If you ignore President Trump's Twitter rants, his public reaction to last week's release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report has looked like a "no collusion, no obstruction" victory lap. But "backstage, Trump realizes the damage the report has done, and has taken a much darker view of the post-Mueller landscape," Gabriel Sherman reports at Vanity Fair.
Specifically, Sherman says, "Trump is lashing out at former West Wing officials whom he blames for providing the lion's share of damaging information in Mueller's 448-page report," a group "known as 'the notetakers' that includes former White House Counsel Don McGahn, McGahn's deputy Annie Donaldson, and staff secretary Rob Porter." McGahn, who is cited 157 times in Mueller's report, "is receiving the brunt of Trump's post-Mueller rage," Sherman notes — a fact Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged publicly to The New York Times.
"The thing that pisses him off is the note-taking," a former West Wing official who spoke with Mueller told Sherman. "Trump thinks they could have cooperated with Mueller without all the note-taking." Other officials who spoke to Mueller "are angry that Trump is blaming them for the contents of the report when Trump's legal team told them to cooperate," Sherman reports.
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Giuliani, meanwhile, insisted that Trump's "mood is good" and his angry tweetstorms are "all very deliberate," designed "to undermine the blind adherence to what's said in the report. The report is only the prosecutors' version of what happened." Giuliani and Trump's other lawyers released their own rebuttal to Mueller's report, but people don't seem to have found it quite as compelling a read.
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