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 TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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 BarrMulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Mulvaney ties withheld Ukraine aid to political probe sought by Trump Matthew Shepard's parents blast Barr's LGBTQ record in anniversary of hate crime law MORE released his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network 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 RosensteinTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Mueller rejoins DC law firm Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it MORE determined that the evidence was "not sufficient" to establish obstruction of justice. 

— Julia Manchester