It's deja vu.. All over again. In the days after the 2016 Presidential election, there was a breathless pause while the media did a little self reflection and admitted they (we) got it wrong. Only to do it all over again with the Trump-Russia probe.
As wrong as so many were about Trump’s chances of becoming President...
President Obama: I continue to believe that Mr. Trump will not be President.
... as many seemed equally convinced that when Trump did win, it was because he’d colluded with Russia.
Keith Olbermann: It’s as if there are no shoes on the Trump human centipede that are not about Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia!
Lawrence O’Donnell: Treason. We now have to discuss treason.
Fernand Amandi: No one can control Donald Trump with the exception of Vladimir Putin
The accusations hounded him incessantly. From a heckler throwing Russian flags
Heckler: Treason, treason, Trump is treason!
to celebrity indictments.
Stephen Colbert: He is wholly in the pocket of Putin, Republican patriots where are you? That’s an excellent point.
to the former head of the CIA
John Brennan: I called his behavior treasonous which is to betray one’s trust to aid and abet the enemy and I stand very much by that uh claim.
Sharyl: To attacks by Democrats
Maxine Waters: I have been for months trying to tell the American public and everybody else that this president is dangerous. That he’s in bed with Putin.
and some Republicans.
Stephanopoulos: Shameful and we don’t even know what happened in those two hours when President Trump and President Putin were alone. Don’t we need to know what happened in that conversation?
Sen. Jeff Flake: Yes we do uh that was a big mistake to meet alone
But Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year-long probe concluded that the Russia conspiracy theory wasn’t rooted in reality.
Keith Olbermann: Russia Russia Russia!
Even among seven Americans who were indicted or plead guilty to unrelated charges, Mueller found none of them coordinated with Russia, either. That also means no Russia collusion by Donald Trump Junior or Trump officials Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort at a Trump Tower meeting that was wiretapped by US intel officials. And so the promised evidence, it turns out, didn’t exist.
Keith Olbermann: The British may have already nailed Trump on Russia. On tape.
Reporter: You admit all you have is a circumstantial case?
Schiff: Actually no Chuck it’s more than that and I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.
Maddow: if the presidency is effectively a Russian ops, right? if product between Russian intelligence services and an American campaign, I mean that is so profoundly big.
Peters: Treason is a crime. Collaborating and conspiring with a hostile foreign power against the United States is a crime. Receiving material support, clandestine material support from a hostile foreign power is a crime.
Gallup has been tracking confidence in the mass media for almost 50 years. Jon Clifton is Gallup’s Global Managing Partner.
Clifton: Confidence in the mass media peaked in the late seventies when roughly 70% of people said that they had trust in confidence in the mass media. But over the past few decades, that's collapsed down to almost 30% of people who say they have confidence in the mass media.
It’s too soon to know how Special Counsel Mueller’s findings will impact that rating. But interestingly, Clifton says during the past two years of nonstop Trump-Russia collusion reporting, Americans grew slightly more confident in the media.
Clifton: Over the past two years, it's come up by about 10 points. So now about 40% of people say that they have confidence in the mass media.
Sharyl: Is there any way to know why? Are those people that like Trump or do not like Trump?
Clifton: We have asked people whether or not they side with Trump or the media in the disputes that that they have, and it cuts right across party lines. So you can see that Republicans aligned with Trump and Democrats aligned with the mass media.
More than a year ago, CNN first reported the “bombshell” that Russia supposedly had blackmail material on Trump. The liberal website Vox noted that if true“it could end his presidency before it begins. If false, Trump will be the victim of an enormous slander.”
Luke Harding: It certainly feels to me like the biggest political story in recent US history and no one quite knows how it will end.
Now that we have some idea; there have been few corrections from those who so aggressively reported on what may be one of the biggest false conspiracy theories of this decade.
ABC: Do not think you can bury this report. Do not think you can bury the evidence in secret by briefing eight people in Congress and say “we’ve discharged our responsibility.” That’s not gonna cut it.
Keith Olbermann: Russia. Russia. Russia! Resist! Peace.
This week, all the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee demanded Adam Schiff-- a Democrat-- resign as chairman for repeatedly claiming there was solid evidence that Trump conspired with Russia. Schiff still insists there is major evidence of collusion.