ABC’s Jon Karl on Thursday seems to think he knows better than Robert Mueller when it comes to collusion. Despite the fact that the report concluded no collusion, Karl tried to explain how it could still exist. Regarding material that had only been released an hour earlier, he began, “There's significant material in here we did not know on the question of collusion. Now, of course, there's no finding that anyone in the Trump campaign was guilty of a criminal conspiracy in terms of dealing with the Russians on this.”
After reading from the report, Karl noted, “Ultimately, the conclusion here in this special counsel is it did not rise to the level of a violation of the law.” Karl, who is not a lawyer, declared, “But there is significant contact here. You might even say collusion.”
According to the Attorney General on Thursday, “There was no evidence of the Trump campaign’s collusion of the Russian government’s hacking.”
Karl isn’t the only one living in another world. On MSNBC, Wednesday, Chuck Todd described the “actual collusion” by the Trump administration when it comes to the Mueller report.
A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
ABC live coverage
JOHN KARL: One other thing I don't want to lose sight of in this report is we're talking a lot about the obstruction of justice case. There's significant — there's significant material in here we did not know on the question of collusion. Now, of course, there's no finding that anyone in the Trump campaign was guilty of a criminal conspiracy in terms of dealing with the Russians on this. But the chapter on collusion shows significant contact between people on the Trump campaign and the Russians. Look at page 33 dealing with the Russian disinformation campaign that was a critical part of their effort to meddle in the election. The company, of course, is IRA, the Internet Research Agency, the Russian company that was doing this. Mueller writes, “Posts from IRA controlled Twitter accounts were retweeted by multiple trump associates including Donald Trump Jr, Eric Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, who is the chairman for the reelection campaign and Michael Flynn.” There was even a section here where the President's personal account responded the a tweet from one of these Russian accounts. So, the Russians were attempting to interfere with the U.S. election in part by spreading disinformation through this internet company and they were finding some cooperation on the part, maybe it’s unwitting cooperation. But they were getting help in that effort by people in the Trump campaign were further disseminating this disinformation coming directly from the Russians.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And one of the points made there, because he does — Robert Mueller from what we’ve seen so far, the report, does seems to hang a lot on the fact that they didn't knowingly engage in this. Perhaps members of the Trump campaign were protected from their own inexperience and ignorance of the law.
KARL: Yeah. Not realizing what they were doing was directly coming from the Russians. If they did, not realizing this would be a violation of the law. The violation is the presidential campaign cannot accept something of value from a foreign source. Ultimately, the conclusion here in this special counsel is it did not rise to the level of a violation of the law. But there is significant contact here, you might even say collusion, George. Because, again, collusion is not the crime. The crime is conspiracy to break a law.