The morning after news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller had filed his first criminal charges in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, the White House Press Secretary took to social media to lob accusations at the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Specifically, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointed to recent reports that a law firm tied to the DNC and the Clinton campaign took over funding opposition research into Trump’s connections with Russia, and did not disclose that connection until the Washington Post uncovered it earlier this week.
The evidence Clinton campaign, DNC & Russia colluded to influence the election is indisputable->https://t.co/nLRAMrJK3c
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) October 28, 2017
Huckabee Sanders did not mention that a conservative publication, the Washington Free Beacon, first contracted the opposition research firm that later produced the Steele Dossier.
As Mueller’s probe into Trump and his inner circle intensifies, other Republicans have similarly attempted to shift the public’s focus to Clinton and the Democratic Party.
In a telling verbal slip, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called for an investigation into the “continued lies of the Clinton administration” in a Fox News interview Saturday morning.
Corey Lewandowski, apparently on Planet B: "What we should be focusing on is the continued lies of the Clinton administration" pic.twitter.com/FfuwfeVMCq
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 28, 2017
Though the target and nature of Mueller’s criminal charges remain under a judge’s seal, some Republicans on Capitol Hill and former Trump officials reacted to the news by demanding the special counsel’s resignation.
“I take the position that we shouldn’t have a special counsel at this time,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told local reporters in Wisconsin. “[Mueller is] too close to Comey,” he added, referring to the former FBI Director fired by President Trump.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) made a similar argument to Fox News, accusing Mueller of being “compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey.”
Chris Christie, who led Trump’s White House transition team until he was unceremoniously ousted last November, told Fox that “somebody with Bob Mueller’s integrity will step aside and should.”
Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.