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Russia Russia Russia: Donald Trump's early morning tweets reveal his ongoing obsession

Amid widespread uncertainty over what Washington will do about guns in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shoo...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 3:06 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 3:06 PM

Amid widespread uncertainty over what Washington will do about guns in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 people dead, Donald Trump grabbed the presidential mantle with a series of tweets on ... Russia.

Well, not Russia exactly. More like on special counsel Bob Mueller's investigation into Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

The President, as you might have guessed, is not a fan.

Catching up on taped Fox News programming on Tuesday morning, Trump rapped out quotes from former independent counsel Ken Starr and George Washington University law school professor Jonathan Turley that rejected the idea of any sort of collusion between the President's campaign and Russia.

Here's one:

"I've been skeptical about the collusion and obstruction claims for the last year. I just don't see the evidence....in terms of the collusion, it's all a bit implausible based on the evidence we have." Jonathan Turley on @FoxNews

Then Trump went simpler, with just a two-word tweet: "WITCH HUNT!"

Trump, without a scheduled event until 11 am, appeared to be engaging in some so-called "executive time" where he watches cable TV -- often programs he has taped -- and tweets occasional thoughts about them.

As always, when the President takes to Twitter, it's very much worth paying attention to. After all, Trump's Twitter feed -- as I have argued before -- is the best window we have ever had into what the nation's most powerful person is thinking and doing at any given moment.

The Twitter feed is pure Trump -- unadulterated by the voices of his staff or any other better angels. It's what he thinks about and what he cares about -- simple and plain.

And, on this morning -- as on so many mornings before it -- that was the ongoing Russia probes.

What it wasn't was the debate over gun safety and what measures -- if any -- the Republican-led House and Senate will take up in the coming days or weeks aimed at addressing things like expanding background checks or raising the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21.

He might like to get something done on guns, but he's relatively agnostic as to what that is. He'd like to sign something, to notch a victory, to get gun legislation passed in the wake of a school shooting -- unlike President Barack Obama following the murders at Sandy Hook elementary school.

But that debate is not what animates Trump, not what gets his juices flowing.

What drives Trump -- at least judging by his tweets -- is a deep-seated belief that the entire Mueller investigation is nothing more than the result of Democrats, unhappy with the 2016 election results, trying to discredit him.

Worth noting: Bob Mueller was named FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush. Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel, is a Republican appointee -- named to his job by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The congressional committees looking into the Russian involvement are all controlled by Republicans.

Trump likely knows all of this. And doesn't care. In his mind, all of this Russia talk is simply the result of haters and losers who can't deal with the fact that he won fair and square in 2016.

That focusing on Russia again and again and again in tweets complicates Trump's ability -- and willingness -- to be an effective leader on other issues, like guns.

Republican leaders in Congress are desperately looking to the White House for some sign of what his priorities are when it comes to guns. The signal Trump sent with his series of Russia tweets on Tuesday morning is that he is just not focused on guns at all.

Simply put: Trump is driven to distraction by the Russia investigation. He proved that, again, on Tuesday morning.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333626

Reported Deaths: 3843
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin700691145
Ramsey29459521
Dakota23564198
Anoka23541236
Washington14864125
Stearns14564125
St. Louis9549121
Scott896460
Wright847548
Olmsted714637
Sherburne618746
Clay529960
Carver509715
Kandiyohi440828
Rice432338
Blue Earth431217
Crow Wing383339
Otter Tail338925
Chisago334516
Benton322753
Nobles316032
Winona297832
Douglas283040
Mower274823
Polk271527
Morrison246731
McLeod233721
Lyon232812
Beltrami230718
Goodhue222932
Becker221521
Steele21038
Itasca206324
Isanti203917
Carlton201417
Todd190314
Nicollet172126
Mille Lacs164632
Freeborn16227
Le Sueur157012
Brown156115
Cass153511
Pine14498
Meeker144812
Waseca143411
Roseau13035
Martin124721
Hubbard119729
Wabasha11301
Redwood104620
Chippewa9808
Renville95530
Cottonwood9454
Dodge9311
Watonwan8944
Wadena8637
Sibley8404
Rock8249
Houston8004
Aitkin79930
Fillmore7690
Pipestone76518
Pennington7058
Yellow Medicine69612
Kanabec68614
Swift63610
Murray6124
Faribault6093
Pope5721
Clearwater55410
Marshall5459
Stevens5403
Jackson5321
Lake4518
Koochiching4216
Wilkin4175
Lac qui Parle4124
Lincoln3811
Unassigned38159
Norman3718
Big Stone3392
Mahnomen3225
Grant2986
Kittson2518
Red Lake2303
Traverse1531
Lake of the Woods1071
Cook800

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 237371

Reported Deaths: 2571
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34873347
Linn14787169
Scott1184692
Black Hawk11288147
Woodbury10763137
Johnson985939
Dubuque947999
Story701924
Pottawattamie682474
Dallas661260
Sioux383829
Webster378339
Cerro Gordo373252
Marshall360950
Clinton345645
Buena Vista316614
Muscatine305172
Des Moines300623
Warren294115
Plymouth287044
Wapello265072
Jones237118
Jasper231546
Lee228719
Marion211922
Carroll204325
Bremer202713
Henry19367
Crawford183116
Benton175423
Tama157442
Jackson151117
Washington150216
Delaware147621
Dickinson145812
Boone144912
Mahaska133928
Wright13107
Clay12505
Buchanan123410
Hardin122812
Hamilton119514
Page11925
Kossuth11768
Clayton115510
Cedar114614
Harrison113432
Floyd111921
Mills11129
Calhoun10987
Fayette109812
Lyon10769
Butler10748
Winneshiek105513
Poweshiek103714
Iowa101414
Cherokee9674
Winnebago96325
Chickasaw9195
Hancock9138
Sac9068
Louisa90122
Grundy89514
Allamakee88413
Cass84725
Union8437
Mitchell8429
Appanoose81613
Humboldt8125
Shelby80511
Emmet79026
Guthrie78315
Franklin76421
Jefferson7635
Madison7265
Unassigned7090
Palo Alto6744
Keokuk6567
Pocahontas6024
Howard5859
Ida54915
Osceola5461
Greene5422
Montgomery51411
Clarke5064
Davis4839
Taylor4833
Monona4567
Adair4539
Monroe45113
Worth3881
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Van Buren3815
Decatur3410
Lucas3416
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