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‘This is a war’: Trump campaign takes offensive to spread mistrust of Mueller probe

“Why would we stop talking to the American people? That is the best thing you can do.”

(National SentinelRussia investigation: President Donald J. Trump has always insisted that charges his campaign “colluded” with Russia to “steal the election” from Hillary Clinton were bogus.

So too, then, is special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the president also notes.

Several reports over the past few months have noted how increasingly miffed Trump is about the ongoing investigation, so it should come as no surprise that he and his campaign organization are launching an effort to discredit the special counsel and his investigation.

As reported by the Washington Times:

President Trump and his campaign organization are going to war against the Russia investigations, said an official involved in the effort, launching a multi-pronged public relations offensive to spread distrust of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Capitol Hill Republicans and Washington legal professionals say Mr. Trump should keep out of the investigation and focus on governing because his protestations keep the story in the media spotlight and make him look defensive.

But the president is determined to confront head on the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia and expose the investigation to be a political hit job. Marshaling opposition from Mr. Trump’s base, the thinking goes, will make it more difficult for Mr. Mueller’s investigation to bring down the Trump presidency.

“This is a war,” said Bruce Levell, a member of the Trump re-election campaign’s advisory board. “Why would we stop talking to the American people? That is the best thing you can do: Keep talking to your base. And guess what? The base is growing.”

On Sunday White House counselor Kellyanne Conway blasted the Russian probe as a “conclusion in search of evidence.”

“They’ve come up with nothing,” she told ABC’s “This Week.” “We’ve been doing this for almost a year now, and what is there to show for it? What has actually metastasized in a way that we can say, ‘Wow, there’s a smoking gun?’”

She noted that Trump’s recent rallies, like the one last week in West Virginia, prove that his base is as strong as ever and that supporters aren’t buying the ‘Russian collusion’ narrative.

“People just can’t get over that election,” she said. “The president is going to continue to talk about America, and I suppose others, sadly, will continue to talk about Russia.”

Fighting Mr. Mueller’s open-ended probe to the court of public opinion is part of a broader effort to get more aggressive pushing Mr. Trump’s message on every front, which includes the president’s consideration of senior adviser Stephen Miller for the job of communications director after his feisty exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta at a White House briefing.

The Mueller probe into Russian meddling in the election and allegations of Trump campaign collusion appears to be reaching into Mr. Trump’s vast business empire and the financial transactions of his associates, a move the president warned would be crossing a red line.

Some political strategists see an advantage in the campaign to discredit Mueller.

“It is one of his limited tools to keep public pressure on what is an open-ended, secretive probe that is likely to go on for years with little accountability of time spent or tax dollars being expended,” said David K. Rehr, a law professor who teaches strategic Washington leadership at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. “His comments keep the partisanship of the probe in the public eye, with the hopes of undermining its legitimacy.”

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