Journalist says Trump's surprise 2016 victory led to media's Russia probe narrative

Journalist Matt Taibbi told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's unexpected victory in 2016 led various media figures to argue his campaign had colluded with Russia during the election.

"When he won the election, there was a lot of shock and disbelief in the press community that I think was maybe misplaced," Taibbi, a Rolling Stone contributor, told co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton. "I think maybe if we had been paying attention correctly all along we would have seen this more as like the logical result of a long period of discontent that had been growing for quite some time, dating back probably two election cycles."

"Instead, we sort of jumped immediately on this storyline that the election results were illegitimate and that Trump was the agent of a foreign power who would fix the vote," he added. "I understand that there were reasons for people to think that, but I think that was the psychological reason behind a lot of what happened."

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Correctional officers subpoenaed in Epstein investigation: report Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision MORE released his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which found no evidence of coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Many of Trump's critics in the media, including legal experts, have been on the defensive following Barr's summary of Mueller's findings.

Mueller "ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment" regarding whether Trump attempted to obstruct the probe itself, according to Barr's summary. Barr wrote that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing MORE determined that the evidence was "not sufficient" to establish obstruction of justice. 

— Julia Manchester