Watch Mary Katharine Ham Trigger CNN Panelists, Viewers on Mueller’s Collusion Findings

Let the record show that this post comes with an explicit trigger warning for those who belong to the unofficial Adam Schiff and Chris Cuomo School of Thought that the President, his campaign, and supporters still colluded with Russia. 

During Thursday’s The Lead, CNN political commentator Mary Katharine Ham deflated more than a few balloons when pointing out that she’s “happy to talk about” Attorney General Bill Barr’s letter on the Mueller report “because...it’s very good news for America” that the President “did not collude with a hostile foreign government.”

 

 

Ham added to the dismay of her colleagues that it’s also “very good news that he was not a foreign asset, that he is the duly-elected President of the United States” and “[w]hether you voted for him or not, that's good news for our country and our system of government.”

She also took direct aim at her critics that might accuse her of having “set the bar too low” and come away “excited that he didn’t collude” and demolished the haters by noting that “those same people forget how dead certain they were last week that Robert Mueller, the gold standard investigator, after two years of exhaustive investigation, was going to find that these bad and, in fact, treasonous things were true about the President but he didn't.”

After emphasizing that she’s still looking forward to seeing the whole report, she buried those who lept to conclusions over the past two years and argued why her skepticism was the way to go (click “expand”):

But I think there were some who fervently hoped to a different end to this and I say that based on throughout this ride, the side eye, occasional hostility — hey, Twitter — that I got for merely expressing uncertainty or caution or, in fact, that we should measure the credibility of our public servants like even John Brennan, who it turned out wasn’t that credible. We should, of course, we should measure that against the President, who isn't that credible as well, which we've done ad nauseam. But now that the news is the adversaries of the President can go about the business of beating him in an election if that’s what they want to do, which is a more healthy indulgence than the past two years or they can spin conspiracy theories about this or they can move on to the next theory at which point, open to evidence once again, but since circumspection and caution has served me well for the last two years, I will be bringing them to the next conversation as well. 

Fill-in host Brianna Keilar immediately tried to restore order with the help of senior political analyst Ron Brownstein (click “expand”):

KEILAR: [T]he top lines have to do with collusion and obstruction and if you — if you trust Bill Barr and you trust that quote that he pulled, then you believe that collusion is, that's a shut case.....But when it comes to the obstruction piece, the Mueller report did not exonerate him. He punted to Bill Barr, who made the decision along with Rod Rosen — right — well this is — 

BROWNSTEIN: We don’t even know if he punted to Bill Barr. He may have been punting to Congress and Bill Barr may have chosen to leave it to himself.

KEILAR: — correct. And to that point — and to that point Speaker Pelosi said, because Bill Barr wrote this four-page summary, Speaker Pelosi said that it was condescending and arrogant that he wrote that summary for Congress, maybe if he was punting to congress instead. The Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said it's unacceptable that Barr won't commit to making public the Mueller report. Do you believe that this report is coming out one way or another? 

Qatari-funded hack Medhi Hasan from The Intercept responded that “[w]e’ve seen 64 words out of what we're now being told is a 300-page report” and whined from the left that this liberal media have “helped Trump portray as a victory because we’re told about the Mueller report as if we’ve read a Mueller report” even though “[n]obody has read a Mueller report.”

Hasan later demanded the President apologize for having skepticism about Russian interference in the election because one of the Mueller report’s conclusion found that it did indeed happen in the form of a disinformation campaign plus computer hacking.

Before Ham’s takedown, Brownstein should have been wearing a tin-foil hat when he claimed that, citing CBS and CNN poll results from the American people about the Mueller report, it’s “a logical response” to not accept the Barr letter’s excerpts from the Mueller team that the President didn’t collude with Russia.

Okay, Ron. You do that.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Lead on March 28, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Lead
March 28, 2019
4:05 p.m. Eastern

RON BROWNSTEIN: So, you know, the — the revelation today that it's at least 300 pages long, I mean, probably helps explain the poll results that we've seen in the last couple of days, CNN poll and CBS poll that a very small percentage of Americans say this is the end of the story, that, you know, Trump has been cleared of all the questions raised about him, which is a logical response. I mean, we had a four-page summary of a report that's over 300 pages. 300 pages — you know, it can’t just be — “okay, there was nothing here, folks. That's it.” I mean, there’s — there’s to be, obviously, a lot of evidence and information on a lot of different questions that people have and I think until Americans see all of that, the cloud will not be fully dispelled over the White House. 

