When Attorney General William Barr released his summary of Robert Mueller’s findings on the Russia collusion investigation, the progressive media rushed to spin the findings. While there is little doubt the report has caused a nearly fatal blow to the Russiagate narrative, the left is working overtime to salvage their primary weapon against President Trump. According to a recent CBS News poll, their efforts are failing. Attitudes about the Russia probe changed drastically after the release of the summary, and it is doubtful the actual report – which is supposed to be made public by mid-April – will empower the left to continue perpetuating their favorite conspiracy theory.
America’s Attitude on Russia Investigation
CBS’s survey analyzed public opinion on the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The results showed 38% of respondents felt the Democrats should continue investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Among Democrats, 66% believed the probe should continue, while only 10% of Republicans and 35% of independents agreed.
Participants were also asked how Mueller’s conclusions made them feel. About 50% of Democrats stated that they felt “disappointed,” while 28% said they were “angered.” On the other hand, 69% of Republicans said they were “pleased,” and 63% indicated they were relieved. About a third of Americans are still waiting for the complete report to be released before judging the results, with 36% saying it’s too soon to say whether Trump has been cleared or not.
When asked whether they believed the Russia investigation was “politically motivated,” 54% of all participants believed the probe was political in nature. Only 37% of respondents felt it was “justified.” It’s worth noting that in January – prior to the Mueller report’s completion – only 45% of participants believed the investigation was motivated by politics and 50% believed it was “justified.”
Has the Left Been Betrayed?
It might be tempting to assume so many Democrats were either “disappointed” or “angered” by the investigation’s conclusion because they had hoped the final report would bring down the Trump administration. This is certainly a factor, but perhaps these feelings are also related to the sudden loss of belief that the investigation itself was justified at all.
After Barr released his summary of Mueller’s conclusions, some on the left felt they had been deceived by the Democratic Party and progressive media figures who had pushed the collusion narrative. Left-leaning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald, wrote:
“In sum, Rachel Maddow is the Judy Miller of the Trump/Russia story, except that unlike Miller – who was scapegoated for behavior that many of her male colleagues also engaged in to the point where her career and reputation was destroyed – Maddow, who makes $10 million a year from NBC, is too valuable a corporate brand and too much of a liberal celebrity for any consequences or accountability to be permitted.”
Matt Taibbi, another progressive journalist, slammed the media for its obsession with the Russia hoax. In a recent piece, he argued that the Russia investigation debacle was similar to the Bush administration’s failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. “Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media,” he wrote.
Could it be that progressives across the country are upset because they now realize they were hoodwinked by a media establishment that seeks to influence, rather than inform them?
Will This Help Trump?
For over two years, the Russiagate narrative has been used to mount a perpetual attack on President Trump and members of his administration. Many of his opponents worshiped the special counsel as the glorious messiah who descended from on high to stop the evil machinations of the villain who occupies the oval office. It seemed as if left-leaning talking heads couldn’t go more than an hour without trying to convince the American public that Trump was a secret Russian asset bent on destroying the country.
But the tables may have turned. Now that the special counsel’s primary conclusions are known, Trump will almost certainly start using the Russia investigation as a cudgel with which to thrash the Democrats and their allies in the press. In the lead up to the 2020 election, he will be able to continually hammer home the point that his opponents dragged the country through two years of an investigation that was motivated by politics. Many have been hesitant to support the president amid accusations that he could have worked with the Kremlin to win the election. But now that this particular issue appears to be off the table, voters might turn their suspicion on the Democrats, who knew there was no real evidence of collusion.