You can even get an “I read the Mueller report” button for bragging rights.
I really did. pic.twitter.com/2qtEg7RH5A
— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) May 30, 2019
But no one in Alaska’s congressional delegation can rightfully wear that button. Not yet, anyway.
If you want to know about Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there’s evidence President Donald Trump obstructed a federal investigation, former special counsel Robert Mueller says just read the report.
“It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made,” he said May 29. “We chose those words carefully.”
But Mueller chose a lot of words — enough to fill 448 pages.
“There are sections of it that are just slow, and you’re wading through it,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. She said Tuesday she’s not done, but she’s reading the report cover-to-cover.
“I feel like I’ve got an obligation to do so, and so I’m giving it the time,” she said. “You know, you take out the yellow highlighter. You take the pen out. You write notes.”
Alaska’s other Republican senator, Sen. Dan Sullivan, isn’t committed to that approach.
“I’ve not read the whole thing. It’s almost 500 pages. I’ve read the summary. And my staff’s been reading the whole thing,” Sullivan said Wednesday. He said he’s not sure he’ll read it page-by-page.
“Perhaps,” he said. “I have a lot of reading to do.”
Sullivan, though, said he has “no doubt” of one of Mueller’s chief findings: That Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
The Mueller report spells out Russian actions designed to help candidate Trump and undermine the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Sullivan said U.S. defense and intelligence agencies made sure that didn’t happen again in the 2018 election.
“You know, a lot of it’s classified, but particularly in the cyber area, we were not kind of a passive target as we have been in the past,” Sullivan said.
Both senators say the entire Trump administration is dedicated to preventing foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election. Everyone, including the president, realizes Russia hasn’t changed its ways, Murkowski said.
“It may have been that they didn’t want Clinton before. It could be that in the next election they don’t want Trump,” she said.
A spokesperson for Rep. Don Young says the Republican congressman “is reviewing the complete redacted Mueller report.” He didn’t say whether that includes a page-by-page read.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
Never miss the important parts with insightful (and entertaining) news from The Signal, the best weekly Alaska news email.
- A scammer stole $329,630.21 from the City and Borough of Juneau through wire fraud earlier this year. The city’s insurance was able to cover $250,000 — the policy limit for fraud.
- Juneau police received a report Wednesday night from someone who overheard two students at Floyd Dryden Middle School talking about bringing a gun to school and shooting people.
- During a recent trip to Alaska, the head of the EPA spoke on several topics. But he said nothing about the hottest topic involving the EPA and Alaska: the proposed Pebble Mine.
- Not long after Trump took office, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke famously proclaimed "the only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska." Two and a half years into the administration, lawyers have proven to be significant impediments to that path.