“When you’re attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation, you’re losing,” Sarah Sanders, then a Donald Trump campaign aide, famously said of Hillary Clinton supporters before the 2016 presidential election. Although she has repeatedly struggled with the facts — and now serves as White House press secretary — Sanders’ apt tweet remains wisdom for the ages.
Both President Donald Trump and Sanders have led the charge against special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia and other crimes unearthed in that endeavor. Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” in an attempt to paint Mueller and his team as a band of corrupt authorities trying to bring down an innocent President. The closer Mueller gets, the more caustic Trump becomes.
On Thursday, we saw yet another round of efforts to attack investigators after Michael Cohen, the President’s former lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia. While the President has maintained he had “nothing to do with Russia,” Cohen told a federal court on Thursday that, acting as Trump’s representative, he had been in communication with the Russian government about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential campaign. Cohen previously told Congress that talks surrounding the project ended before the Iowa caucuses, but they continued for at least six months longer.
Faced with the new revelations made public by his lawyer-turned-nemesis, Trump returned to familiar territory and lashed out against his accuser, along with Mueller and the investigation as a whole. He called Cohen a weak liar, while branding Mueller and his team of independent public servants “a total disgrace.”
To bolster his case, Trump went on to amplify the words of various fire-breathing commentators on Fox News, which has often served as a mouthpiece for the President during his ongoing attempt to discredit Mueller. Remarkably, Sanders issued a statement on Friday suggesting Mueller’s investigation “probably does undermine our relationship with Russia,” while saying nothing about the Kremlin’s documented efforts to interfere with America’s sacred electoral process.