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The Talking Points Are Identical

“No collusion,” Barr said over and over in the unprecedented press conference he gave ahead of the Mueller report’s April 18 release. The attorney general repeated that there was no collusion, conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia some 16 times in that 22-minute presser, by Newsweek’s count.

Though the performance may have pleased Trump, the report itself says that “collusion” is a misleading term as it has no legal definition and is not a federal crime. Mueller’s team may not have found conclusive evidence of criminal conduct, but the report contains a bounty of evidence that Russia interfered in the election, and that the “Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian effort.”

Barr also claimed that the FBI was “spying” on the Trump campaign—another word that the President’s backers have clung to. Trump called Barr’s comments “perfect.”

And in a pair of interviews this week, on Fox News and with the Wall Street Journal, Barr again promoted lines and talking points that have been bouncing around the far-right media ecosystem since the early days of the Russia probe.

Josh Kovensky provides the side-by-side comparison here.

About The Author


Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.