The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C.

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C.

Call in and share what’s on your mind; we’ll get local reactions to today’s long awaited news.

We’ll discuss local reaction to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Justice Department released the full (redacted) report to members of Congress and the public today.

Join the conversation by calling 800-433-8850 at noon or tweet at us @kojoshow.

Produced by Ingalisa Schrobsdorff and Cydney Grannan

Guests

  • Patrice Onwuka Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women's Forum

Transcript

  • 12:00:11

    KOJO NNAMDIYou're tuned in to The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5. Welcome. Well, you know, it's out the Mueller Report. It's available is you want to see it on the Justice Department website. NPR is also making it available at its website. So this is your turn. We'd like to know what you think. What was your reaction to the release of the Mueller Report? Joining me in studio is Patrice Onwuka. She's the Senior Policy Analyst at Independent Women's Forum, a conservative organization focused on policies and issues affecting women and their families. Patrice Onwuka, thank you so much for joining us.

  • 12:00:46

    PATRICE ONWUKAOh, it's a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

  • 12:00:48

    NNAMDIWhat's the main conclusion you've drawn from what we've heard about the report so far?

  • 12:00:51

    ONWUKAIt's not surprising. I think that we have yet to see any evidence of collusion and now that's confirmed. And, you know, whether there was a conspiracy, I think it's going to be in the eye of the beholder. Those who support the president will continue to say, No. No conspiracy. Those who continue to oppose him will continue to say, Yes. There is something there, and I can't wait to dig into the 400 pages to find some nugget that I guess the investigators have not found.

  • 12:01:14

    NNAMDIAnd much of the conversation that we've been hearing for the past, oh, hour or so has been focusing increasingly on whether or not there was obstruction of justice on the part of the president. Obviously, an issue that won't be resolved during the course of the next few minutes, hours, days, and maybe even weeks.

  • 12:01:30

    ONWUKANo. And I think that's why people want to get into the actual details of the report to see if there are any rabbit holes that they can federal investigators particularly in Congress can kind of chase down and go after. You know, whether -- again, I think the big headline here is that there's no collusion. But most importantly even more than that it's that Russia did try to meddle in our elections and they did try to sow discord between Americans. And the question is whether our system of government is ready for 2020 election cycle, whether our social media platforms are ready to weed out any sort of meddling that's probably going to happen again.

  • 12:02:06

    NNAMDIWe've certainly got more than enough notice about the likelihood of Russian intrusion into the election process. But there's also been a lot of discussion around the redaction of the report by Attorney General Barr and how much of it needed to be kept from the public. What do you think about what the public gets to see in the final report?

  • 12:02:25

    ONWUKAYou know, it's great when you can show as much as possible to the American people. How many people are actually going to sit down and go through all 400 pages is another question. I think here in the D.C. bubble you're going to have people, who are willing to do that. There's something about transparency when we see what can be showed to us. But I think there's nothing wrong with protecting our national interests by having those redactions.

  • 12:02:47

    ONWUKAWhat it does do, though, is that it undermines -- for those who oppose the president, it undermines their view of this investigation and they're going to say, Well, because we can't see everything, obviously, there's something being hidden. And, you know, we can question whether this summary or this report is actually truthful or if there's something hidden that we don't know about.

  • 12:03:09

    NNAMDIAnd there're probably a lot of people like me, who in the short term scroll through the entire 400 pages just to look and see how many black spots there are.

  • 12:03:16

    ONWUKAAnd count them.

  • 12:03:17

    NNAMDICount them and then come to no really logical conclusion about what we're looking at. Barr has said certain members of Congress, however, will be able to see a full unredacted version of the report aside from some portions that by law cannot be shared. What do you make of that news? Should they be able to?

  • 12:03:34

    ONWUKAI think it's important for transparency that they do. You know, whether -- if it's legal that they can then okay that's fine. The question is what happens afterwards? Well, we're very likely to see leaking coming from Congress because, you know, where else leaks better other than a sieve than Congressional committees. And particularly leaking of any sort of episodes, testimony that may hint at some sort of impropriety on the part of the Trump campaign or those in the Trump orbit just, again, to undermine the president.

  • 12:04:06

    ONWUKAAnd that's, I think, what's unfortunate. And unfortunately, even more than that the eye will be taken off the ball of, Are we sure? Are we sure that our elections will be safe and secure? And more focus will be on, should be president be in the seat that he holds and should he be reelected in 2020 based on this.

  • 12:04:24

    NNAMDIPatrice, your work involves national policy and politics. So this is very much in your wheel house professionally. But you also live locally in suburban Maryland. What would you say the reaction has been locally among friends and neighbors to the ongoing investigation and now to the release of the Mueller Report?

