The Mueller stories worth ignoring
President Trump arrives yesterday with First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Pence at the funeral of the Rev. Billy Graham in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images
There's a contagion of Washington coverage that isn't worthy of your time. The stories sound dramatic but tell you little, if anything.
Be smart: Jonathan Swan emails me: "The very important collective impact of this reporting is that it could make Trump more angry than ever about the probe."
See if you can spot the pattern:
- "Source: Mueller looking into what Hicks knows." (CNN)
- "Mueller asking if Trump knew about hacked Democratic emails before release." (NBC)
- "Mueller asking about Trump's Russia business deals and Miss Universe pageant." (Newsweek)
- "Mueller team asks about Trump's Russian business dealings as he weighed a run for president." (CNN)
- "Mueller looking at Ivanka Trump's interaction with Russian lawyer at Trump Tower." (The Hill)
Why it doesn't matter: All we know is what yappy witnesses tell reporters they were asked about.
- News flash: Mueller is looking at everything.
- That's his job. When he was named, he was empowered/instructed to look into the "FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters." That there is a broad mandate.
- This gives us literally zero insight into what the special counsel is actually doing and thinking.
- These kernels aren't from Mueller's office: We've seen time and again (and again) that his office is one of Washington's few leak-free zones.
- Yes, it looks bad. Based on conversations with White House insiders, I can tell you they're more bearish than ever about the outcome. But we're all guessing.
The bottom line: Here's one headline that's true: "Expect more ‘surprises’ from Mueller probe, former crusading prosecutor says."
- And expect plenty more "scoops" about what Mueller is asking gabby witnesses.