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In 11 days, Trump’s attack on the ‘fake news media’ falls apart completely

Less than two weeks ago, President Trump took aim at the “Failing New York Times” for a report about how he was considering a shakeup to the legal team he’d assembled to deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong,” Trump tweeted on March 11. “I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and… have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia..just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary. The writer of the story, Maggie Haberman, a Hillary flunky, knows nothing about me and is not given access.”

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The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018

twitter-tweet”>

…have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia..just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary. The writer of the story, Maggie Haberman, a Hillary flunky, knows nothing about me and is not given access.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018

As they say, life comes at you fast. On Thursday, Dowd resigned from the legal team — a move that came just days after conspiracy-loving attorney Joseph E. diGenova was added to Trump’s legal team.

Dowd’s resignation comes as Trump has become more combative with Mueller. Over the weekend, Trump directly attacked the special counsel on Twitter for the first time, tweeting that “[t]he Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” then following up with another asking why “the Mueller team” has “13 hardened Democrats.”

Dowd, by contrast, reportedly counseled Trump to cooperate with Mueller. The Times reports that Dowd “concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice,” and that Cobb may be on the way out as well.

“Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer for the investigation, came aboard around the same time as Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow and advocated on behalf of cooperating with the special counsel,” the Times reports. “But the president has discussed with close associates in recent days whether to fire Mr. Cobb, while reassuring Mr. Cobb that he had no plans to do so.”

On Saturday, Dowd released a statement reacting to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing of former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe by calling for the firing of Mueller.

“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd said, adding that he was speaking for the president.

But the perception that Trump forced his attorney general to fire a longtime FBI deputy in order to discredit a potential key witness in the investigation into his campaign for possible obstruction of justice wasn’t a great look, and Dowd quickly tried to walk it back, saying his statement did not in fact speak for the president after all.

Dowd’s resignation, combined with the addition of diGenova and rumbles that Cobb may not be long for Trump’s legal team, suggests that the president will ramp up his attacks on Mueller.

During recent Fox News appearances, diGenova has pushed the conspiracy theory that a secret anti-Trump cabal within the FBI cooked up the Mueller investigation as a way to take down Trump. That theory of the case, however, is completely at odds with the facts of what happened during the 2016 campaign, and hasn’t held up well when its adherents have tried to push it on other cable news networks.


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