  • 12:04:41

    ONWUKASure. So when I do talk to my family and friends and attendees at church about policy technically they want to ask, Okay, Patrice, what's the bottom line? And with this report there are people who have said, You know, what? I think that the Trump Administration or President Trump did something wrong while he was running for office and this report is going to say so. Others who say, No. I think he's clear. I think this is just a hoax. And I think it's split pretty evenly in thirds, 33 percent support him, 33 percent oppose him, and 33 percent really don't know.

  • 12:05:12

    ONWUKAAnd I think that's interesting because it's very reflective of what we look at on national polling. But in general that third of voters, who don't know what the president did or did not do before he became president during the campaign, you know, I think they're open to the idea of, Okay, if there was some impropriety then, hey, wait a minute. His presidency, we can call that into question.

  • 12:05:39

    ONWUKAFor those who now having seen both the A.G. Barr's summary and now the Mueller Report today, I think it's going to settle in a lot of people's minds, Okay, there really wasn't any impropriety here. Let's let the county move forward at this point.

  • 12:05:54

    NNAMDIAnd what percentage of people you've been running into in church or at the supermarket who say, You know what I'm really concerned about? My tax refund was not as big as it has been in years past.

  • 12:06:02

    ONWUKAOh that was huge.

  • 12:06:04

    NNAMDII'm pretty concerned about what's going on locally in terms of affordable housing. I'm really concerned about corruption among our local political leaders. Enough already with the Mueller Report.

  • 12:06:12

    ONWUKAPeople are very concerned about their schools, the quality of their schools, if you live in a county that has some sort of scandals with your school board and teachers, pedophiles in our school systems. I think those are more of the day to day issues that people really care about. And this week being the end of the tax season dispelling misperceptions about tax refund sizes was a huge part of what I did after church was done on Sunday. And for the past two years I've talked about the tax cuts and why they were good for American families.

  • 12:06:42

    ONWUKASo that's really been really where the focus is. Those bread and butter issues are poll nationally as most important, but also locally. You know, is the pothole being fixed in my road? Am I ready for spring? You know, and what are we doing for Easter vacation?

  • 12:06:57

    NNAMDILet's start with Rob in Kingsville, Maryland. Rob, your turn.

  • 12:07:00

    ROBHey, Kojo. Good to be listening. Thanks for taking my call. So I've really been following. I'm really interested in the release of the Mueller Report. I mean, this is something that has been hanging over our head, for what, the past two or three years. So, yes, we definitely want to give, you know, adequate attention to local issues. But, you know, this is something that's been causing a lot of anx for most of the county for the past two or three years.

  • 12:07:23

    ROBSo I definitely think the attention is worthy. My issue, though, is with media outlets trying to so quickly draw conclusions before really fully digesting the report. I think that has quite a few negative consequences on like the -- what I consider the Democratic and neutral side. It seems like people are trying to pull things out of the report before fully processing it. And that can lead to like mistakes in what they say, which may mislead people and push people further away if they're not careful about drawing conclusions.

  • 12:07:57

    ROBAnd on the Republican side it seems like they're trying to say that, oh, yeah, we just got this 400 page report and five minutes after the release of it we say there's no conclusions or no evidence of further, you know.

  • 12:08:15

    NNAMDII do understand what you're saying and I'd like to bring Patrice Onwuka in on this conversation in two ways. One of the ways is the partisanship that Rob talks about. We are in a country that is more divided politically than I have ever seen in my own lifetime. So there's clearly partisanship here. Also however, there's the fact that we live in a digital environment in which the news media have to understand and account for the fact that people are going to be commenting on this in social media and in all kinds of forums. So the news media itself in trying to keep up or trying to stay ahead is, as our caller says, indulging in a lot of, he feels, speculation without having read all of the 400 pages.

  • 12:08:54

    ONWUKAWell, that's absolutely true. And it depends on what news media you're watching or reading. Generally, I think most Americans, probably 80 percent will agree that each news outlet has their own political slant. Unfortunately it's choosing how to present information as well as what information to present. And so you're going to get a filtered review of what came out today. Unfortunately you're not going to get just a straight off the top for most news outlets. That's what's unfortunate.

  • 12:09:20

    ONWUKAWhen it comes to partisan politics, though, you know, it really does break down on partisan lines where Americans view this investigation and the president's innocence of this. Most people who lean left think that, you know, he's not innocent. And this investigation is not necessarily going to quall their concerns. Most people who lean right believe that this is hoax and this was a waste of tax payer dollars from the start. And so for those slither of folks in the middle, who are not sure, you know, maybe this will put this -- this will answer the question that's been hanging over the administrations head in many people's minds.

  • 12:09:53

    ONWUKABut, again, where you get your news is going to make an important decision on that and 49 percent of Americans still get most of their news from television. And most importantly, 33 percent of those get them from local news programs. So what you're watching tonight is really going to depend on what kind of slant you get in terms of what the results of this report were.

