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Trump pleased with Durham report, says it is ‘great vindication’

By Sarah May on
 May 17, 2023

The long-awaited results of special counsel John Durham's probe of the origins of the Trump—Russia collusion investigation were released this week, and though many in the mainstream media attempted to downplay their significance, the former president himself declared them “a great vindication,” as the Daily Mail reports.

Durham's report concluded in material part that “neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation” and that the Justice Department and FBI “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law.”

Trump Takes Victory Lap

Speaking to Newsmax on Tuesday evening, former President Donald Trump reacted to Durham's key takeaways in his first televised remarks on the matter.

“It's a great vindication, and it feels good, and the report has been widely praised, Trump began.

Blasting the fact that federal officials ever permitted the collusion probe to take root, let alone expand as widely as it did, Trump continued, “All of these people are – I guess you could call it treason. You could call it a lot of different things.”

Issuing words of caution for the future, Trump added, “But this should never be allowed to happen in our country again.”

Canning Comey

During his chat with Newsmax, Trump also opined that Durham's findings provide proof – albeit belatedly – that his then-controversial decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, who headed the agency in which, according to the report, “senior” personnel “displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information they received,” was entirely justified.

Asserting that the report demonstrates that ousting Comey was “a very wise thing to do,” Trump added, “I inherited him, but we got rid of him, and it's [a] lucky thing I did, otherwise it would have been far worse.”

The rot Trump contends began with Comey has, in the former president's estimation, prompted a host of spurious reviews of his conduct, both while in office and after he departed D.C.

Lamenting the ongoing probe of classified records at his Mar-a-Lago property and other investigations he continues to face, Trump said, “You look at all of the different things and all of the people that they tried to terrorize. It's a disgrace. It goes on, it just continues with these people. And they're sick, you know, they're sick people.”

Controversial Media Response

Despite Durham's damning declarations, mainstream media outlets did their best in the wake of the report's release to minimize and even dismiss its implications, an approach at least one journalist described as “negligence,” as Fox News reports.

Jeffrey McCall, a journalism professor at DePauw University, declared that efforts to downplay Durham's findings are “quite disturbing, but not really surprising,” adding that “[t]he establishment media were so fully gulled and in the tank for the Russian collusion story for so long that they now just can't acknowledge Durham's report without also having to eat crow at the same time, something they clearly aren't willing to do.”

Among those working hard to discredit the relevance of the report was CNN's Oliver Darcy, who said, “Durham's report concluded without sending a single person to prison, falling far short of the inflated expectations set in the Trump-friendly press. In fact, after millions of dollars were spent on the years-long investigation, Durham only secured the conviction of a low-level FBI lawyer who avoided serving jail time.”

Former federal prosecutor and noted Trump foe Andrew Weissmann – now of MSNBC – said the Durham report was, in total, “a big fat nothing.” The only noteworthy dissenter to the liberal establishment's consensus appeared to be CNN's Jake Tapper, who said of the outcome, “it might not have produced everything of what some Republicans hope for, it is regardless devastating to the FBI, and to a degree it does exonerate Donald Trump.”

Trump, GOP Lawmakers Demand “Consequences”

Asserting that Durham's report is proof positive of the weaponization of the federal government against political adversaries, a number of top Republicans are now demanding accountability from those responsible, as the New York Post explains.

Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA-01) labeled the entire Russia collusion probe a “political witch hunt of Donald Trump,” adding that while he and his colleagues understood that “all along,” Durham's findings signal that it is now officially time for “consequences” to follow.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) agreed, saying, “The long-awaited Durham Report confirmed what the American people already know; that individuals at the highest levels of government attempted to overthrow democracy when they illegally weaponized the federal government against Donald J. Trump.”

“Crossfire Hurricane was nothing more than an illegal, unlawful, and unAmerican abuse of power. I am more committed than ever to ensuring that those involved are held accountable and face criminal prosecution,” Stefanik concluded.