected prosecutors in America exhaustively investigated with the power of subpoena and access to signals intelligence, human intelligence, all kinds of things and he did not find evidence that Trump or members of his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. That is huge. It is something, frankly, that — that Americans should be happy about, that the President was not assisted by Russia. I doubt that's going to happen. But this is a conclusive determination as quoted. This is not Barr's spin. This is Barr quoting directly Robert Mueller. 

(....)

4:14 p.m. Eastern

MORAN: Well, it will no question be a main issue in the 2020 campaign and it has cemented the trust that millions of Americans have for President Trump. He said for years there was no collusion, they’re not going to find anything and, in fact, that appears to be what, after this investigation, has happened. For the Democrats, they’ve got all these candidates out there who longer want to fight the battle on — on Russia and Trump. They’ve got their own ideas. They're dreaming big. Big policies that they have for the United States. hey need to get their policies out to the voters. There could be tension between the eagerness of House Democrats to investigate the President and some of those campaigns which want positive ideas before the voters where they might have a better chance now than attacking the President on his character or on his conduct on Russia. 

(....)

4:49 p.m. Eastern

KARL: The bottom line from the White House perspective though, George, that allegation that has hung over this President from the start of his presidency, really from the — from the right after his election victory was the question of collusion with Russian efforts to interfere with the election and this was emphatic, the conclusion according to Attorney General Barr that the special counsel after spending 22 months investigating with unlimited resources found no evidence that anybody on the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in that effort. That is a big, big win for this President. You’re right. He overstates the question of collusion — of obstruction. But even on that question, the special counsel does not find — does not conclude that he did obstruct justice. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: One — one way or the other.

To see the relevant transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on March 24, click “expand.”

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
March 24, 2019
6:11 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Let’s break this down for folks at home, Dan because the attorney general summary said the special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

ABRAMS: It's an all out win for the President and consistent with what he's been saying since day one. They did find, though, that there was, as we’ve known, a Russian effort to influence the election. That is clear. That is repeated and restated in this report — in this summary. But not any connection with the Trump campaign. 

MUIR: A Russian effort, but no coordination with the Trump campaign.

NB Daily Mueller Report Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe ABC World News Tonight Video Government & Press Robert Mueller George Stephanopoulos Terry Moran Pierre Thomas Jonathan Karl Dan Abrams Donald Trump Bill Barr
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