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Trump huddles on Air Force One with Republicans plotting to purge Mueller

The right-wing war on special counsel Robert Mueller continues to escalate, as more Republicans are following the lead of Fox News and suggesting that Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign be terminated. And on Friday, two of the loudest opponents of Mueller were invited onto Air Force One to spend time with Donald Trump. Florida […]

By Eric Boehlert - December 08, 2017
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Donald Trump
Trump boards his airborne echo chamber.

The right-wing war on special counsel Robert Mueller continues to escalate, as more Republicans are following the lead of Fox News and suggesting that Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign be terminated.

And on Friday, two of the loudest opponents of Mueller were invited onto Air Force One to spend time with Donald Trump.

Florida GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Ron DeSantis were scheduled to travel with Trump on Air Force One for his trip to the Sunshine State.

Gaetz has previously described Mueller’s investigation as a “coup” against Trump and has introduced a resolution demanding Congress fire the Republican prosecutor. DeSantis announced the Mueller probe was “very dangerous.”

It’s no coincidence that the collective lashing out comes in the wake of Mueller’s team securing a guilty plea from Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to FBI investigators and who has pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

With the burgeoning criminal probe now posing a serious legal and political threat to Trump’s presidency, and as every single new Russia revelation causes more damage to the GOP, one of the few remaining maneuvers available is to publicly denounce Mueller in the hope that Trump takes the bait and fires him.

“Mueller is corrupt,” Newt Gingrich recently announced on Fox News, which now doubles as a Mueller firing range, as anchors and guests alternately insist the prosecutor is incompetent or a Machiavellian genius who’s orchestrating a far-reaching campaign to undo Trump.

As is often the case, the complete lock-stop rhetoric in recent days from right-wing propaganda outlets, tarring Mueller as a enemy of the state who must be stopped, suggests there’s a coordinated Republican effort underway to smear the prosecutor, a former U.S. Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran who has served Republican administrations in the past.

And all of this means that Trump’s entire ecosystem now includes — exclusively — loud and reckless voices urging him to save America from Mueller’s creeping, tyrannical grip.

Or that Mueller needs to start investigating Hillary Clinton — or something.

There has been some pushback within the GOP. Mike Rogers, who formerly served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, denounced the Fox News and GOP anti-law enforcement rhetoric as “dangerous” and “offensive.”

And even former far-right Republican Congressman Joe Walsh agreed and spoke up for Mueller:

The larger anti-Mueller push isn’t new. A Media Matters for America study found that Fox host Sean Hannity previously called for Mueller to resign or be fired 40 times this year. But the alacrity is certainly new.

And with the Russia investigation posing obvious and growing dangers for Trump and the GOP, the hysteria level continues to ramp up.

And no doubt, that’s what Trump heard on Air Force One on Friday.


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