Even as many in the media admitted defeat, after the Special Counsel report revealed no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, the hosts of ABC’s The View refused to concede this whole charade over collusion was over. Co-host Sunny Hostin expressed the table’s sentiment the best, gushing, “We don’t know anything [yet]!”
“I'm reluctant to talk about it at all because we [the public] don't know anything,” Hostin said to start the show, Monday. Fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg agreed. “We know what's in that four-page memo. That's all we know.”
Hostin continued denying reality, raising a conspiracy theory that the Attorney General William Barr was purposely hired to protect Trump. Her co-conspirator Joy Behar claimed the AG had “auditioned” to clear Trump:
SUNNY HOSTIN:We only know what's in this four-page memo written by the Attorney General that was selected by President Trump. That's all that we know. [applause]
JOY BEHAR: To that point, didn't Barr sort of audition for the job. Before he was even hired he said there is no basis for obstruction of justice. This is what the Attorney General said before he even got the job. That's why he got the job.
“So that's what makes me very uncomfortable about this,” Hostin continued, detailing the breadth and scope of the investigation. She mentioned the indictments (unrelated to Russia collusion) as some sort of evidence that collusion was still on the radar. A frustrated Hostin ranted that the investigation was not over and Trump couldn’t claim victory:
Many, many people -- cases are still being handled by the Southern District of New York, and we have not seen this report! So I think everybody needs to pump the brakes when we talk about this being a huge victory for this administration because there has been a complete lack of transparency here. So you know, the suggestion somehow that this is over and there's an exoneration, I just don’t, I really think we need to take a beat here.
The right-leaning hosts, who spent the entire last week going off about Trump attacking John McCain, were reluctant to give Trump credit now. Meghan McCain did admit, however, that the media was in trouble and this could even help Trump get re-elected:
“Trumpers love this. And by the way, this could get him re-elected. The media getting way out ahead of their skis on this and saying its collusion, that he’s a Russian spy--” she began as her liberal peers grumbled in disagreement.
“Well this is round one of this boxing match right now so let's just hold up,” Joy Behar griped.
Equally in denial Whoopi Goldberg claimed this was only “four seconds of findings” and that more might come out.
Afterwards, the hosts talked remotely with ABC News White House Correspondent Jon Karl. Karl also criticized Trump for saying that he was exonerated but admitted the media made “significant mistakes in some of their reporting.” Overall though, he was reluctant to say the media had an agenda behind their reporting:
"I think that there were some significant mistakes in some of the reporting, but I also think this is a huge story,” Karl said, comparing the investigation to Watergate.
The allegations couldn't have been more high stakes, the idea of a foreign power potentially colluding with a presidential candidate. Now, it turned out that was not the case but there were significant steps along the way. There was a major criminal investigation here. How could reporters not cover that and cover it aggressively and consistently?