Not to take on President Trump a lot of the appointment of a special counsel, the Russia spacecraft, the choice of Robert Mueller there are some wide-spread praise.
Trump’s tweet–“the largest witch-hunt against a politician in American history”—encapsulates his view quite succinctly. He adds that in a press conference: “I respect the move, but the whole thing was a witch hunt. There was no consultation between me and my campaign..and the Russians, to zero. I think it divides the country.”
But in the short term, the setting of the former FBI Director, to lead the investigation, is indeed a blessing for the White house.
In the longer term, well, it’s a crapshoot.
The decision of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein takes some of the pressure from the Trump team in the Wake of the dismissal of Jim Comey.
The development of the Müller mute the democratic outrage switched on the need for an outside Prosecutor, in view of the doubts which had been proposed by the firing of Comey and subsequent reports of Comey’s notes, said the President, that he drop the investigation of Michael Flynn. (Asked yesterday whether he had done so, the President said: “no. Next Question.”)
And for a White house besieged by the media on so many aspects of the Russia-probe and the dumping of Comey, there is this additional advantage:
When reporters demand answers from the White house, trump-helpers have the possibility of a distraction, he said, that the matter in the study of Müller. This does not mean that you should not answers to basic factual questions, but it creates a safe space for you to focus on other topics. (Whether it’s Sean Spicer or someone else will respond, remains to be seen, given the recent, but unconfirmed reports that the press Secretary can turn over its training duties to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or someone else.)
So the Mueller probe could allow Trump a little room to breathe, especially if he makes a strong choice for FBI Director (the last of the leaks say, Joe Lieberman is now the front-runner, but such stories are often premature).
Something similar happened during Bill Clinton’s second term, as Mike McCurry often questions about the Monica Lewinsky scandal to special Prosecutor Ken Starr, or said he could not comment on it.
But then there is the question of the long-term damage.
Müller is an experienced Prosecutor with nothing to prove at this point in his career. But special studies of this type—the Iran-contra, and the whitewater probe, was the Lewinsky probe an opportunity to expand. Mueller was the pursuit of the unexpected. White house aides, possibly, a lawyer.
The good news for the country is Müller completely independent. But that also means that all of the charges he brings, or a critical report that it raises questions that have instant credibility.
One last caveat: For all the media hyperventilation, may not be much, as the center of the Russia-investigation, or, perhaps, not much more than activities with Michael Flynn. And Müller has the reputation of the political world to accept that the result as well.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of five books and has its headquarters in Washington. You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.