After Attorney General Wiliam Barr released his letter to congress describing the findings in the Special Counsel’s report from Robert Mueller, the news that it cleared Trump of collusion rocketed across not just social media but the mainstream media, as well.
It would not have been unexpected to see some waffling or hedging on the part of CNN or MSNBC (or gloating on the part of Fox News), but in the case of the former, both networks used the strong terms for absolute absolution.
On CNN, it was Pamela Brown who interrupted the bandying back and forth of details to offer the flat summary that the President had been “exonerated.”
“Can we just take a step back and focus on the fact that this is a nearly two year investigation that has swirled around the president since day one of his presidency,” said Brown. “And he has just been exonerated.”
On MSNBC, it was just after the news broke, and justice reporter Julia Ainsley was reading the details, and explaining them, to the audience and to host Katy Tur.
“[Mueller is] spelling out exactly what he is clearing them from, and he says tacitly or expressly they did not,” said Ainsley. “Robert Mueller weighed in and said, ‘that was not tacit. There was no coordination or conspiracy.'”
“So, this vindicates the President on collusion,” said Tur.
“It does. So, it would vindicate him on collusion,” Ainsley replied.
In both cases, fairly major admissions for the networks. There will no doubt be many clarifications from both networks that they are referring only to the specific accusations of collusion and conspiracy, and not to obstruction of justice.