NBC's Ken Dilanian Admits Mueller Report Is 'Complete Vindication of the President'

While many of his colleagues have spread conspiracy theories about the Mueller report and even called it racist, NBC’s Ken Dilanian seemed open to self-reflection, declaring that Robert Mueller offered “a complete vindication of the President.”

Appearing on Kasie DC Sunday night, Dilanian attempted to placate the Trump-haters on the network by noting “this wasn’t the Mueller report we got today, this was the Barr summary of the Mueller report” before speculating about the contents of the Mueller report: “What about all those Russia contacts and the lying? What explains all that? Was the Trump campaign manipulated by a sophisticated covert Russian operation? Were they negligent? Did the FBI warn Donald Trump and did he ignore that warning?”

 

 

But then, Dilanian offered the admission: “those of us and members of the public who placed stock in the idea that this was a criminal case and Robert Mueller was going to prosecute it, we have to acknowledge today that what Robert Mueller found on collusion and conspiracy was a complete vindication of the President.”

Natasha Bertrand -- MSNBC contributor and staff writer for The Atlantic, which endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 -- seemed to disagree with Dilanian’s analysis, expressing profound disappointment with the outcome of the Mueller investigation. Bertrand said that she looked at the Mueller probe as something “completely all encompassing, something…that was really going to investigate every aspect of the President’s ties to Russia.”

Bertrand also talked about how “because the language of the mandate really made it seem as though this was kind of an open-ended probe that Mueller could look into that could really get to the bottom of some of these pressing questions such as was the President compromised by Russia? Is the President compromised by Putin? Were any of his campaign members compromised?”

Bertrand proceeded to explain how the Mueller report did not live up to her expectations: “I think we’re…finally coming to terms with the fact this was a criminal investigation and this was run by prosecutors and it was run by Mueller with a prosecutor’s mindset.” Bertrand seemed to deem Mueller’s “prosecutor’s mindset” insufficient: “that doesn’t really tell me anything about all of the myriad, you know, communications and contacts that the campaign had with Russians during the campaign and the transition period and the President’s continued deference towards Putin throughout his time in office.”

While the Mueller probe may leave many unanswered questions in the minds of members of the liberal media, at least one NBC reporter had the integrity to admit that the Mueller report provided a “complete vindication” for the President when it comes to the collusion narrative.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Sunday’s edition of Kasie DC is below. Click “expand” to read more.

 

Kasie DC

03/24/19

08:04 PM

KASIE HUNT: Ken Dilanian, let’s talk about the collusion piece of this. I know you’re down at a, a very private conference for a lot of the folks you talk to in the national security intelligence world. And I’m just kind of curious as to what you’re picking up from those, those folks as to how they, they’re thinking about this. I mean, this report was pretty clear in saying that there was no evidence of conspiracy or collusion is the word that, you know, we often use here, but there have been a lot of very difficult to understand moves by the President when it comes to Russia.

KEN DILANIAN: To be honest, Kasie, it falls down partisan lines very often. You know, people who were Obama appointees, who have often been skeptical about Donald Trump are finding this hard to understand, as, as many of us are who have covered this investigation for so long because we’ve seen so much public evidence that raised questions. But I think we have to…you know, if we say we have confidence in Robert Mueller, I think we have to state loud and clear that this was a resounding vindication, it wasn’t just, oh, we don’t have enough evidence to file a criminal conspiracy charge, it was we don’t have evidence of coordination with the Russians.

That’s a big deal because for two years we’ve been reporting on things that pointed in that direction and Robert Mueller took a look with the 2800 search warrants, I’m sorry, 2800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and said “no, it’s not there.” Now, at the same time, this is actually…this wasn’t the Mueller report we got today, this was the Barr summary of the Mueller report, we don’t know what Robert Mueller has said, we don’t even know how long his report is on the question of okay, short of a criminal conspiracy, what about Trump’s conduct? What about all those Russia contacts and the lying? What explains all that? Was the Trump campaign manipulated by a sophisticated Russian covert operation? Were they negligent? Did the FBI warn Donald Trump and did he ignore that warning?

Those are all questions that I, that I hope the Mueller report answers and I hope that Congress gets to the bottom of that, and it’s a, it’s a valid question for congressional inquiry. But, you know, those of us and members of the public who placed stock in the idea that this was a criminal case and Robert Mueller was going to prosecute it, we have to acknowledge today that what Robert Mueller found on collusion and conspiracy was a complete vindication of the President.

HUNT: Natasha Bertrand, you have followed this kind of twist for twist and turn for turn down into the, the depths of what we do know about these Trump associates and what ties they do have to Russia. What is, I mean, what’s your take away here as to, you know, what is left that’s still worthy of looking into and what, as Ken says, you know, how the President has been vindicated?

NATASHA BERTRAND: Yeah, so, I think that we, over the last what, two years now, looking at this investigation have looked at it as something completely all encompassing, something that’s really going to, that was really going to investigate every aspect of the President’s ties to Russia, every aspect of his campaign’s communications with Russians, this Russian, that Russian during the campaign, during transition. And we were looking at it also through the lens also of a counter-intelligence investigation because the language of the mandate really made it seem as though this was kind of an open-ended probe that Mueller could look into that Mueller could look into that could really get to the bottom of some of these pressing questions such as was the President compromised by Russia? Is the President compromised by Putin? Were any of his campaign members compromised?

But now, I think we’re, we’re finally coming to terms with the fact this was a criminal investigation and this was run by prosecutors and it was run by Mueller with a prosecutor’s mindset. And so when he says that there was no evidence to, to, to prove really conspiracy charges, to bring conspiracy charges between the campaign and Russia that doesn’t really...or between the campaign and the Russian government, that doesn’t really tell me anything about all of the myriad, you know, communications and contacts that the campaign had with Russians during the campaign and the transition period and the President’s continued deference towards Putin throughout his time in office. So I think that that’s...

HUNT: Well, Mueller, I mean, Mueller did say that there is, you know, that there were multiple overtures, I mean, he says explicitly, and he’s quoted by, by Bill Barr in saying, you know, the Russians tried to talk to the Trump campaign, there was just no evidence that they actually wanted to collude.

BERTRAND: Right. Right. The conspiracy, the grand conspiracy charge that so many people had kind of thought was going to be kind of a neat kind of bow that was going to be wrapped around this entire thing. Well, it turns out, you know, I was chatting with John McLaughlin earlier about this, the former CIA, acting CIA Director, and he said Mueller’s standard for evidence here, the standard to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt is so high and it’s totally different than for example what the CIA considers evidence, that they might put in a report and that they might present to policy makers, right? So we just have to look at it through that lens, I think. I think it is very significant that he was not able to prove that there was coordination between the campaign and the Russian government but at the same time, I think we also have to keep that in mind, that this was from a prosecutor’s standpoint.

Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe MSNBC KasieDC Robert Mueller Ken Dilanian Kasie Hunt Donald Trump Bill Barr
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