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GOP Consultant Responds To Mueller Report


For more reaction to Robert Mueller delivering his final report to the Justice Department, we turn to Shermichael Singleton, who's been a Republican political consultant and a host of Vox Media's "Consider It." Thanks so much for being with us again.

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON: Hey, Scott. Good morning. It's always a pleasure to be with you.

SIMON: Now, you tweeted last night, Shermichael. I'll quote, "If Mueller - Mueller's report finds that Trump didn't personally conspire or collude this will be a major vindication for Trump." You still believe that?

SINGLETON: I certainly do believe that, Scott, because I think at least in the mind of many Trump voters and many folks who may dislike various aspects of Trump but may some kind of way be persuadable because of at least a currently great economy - which although there are some indicators in the past week now that are indicating that may change soon - those folks may say, well, look; it's been two years. The news media - and as someone who is on television, I'm not placing all the blame on folks in the press. But the news media in many ways raised expectations. Democrats raised expectations, Scott, where a lot of people were saying I know Donald Trump directly did something. I know Donald Trump is guilty. I just know it because that's essentially what all the news coverage alluded to.

And if the final results of this thing, if it does ever become completely public, showcase that the president was never, as I said, conspired or colluded or even if it showcases that Robert Mueller never even intended to attempt to bring charges, indict the president because Justice Department rules indicate that one cannot - if those things come out to be true, then I do believe it will be a huge vindication for Trump because for two years all he's said is no collusion, no collusion. And we - and he will be proven to have been correct.

SIMON: Let me just point out, we don't know anything for sure yet.

SINGLETON: Correct. We don't know anything at this time. I'm only going off of what could be a possibility, of course.

SIMON: But let me point out, some of the president's closest associates, including his campaign manager, his national security adviser and his personal lawyer, have been convicted. Whether...


SIMON: Whether or not there's anything specifically involving President Trump out of this report, isn't it absolutely legitimate to question the president's fitness for high office if he surrounds himself with criminals?

SINGLETON: I mean, look, Scott, I think you know my position on the president, right? I mean, I am a conservative, and I sort of consider myself a traditional conservative. I obviously don't think the president represents any notion of conservatism at any level. And obviously I do have issues with his character as a conservative, as an American, but also as a Christian. I just don't think he's in sync with many of the things that I personally believe. But with that said, just because the guy surrounded himself with a lot of horrible people in many ways doesn't necessarily mean that he broke the law.

Now, sure, we could, you know, I guess raise questions or beg the question, if you will, about his fitness to office. But the reality is, Scott, again, no one knows. But I'm only going off if things go in a way that would vindicate Trump, which I think people should be prepared for that possibility. The guy was duly elected and won the election fair and square. And just because I personally don't like him, just because a lot of other folks personally don't like him or question his character - look; a lot of people questioned Bill Clinton's fitness for office, at least a lot of Republicans, that is, OK. That's the reality. A lot of people questioned George W. Bush's fitness in office because of what they deemed war crimes, if you will. So we could go on and on with the notion of fitness for office. That's not a new phenomenon.

The reality is if people don't want this particular person in office, Scott, then they need to turn up and vote in 2020. And I think that is on Democrats because, let's keep in mind, Donald Trump only won key electoral states, Scott, by less than 100,000 votes. Scott, that's not a lot of votes. And what that tells me, at least as a strategist, is if Democrats have the right ticket, meaning the right nominee with the right running mate, they could potentially pull back some of those voters in some of those key states who voted for Trump, who, like you said, said I don't like this guy's character. I don't think he's fit. I'm willing to give my vote to someone else.

SIMON: All right. We've got to go. We'll talk to you on all that other stuff later. The Republican consultant, Shermichael Singleton, thanks so much.

SINGLETON: Thanks, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.