While most of official Washington is on edge ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report, Trump White House aides are shrugging off the fevered anticipation with a simple message: been there, done that.
Several of President Donald Trump’s aides conceded that the nearly 400-page report, which Attorney General Bill Barr says he’s aiming to release this coming week, will likely include new details about Trump’s behavior that are at a minimum embarrassing.
But they believe they have a powerful shield against renewed Democratic outrage and media scrutiny in the form of the principal conclusions Barr highlighted in a four-page letter three weeks ago—namely that Trump’s 2016 campaign did not collude with the Russian government, nor is there sufficient evidence to prove that Trump obstructed justice.
“This is a report where everybody already knows the outcome,” said David Bossie, Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign manager. Trump, he added, “wants it out. He just wants it out and over with.”
“In 400 pages there’s bound to be something the media will spin as embarrassing for the president and then that will be the story,” said a White House official, “but will it be collusion? Will it be obstruction? Will it be conspiracy? Will it be criminality? No, no, no and no.”