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Look, I'm on board for as much of the Mueller report coming out as humanly possible partly cause we paid for it. But I'm also happy to talk about this story because it is good news. It's very good news for America that he did not collude with a hostile foreign government to become the president. It’s very good news that he was not a foreign asset, that he is the duly-elected President of the United States. Whether you voted for him or not, that's good news for our country and our system of government. And I think, look, some people will say you set the bar too low, Mary Katharine. You’re very excited that he didn’t collude. I didn't set that bar. I think those same people forget how dead certain they were last week that Robert Mueller, the gold standard investigator, after two years of exhaustive investigation, was going to find that these bad and, in fact, treasonous things were true about the President but he didn't. And those are the top lines and I look forward to learning more. But look, I supported this investigation throughout and I'm excited to hear not only the top lines but the rest of it. But I think there were some who fervently hoped to a different end to this and I say that based on throughout this ride, the side eye, occasional hostility — hey, Twitter — that I got for merely expressing uncertainty or caution or, in fact, that we should measure the credibility of our public servants like even John Brennan, who it turned out wasn’t that credible. We should, of course, we should measure that against the President, who isn't that credible as well, which we've done ad nauseam. But now that the news is the adversaries of the President can go about the business of beating him in an election if that’s what they want to do, which is a more healthy indulgence than the past two years or they can spin conspiracy theories about this or they can move on to the next theory at which point, open to evidence once again, but since circumspection and caution has served me well for the last two years, I will be bringing them to the next conversation as well. 

BRIANNA KEILAR: And the — you mentioned the top lines. We — the top lines have to do with collusion and obstruction and if you — if you trust Bill Barr and you trust that quote that he pulled, then you believe that collusion is, that's a shut case. Right? 

HAM: Correct. 

KEILAR: But when it comes to the obstruction piece, the Mueller report did not exonerate him. He punted to Bill Barr, who made the decision along with Rod Rosen — right — well this is — 

BROWNSTEIN: We don’t even know if he punted to Bill Barr. He may have been punting to Congress and Bill Barr may have chosen to leave it to himself.

KEILAR: — correct. And to that point — and to that point Speaker Pelosi said, because Bill Barr wrote this four-page summary, Speaker Pelosi said that it was condescending and arrogant that he wrote that summary for Congress, maybe if he was punting to congress instead. The Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said it's unacceptable that Barr won't commit to making public the Mueller report. Do you believe that this report is coming out one way or another? 

MEHDI HASAN: It's definitely not coming out in full. It’s not coming out any time soon. We've seen 64 words out of what we're now being told is a 300-page report. I think the media framing has helped Trump portray as a victory because we’re told about the Mueller report as if we’ve read a Mueller report. Nobody hasn’t read a Mueller report. Nancy Pelosi hasn't read the Mueller report. I doubt Donald Trump has read the Mueller report. 

KEILAR: We understand he has not read a Mueller report.

HASAN: He is saying complete exoneration for himself, even though from what we know from the Mueller report it’s not an — Mueller specifically said it's not exoneration, so Trump is already lying. He’s going to tell a few more at the rally, I'm sure. Just to come back to your point, I agree with you that the bar was set too low by his opponents, there’s no doubt about that. John Brennan and others putting their eggs in that basket. Having said that though, when you talk about beating him in a fair election, what Mueller did say is that the Russians interfered in this election, and Donald Trump told us for the last two years that they didn't. He stood next to Vladimir Putin and said I trust Putin. Why would he? Why should I — why should I not accept his denials. He said it might be a 400-pound hacker on a bed. How about an apology from Donald Trump for getting that story completely wrong in a Russian attack on the U.S. democracy that’s now being confirmed by Mueller? It’s funny how we’re cherry picking Mueller, depending on where we are. 

NBDaily 2016 Presidential Mueller Report Russia Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN The Lead Video Government & Press Ron Brownstein Robert Mueller Mehdi Hasan Brianna Keilar Mary Katharine Ham Donald Trump Bill Barr
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