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Morning Joe: Rod Rosenstein Goes from “Fall Guy” to “Defender of the Republic”

Morning Joe: Rod Rosenstein Goes from “Fall Guy” to “Defender of the Republic”

How things have changed overnight.

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, DC was deep in the throes of impeachment fever. Today, the collective political temperature has plummeted all because of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of the highly-respected Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation of possible Russian involvement in the presidential election.

As a marker of just how dramatically the mood has changed, consider these statements about Rosenstein on today’s Morning Joe.

The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius said that Rosenstein “went from the seeming fall guy to the defender of our republic.”

Joe Scarborough seconded the notion: “it sounds melodramatic; it’s not. Rod Rosenstein: defender of our republic, ensurer of our system of checks and balances.” John Heilemann similarly credited Rosenstein with “saving the constitutional republic.”

We don’t, of course, know what conclusions Mueller will reach. So the Trump administration is not off the hook. But at least for now, the atmosphere has lightened in stunningly fast fashion.

The Dems had been demanding the appointment of a special counsel. Now their wish has been granted. Yesterday, Dems were smelling blood. Today, they are obliged to join the chorus of praise for Mueller. Be careful what you wish for.

Note: during the course of the show, President Trump tweeted out what you’ll see below.

Scarborough’s reaction: “what’s so interesting about the appointment of Mueller is tweets, statements from the White House, firings, all suddenly become strangely irrelevant and become background noise to the man who is now going to be sitting at Justice with his head down, just getting the facts . . . Nobody on either side of the aisle will believe [that it’s a witch hunt.] So again, when Donald Trump tweets something like that, he only further damages his own credibility.”


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kenoshamarge | May 18, 2017 at 8:36 am

I doubt this will satisfy the Dems. Giving them what they want only makes them demand more.

    If you give a Dem a cookie…

    They will demand that Trump be impeached and the presidency be gifted to Hillary.

    A new very short book from the DNC. One page, even. 🙂

assemblerhead | May 18, 2017 at 8:52 am

Mueller is a hard core Democrat / Progressive.

As FBI Director, he purged all investigation files / case notes / anti-terrorist investigations of ANY mention of Islam. All intelligence and reports of potential terrorist activity he could access were also purged from the Intelligence community. CAIR and the Clintoons enabled all this.

Remember, ‘Rosenstein’ is an Obama appointee. Sessions made a grave mistake by recusing himself.

Trump just got purp walked into the trap. Trumps fatal error is not getting rid of ALL of Obama’s appointees.

    clintack in reply to assemblerhead. | May 18, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Um. What?

    Rosenstein is a Republican. He clerked for Ginsberg — the other one — the one Reagan tried to appoint to the Supreme Court. He joined the Justice Department under GHW Bush. GWB appointed him a U.S. Attorney, and then nominated him to a seat on an appeals court — where he was blocked by Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski. Then DJT nominated him to be Deputy Attorney General.

    Definitely not a Democrat.

    Mueller has similar credentials. He got his start in the Justice Department under Reagan, and was eventually appointed FBI director by GWB. He’s got an excellent reputation, and has spent his time out of office becoming an expert on cybersecurity. If he concludes that there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by the Trump campaign it’s going to be *very* hard to dismiss that. Unlike any conclusion Comey might have reached.

PrincetonAl | May 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

Very simple:

(General Akbar from Star Wars, if you don’t want to click the link).

The praise for this move tells you everything you need to know. That its evil, not unbiased. To continue the metaphor, while Republicans bicker, the Deep State Strikes Back.

Never have I been so furious at the attempts to undermine the republic. I want the government budget slashed, these progressive parasitic federal workers, e.g. the Clone Army, out on the street looking for real work like the rest of us.

Connivin Caniff | May 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

Trump better start using his brain. He should go in full attack against Rosenstein, who appointed a Special Persecutor with no evidence of an underlying crime, in the face of FBI sworn testimony that its investigation was fully funded, independent, going well, and in no need for a Special Persecutor. And Rosenstein gave no notice to the White House, just before the President was heading off to an important, first foreign trip. Trump should also demand, right now, a Special Persecutor or more to delve into the wide array of Clinton and other Democrat infractions. How about Fast and Furious and Benghazi as starting points, and then all shenanigans thereafter? Trump, you say you are a great negotiator and counter-puncher – how about putting your money where your chocolate cake is?

    Ragspierre in reply to Connivin Caniff. | May 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

    “Trump better start using his brain. He should go in full attack against Rosenstein, who appointed a Special Persecutor with no evidence…”

    Your first statement is right. The second is 180 degrees wrong.

