The spin stops here. At least it should

Here’s a quick look at what happens next.
Here’s a quick look at what happens next.

“Witch hunt.” “No collusion.” Tweet. Screech. Repeat.

President Trump did his diabolical best to tell the public what to think about the investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller long before its much-anticipated release.

Now that it’s out, the spin stops here. At least, it should.

Finally, it’s the public’s turn to decide what it all means. That means getting the fullest possible access to the report that Mueller released after a nearly two-year investigation.

“I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” Attorney General William Barr wrote to House and Senate Judiciary leaders. But Barr’s take on Mueller’s conclusion isn’t the whole story. And it shouldn’t give Trump and his supporters a head start on more spin.


As soon as possible, Americans deserve to read for themselves what Mueller discovered.

SCOT LEHIGH: Thank you, Robert Mueller, you did a great service for America

Once they do, will Mueller’s findings be the game changer Democrats and other Trump critics desperately want them to be? Will the Mueller report transform Trump from someone who could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose voters into a truly vulnerable president at risk of impeachment and removal from office?

No one knows. But it’s a high bar to cross, given Trump’s relentlessly anti-Mueller messaging and the willingness of his supporters to accept a president who operates in a near-constant state of mind best described as unhinged.

His approval rating has been going up and is almost 42 percent. Politico just predicted a landslide Trump win in 2020. He can launch despicable attacks on the late Senator John McCain. He can reverse sanctions on North Korea because he “likes” Kim Jong Un, the country’s young ruthless dictator. Trump’s supporters cheer him on and his fellow Republicans won’t cross him, because they fear their own election loss more than they fear the complete loss of principle and backbone.


Trump’s supporters merely shrug over what has come out so far.

Russians hacking the Democratic National Committee and the e-mail account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager? No big deal. Links between Trump’s campaign and Russia? Who cares?

EDITORIAL: Let the public read the report

The indictments of 34 people on a total of 199 counts of criminal violations? Not enough to move the dial either, even though those caught in Mueller’s investigative net include Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn; his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; former political adviser Roger Stone; and Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

So far, Trump has been able to keep enough degrees of separation between himself and those charged by Mueller. And remember, he only submitted written answers and never sat for an interview, further insulating himself from culpability.

All the while, he drove the same message about Mueller’s investigation:

“Witch hunt.” “No collusion.” Tweet. Screech. Repeat.

We will soon find out if Trump did enough to protect himself from Mueller’s actual findings. And we will find out something about this country. Will reaction break along the same, old predictable, partisan divide? Will one side shrug and the other go ballistic, no matter what the conclusions?


The only way to find out is to give it to us straight. Let the outrage rise or fall on the basis of fact, not spin.

Joan Vennochi can be reached at vennochi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Joan_Vennochi.