This is an actual exchange between Donald Trump and Fox White House correspondent John Roberts Wednesday afternoon during a press conference with the Prime Minister of Norway. Trump answered one question and in 95 seconds intoned his favorite mantra, “no collusion” no less than eight times.
ROBERTS: “Are you open to meeting with (special counsel Robert Mueller)? Would you be willing to meet with him without condition? Or would you demand that a strict set of parameters be placed around any encounter between you and the special counsel?”
TRUMP: “Well, again John, there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians. No collusion. When I watch you interviewing all the people leaving their committees, I mean, the Democrats are all running for office, trying to say this that – but bottom line, they all say there’s no collusion. And there is no collusion.
“And when you talk about interviews, Hillary Clinton had an interview, where she wasn’t sworn in, she wasn’t given the oath, they didn’t take notes, they didn’t record and it was done on the Fourth of July weekend. That’s perhaps ridiculous and a lot of people looked upon that as being a very serious breach and it really was.
“But again I’ll speak to attorneys – I can only say this, there was absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. Every committee – I’ve been in office now for 11 months. For 11 months, they’ve had this phony cloud over this administration, over our government. And it has hurt our government. It does hurt our government. It’s a Democrat hoax that was brought up as an excuse for losing an election that frankly the Democrats should have won because they have such a tremendous advantage in the Electoral College.
“So it was brought up for that reason. But it has been determined that there is no collusion and by virtually everybody. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. I mean certainly we’ll see what happens – when they have no collusion and nobody’s found any collusion at any level it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview.”
You may recall that in Trump’s 30 minute interview with the New York Times on the golf course over the holidays that he said the words “no collusion” 16 times. He’s like a broken record repeating a) There’s no collusion and b) It’s all a hoax by the Democrats, jealous because they lost the election.
CNN’s Chris Cilliza said the following on his “The Point” newsletter today:
On Point A: Both Mueller’s special counsel investigation and the congressional investigations into Russia’s attempted interference in the 2016 election are ongoing. While no collusion is alleged yet, it is incorrect to assert that those investigations have definitively concluded there was no collusion.
On Point B: The congressional committees looking into the Russian matter are led by Republicans. The Justice Department, which chose the special counsel, is run by Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Mueller was appointed as FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush.
The Point: Trump is obsessed and irritated by the ongoing Russia investigations and the questions he continues to get about them. He believes he is totally innocent of any wrongdoing but, in defending himself, he relies on a script built on inferences, questionable facts and outright falsehoods.