Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign sent a memo to television networks on Monday listing “certain guests” that have been critical of the president, urging producers to question whether those listed have sufficient credibility to appear on news programs in the future.
The letter was sent to members of the media in response to Attorney General William Barr’s broad summary that said special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. A senior campaign official, who confirmed the memo’s authenticity to HuffPost, said the letter was sent to producers and hosts at broadcast and cable networks.
The memo, tweeted by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, was sent by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, who wrote that Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report was a “total and complete vindication” of the president. Barr’s summary indicated that Mueller did not establish collusion but it did not totally exonerate the president of possibly obstructing justice to interfere with the probe into Russia’s meddling, despite the administration and its allies taking a victory lap over their interpretation.
Murtaugh accused lawmakers including Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Jerry Nadler (N.Y.) and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) of “lying to the American people” and making “outlandish and false claims” unchallenged on the air. Frequent Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez were also listed in the memo.
Each name was listed alongside one quote they’ve made about the president and Russian collusion in the 2016 election. The comments highlighted in the memo were presented without context.
Swalwell responded on Twitter, standing by his statement and accusing the president of lying.
According to The Washington Post’s fact-checking tally of the president’s lies, which was last updated on March 17, Trump has made 9,179 false or misleading claims in the 787 days he has spent in office.