On his radio program Thursday, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh offered a one-sentence summary of the 400+ page final report by Robert Mueller that took two years to compile: "We found no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, period, and we don’t have enough to say that there was any obstruction of justice." But, Limbaugh suggested, the media just can't handle that straightfoward and "disappointing" of a conclusion. Instead, they're dead set on finding something in the report to keep the collusion/obstruction narratives going. And thus far they've found two passages — both of which, Limbaugh argued, are being distorted to spread more fake news.
The first headline-grabbing quote that CNN and others are using to paint a false picture about what the report actually reveals, said Limbaugh, is Trump exclaiming when he first learned that the special counsel was appointed: "Oh my god. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm f***ed."
"Well, now, you can imagine how that is going to be analyzed and amplified on," said Limbaugh, shifting into his mock-media voice: "'Well! (sputtering) That obviously means Trump knew he was guilty. It obviously meant the inspector was going to get to the bottom of it and that was the end of his presidency.'"
"Again, Robert Mueller concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — and about that, he is perfectly clear," said Limbaugh. "Trump is exonerated on the collusion business. There isn’t and wasn’t any. ... But why put [the Trump quote] in the report? Precisely to feed these appetites that Mueller knows the media is going to have."
After putting himself in Trump's place and wondering aloud how he would respond to what sure looks like a "set up" and "frame" job, Limbaugh provided more context to Trump's much-reported F-bomb exclamation.
"Now, here’s what Trump actually said about the appointment of the special counsel," said Limbaugh. He then quoted directly from the report: "The president returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, ‘Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worse thing that ever happened to me.'"
"That’s what he said, not the way CNN is excerpting it. 'Oh, my God. I’m screwed! Aw, jeez,' as though the independent counsel’s gonna catch him in illegalities," said Limbaugh. "Trump was not talking about that. He was talking about how these investigations paralyze presidents. ... Folks, this is so damned despicable, I’m having trouble not being profane here today. ... CNN is saying the president acknowledged that the special counsel being appointed screws his presidency. They are attempting to conclude here that Trump was guilty and the special counsel was gonna find the guilt and that Trump knew it! They’re doing this specifically to counter the conclusion that there was no collusion!"
Rush later highlighted a second passage from the report that the media are trying to turn into some sort of bombshell.
"The Drive-By Media also seizing on the part of the Mueller report where it says — I’m paraphrasing here — 'if we had confidence Trump didn’t obstruct justice, we would so state,'" said Limbaugh. "Now, stop and think of that for a second. 'If we had confidence Trump didn’t obstruct justice, we would so state.' There you have it. That is a made-to-order morsel for these loon brains at CNN and MSNBC and everybody else in the Drive-By Media to pick up and run off with."
"In other words, even though they couldn’t find a single example of Trump obstructing justice, they aren’t sure he didn’t and they just didn’t find it," said Rush. "I mean, this is a prosecutorial investigation. ... This is not permitted under Justice Department law. You do not 'not charge' somebody after an investigation and then list all the things you think they did. That’s what Comey did to Hillary, and that’s why he got into a little heap big trouble here. Not supposed to do that. That’s why some people are worried about what’s happening to our rule of law, the Department of Justice — this, folks, it is beyond description."
The media, said Limbaugh, are busy cherrypicking excerpts of the report and attempting to spin them in a way that maintains their debunked narratives. "People are reading excerpts from the Mueller report at CNN and MSNBC, New York Times, and they’re rewriting it in the form of transcribing it or simplifying it, taking some of the legalese out of it so that their audiences can understand it. And in the process of doing this they are literally manufacturing things," he said.
"I have never seen anything that even approaches this in scope, in attempt, in execution, in dishonesty, in skullduggery, in absolute depraved perversion, I have never seen anything like this," said Limbaugh. "I have never seen, despite all the media bias in the world that we know there is, I have never seen this kind of collusion between a presidential administration and his Department of Justice — Obama, FBI, DOJ — and the entirety of the mainstream media in an effort to bring down someone that they simply personally dislike."
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com