From NBC News:
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Wednesday that any meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin would be put off until 2019 because of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt.”
Witch hunt? Why, that can only mean one thing!
His use of the phrase also mirrors language frequently used by Trump in referring to Mueller’s investigation. (Trump has tweeted the phrase 89 times as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a count by NBC News).
Mueller has given no indication as to when his investigation into Russian election interference, which includes probing whether people associated with the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow and also whether the president has attempted to obstruct justice, will come to an end. Since Mueller’s appointment, at least 30 individuals have been charged with crimes, including five who pleaded guilty (among them Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser), as well as 13 Russian nationals, and 12 Russian intelligence officers.
The shift from the White House Wednesday marks a stunning turnaround for the president, who last week invited Putin to Washington this fall despite facing intense bipartisan blowback after his cozy summit with the Russian leader in Helsinki, Finland.
The White House’s postponement announcement Wednesday also comes just a day after a top Russian official played coy in responding to the invite. On Tuesday, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov wouldn’t say whether Putin would accept Trump’s invitation.
According to Reuters, Ushakov said only that the two leaders would have other opportunities to meet.
U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, reacted favorably to Bolton’s announcement Wednesday. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the delay was “great.
Oh, Bob Corker, how I wish the wizard could give you and each of your Rethuglican committee members a spine!