Teflon Trump

Political events on this side of the Atlantic have been consuming all my attention lately, so I missed the build-up to the big excitement in the US this weekend, the much-anticipated release of the Mueller report.

Alas, the Special Counsel’s dossier, or at least the brief summary of it released by the Attorney General, has turned out to be somewhat of an anticlimax. Despite the rather fevered expectations of his many critics, Donald Trump has emerged essentially spotless. Mueller found nothing to support the central charge of collusion with Russia, and declined to make a judgment on the question of obstruction of justice.

It’s difficult to see this as anything other than a victory for Trump, and it will certainly take the wind out of the sails of the Democrats, just as they were limbering up for the start of the presidential election campaign. More legal problems will undoubtedly arise for Trump before polling day, particularly around campaign finance issues, but the lack of dirt in the Mueller report provides enough support for Trump’s witch-hunt narrative to allow his supporters to convince themselves that any fresh accusations are fake news. His re-election prospects, which were probably always better than conventional wisdom decreed, are looking a good bit brighter.

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