Trump eyes Mueller report as political opportunity: report

Trump eyes Mueller report as political opportunity: report
© Stefani Reynolds

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE and his allies have reportedly begun eyeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's report as a political opportunity, optimistic that it will show no clear link between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential race.

Advisers and confidants of the president told The Associated Press that Trump has become increasingly convinced that Mueller's report will show no concrete evidence that members of his campaign sought out Russian assistance throughout 2016, which would allow him to run on the investigation's findings in 2020.


Trump, the advisers say, is planning to paint the Mueller report and the broader special counsel investigation as evidence of government run amok targeting his personal finances and businesses, while touting his own ability to prove his campaign's innocence.

“Trump can say: Here is the report. I didn’t fire Mueller, I didn’t interfere with him. If you want to keep investigating me, it just shows that it is purely partisan," former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) told the AP, adding, “There would no longer be any justification for what the House Dems want to do."

Democrats, meanwhile, are reportedly focusing their messaging efforts on the broader investigative efforts targeting Trump and his allies, while opening probes into avenues that have little or nothing to do with questions of collusion with Russia.

The news comes as polls indicate voters largely trust Democrats and Mueller himself over the president when it comes to handling of the special counsel's probe, and Trump's constant attacks against the special counsel and members of the investigation have done little to persuade Americans to trust the president over investigators.

A survey released Monday found that 57 percent of registered voters trust Mueller's team and the Democrats, while 43 percent of voters do not trust the conclusions from either group.