Even before he took the oath of office, President Donald Trump made it clear he despises the government wasting American taxpayers’ money.
During the campaign, he pledged to slash “billions” going to a United Nations agency on so-called climate change. When he was still only president-elect, he negotiated with Boeing to cut the price of a new Air Force One.
So when the latest tab for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged “Russian collusion” came in, Trump wasted no time calling it out for the waste it is.
In a report released Thursday, the Justice Department stated American taxpayers had shelled out almost $17 million for Mueller’s investigation.
Considering the probe turned a year old in May, and has produced zero evidence publicly that there was any collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, it’s fair to wonder exactly what Americans got for all that cash.
And, since the meter is still running, how much more are taxpayers going to spend?
A tweet Trump posted on Friday nailed it.
“A.P. has just reported that the Russian Hoax Investigation has now cost our government over $17 million, and going up fast. No Collusion, except by the Democrats!” Trump wrote.
A.P. has just reported that the Russian Hoax Investigation has now cost our government over $17 million, and going up fast. No Collusion, except by the Democrats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
Democrats will argue that Mueller’s probe has produced some results. Former Gen. Michael Flynn, who served for an eyeblink as Trump’s national security advisor, pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI, for instance.
(Coincidentally, that was just before a report was due on how much the Mueller probe had cost at the six-month mark. A cynic might think Mueller was trying to justify his probe’s existence with the announcement.)
But not one of these indictments or guilty verdicts relates to the core of Mueller’s probe — which is supposed to be proving the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to affect the outcome of the presidential election.
In fact, the indictment of the Russian firms and individuals said as much, specifically noting that any contacts involved were “unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”
So, in other words, for $17 million — spent so far — the American public has learned that the Russian government wishes to sow confusion in American politics and generally benefit from a divided American government.
Considering that hasn’t been a secret since communists took power in Russia 100 years ago, that doesn’t exactly sound like a bargain.
Trump made cutting wasteful government spending a top priority from the get-go, and right now the Mueller probe is Exhibit A.
The quicker this “Russian Hoax Investigation” comes to a close, the better off American taxpayers are going to be.
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