    First, the appointment was for a special counsel.

    Second, what T-rump should do is STFU and stop tweeting. He needs to let his people deal with this, and the prime message he needs to put out via his people is that he will support the work of the Special COUNSEL in getting to the facts of Russian meddling in the past election, what forms it took, and how to prevent it in the future.

    THAT would be a winning message. “Sure we support the work of the Special Counsel. We need to understand completely the role of any foreign actor attempting to distort our elections. The administration has nothing to fear from that process.”

    Attacking Rosenstein is the LAST thing T-rump should do. Remember that he just very publicly pretended to rely on his assessment as justification for firing Comey.

      mariner in reply to Ragspierre. | May 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Whence this “not a special prosecutor” stuff?

      From Mueller’s appointment document:

      If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the special counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.

      Since Mueller has the authority to prosecute independently, how is he not a special prosecutor?

buckeyeminuteman | May 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

If nothing fishy is found, Dems will (continue to) riot in the streets. If something fishy is found, they’ll be out for blood. It’s a no win situation.

Should Trump be sharing intelligence gathered by other nations with Russia; no. Should we be sharing intelligence we gathered so Russia can help us stop ISIS; depends. Is any of that justification for how the media is behaving, absolutely not!

” … when Donald Trump tweets something like that, he only further damages his own credibility.”

Trump’s tweet strikes me as painfully obvious bait … and Joe swallowed it. Of course Joe’s small fry, and not the real target. But the bigger fish will swallow it too.

What Trump’s trap is, exactly, I don’t know, and particularly in this target-rich environment, it’s so hard to choose … but it certainly looks like he set one.

    PrincetonAl in reply to tom swift. | May 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Trump is a smart guy, I hope he is working the right angles on this.

    PS- I noticed a pack of trolls came through and down voted all the Trump supporter’s on this thread. They must really be working their energy up on this one.

Witch hunts are getting a bad name by comparing them to a special prosecutor investigating this empty bag of nothingness.

What we are seeing is the standard media treatment of an investigation into a Republican.

1) The announcement of the investigator is greeted with joy and a long list of crimes that are expected to be revealed.

2) The period of silence after the investigator starts work is broken by leaks and pseudo-leaks (otherwise known as ‘lies’) about how the investigator is “Getting to the bottom of the matter” and “Finding all kinds of violations of law.”

3) Eventually, the realization begins to dawn that the investigator is not going to return the Dream Indictment the Left wants. Leaks about the investigator’s personal life begin to come out, along with wild stories and accusations. The Legions of the Perpetually Peeved begin to gather, to write signs, and to circulate requests for funding.

4) The investigator releases their report. The Left goes collectively nuts, insisting that the whole investigation is a sham and that a ‘real’ investigator be appointed. Selective blindness and wholesale lying follow, and the whole report is dismissed while the Left begins to scribble their own fever dreams and prospective movie scripts about What Really Happened.

Good choice by Rod Rosenstein. Former FBI director Robert Mueller is respected across the spectrum, a tough guy but not a witch hunter. Our Andy McCarthy concludes, “Mueller is not a Lawrence Walsh type. He will not want to make a career out of this. At the same time, if serious criminal wrongdoing is uncovered, he won’t turn a blind eye.”

This could be short-term pain, long-term gain for the Trump administration. Yes, the coming weeks and months will feature Trump aides being subpoenaed, possibly grand-jury testimony, and more breathless speculation in Washington than during the Lewinsky year.

But Mueller will do a thorough job, and if he comes to the end of his investigation and finds that Trump did not have any inappropriate or criminal contact with the Russian government in 2016, that should close the book on it. Yes, the conspiracy theorists in the Democratic party will shriek about a cover-up, the same way Diebold machines stole Ohio for Bush in 2004 and Gore really won Florida and George H.W. Bush secretly met with the Iranians in Paris to keep the hostages in Tehran until after Election Day. No election loss is ever fair or their fault.

Russia meddling in the election? Pretty much proven, although the phrase “Russia hacked the election” is a useful marker for someone intellectually dishonest, who wants to create the impression that Russian hackers altered the vote totals. The idea that some of Trump’s associates had some contact with Russian entities that violated U.S. laws? Unproven, but conceivable.

The idea that Trump himself had some quid pro quo deal with the Russian government during the campaign? Extremely implausible.
–Jim Geraghty

One of those “illiterates” that certain T-rump sucking moronic nutters can’t even read.


Close The Fed | May 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Sessions didn’t man up properly.

He thought he could be a gentleman.

WRONG move.

No more recusals.

And agree with whomever said, cut government to the BONE.

Morning Joke, the daily guest columnist.