  • 12:10:16

    NNAMDIYou and the IWF both clearly have a constituency and you tweeted out your conclusions about the report much earlier today. How important is that?

  • 12:10:26

    ONWUKAI was getting on the record as, you know, what I took away from A.G. Barr's discussion or his press conference. And underscoring what he said in his summary and also what we've seen from, you know, over the past two years. And so, yes, I did say it seems like there's no collusion. Did Russia meddle? Yes. Did the president and his campaign work with Russia to meddle? No. And I was very clear with that.

  • 12:10:55

    NNAMDIAnd it was accompanied by a gif of a cat shaking his head -- his or her head no.

  • 12:10:59

    ONWUKAWell, you know, gifs always are great for getting retweets. But I think it's pretty fair to say that, yeah, I think that's what we've been thinking. We've been wanting to see and understand. And today's report as well as the press conference underscores what was already released about a week or two ago from Attorney General Barr.

  • 12:11:18

    NNAMDIRob emailed, "For God's sake, let go of this obsession with being first. Stop reporting news on the fly. Take the time to actually read the Mueller Report and then put together a full reasoned analysis even if it takes a day or two. This trying to report or analyze on the air while you're actually reading the document is very poor journalism." It may be as Rob says very poor journalism, Patrice. But on the other hand if all of the news media take one or two days to read the 400 page report and then come out with a reasoned analysis of what it thinks it says, by then they may have lost most of their readers, listeners, and viewers.

  • 12:11:54

    ONWUKAIt is after all Good Friday tomorrow, Passover begins, Easter on Sunday. So a lot of people will be tuning out. I want to just explain one thing and I think most people understand that, but a lot of people don't. In the news cycle you have different types of people. And you've got the journalists who are supposed to be reporting just straight up news. Then you've got the political pundants, the people who provide commentary who are really providing that analysis and character -- really putting what we're seeing in the news in some sort of context for regular folks to understand.

  • 12:12:26

    ONWUKAAnd I think those two get conflated particularly in different types of networks where the journalists, who are supposed to be just reporting news are providing commentary. And very rarely does it go the other way around. And so it is important when you are watching the news or reading you understand, What is this perspective? I, for example, I'm not a journalist. I'm a political commentary person. So that means that I'm providing some context to a news story that's coming out.

  • 12:12:53

    ONWUKAAnd I'm going to present probably both sides of an argument, but the solution that I think is the best one. And I tend to come from a limited government perspective. I tend to come from a conservative perspective. So when people are listening to the news hopefully you're deciphering where this person is coming from and whether they are actually a journalist or whether they are just providing some sort of context and colorful opinion commentary for you.

  • 12:13:14

    NNAMDIHere now is Jack in Reston, Virginia. Jack, your turn.

  • 12:13:18

    JACKHello, Mr. Nnamdi. Thank you. In regard to the Mueller Report a reporter said today that the report indicates that the Russian government -- that some agencies within the Russian government, perhaps President Putin himself, who knows, had something to do with exposing the so called Democratic national committee to the American people for their very anti-Democratic actions of running unfair primaries in favor of Mrs. Clinton and against the supporters of Senator Sanders. So I think that Americans -- but if this report is true, and if this summary was accurate about what it says, then Americans who want democracy for the United States should thank the Russian government. And that's my comment.

  • 12:14:13

    NNAMDII'd like to hear Patrice Onwuka's comment in response to your comment.

  • 12:14:17

    ONWUKAI cannot confirm or deny what the caller just mentioned. I think it's an interesting idea. And so, you know, I would hesitate to jump to congratulate or thank any sort of foreign government in their interference in our election cycle. I think that's concerning, but the larger point about whether certain campaigns were being helped more than others by the political parties and the political campaigns, that's an interesting issue.

  • 12:14:49

    NNAMDIWell, the Sanders supporters obviously felt that the Democratic national committee was --

  • 12:14:54

    ONWUKAPutting a finger.

  • 12:14:54

    NNAMDIGiving more assistance to the Clinton campaign.

  • 12:14:57

    ONWUKAAbsolutely.

  • 12:14:57

    NNAMDIThan it was to them. How about the Trump campaign.

  • 12:15:00

    ONWUKAWhether the RNC was doing the same thing? I don't think that there has been that allegation. It does speak to how our candidates are determined and decided, the political processes behind them, the transparency behind those decisions. And hopefully both parties and both campaigns have worked through and committees have worked through how they determine who's going to be elevated about others and hopefully those are Democratic processes.

  • 12:15:30

    NNAMDIHere's Melissa in Alexandria, Virginia. Melissa, your turn.

  • 12:15:34

    MELISSAHello. Thank you for taking my call. I've been listening to the NPR review before your show came on. And I thought there were several issues that were not discussed even though the information was given out. Barr stated that Trump had offered all the information that they had asked for this report. But the report distinctly says that he refused. So Barr has been contradicted already. The other things were that there's no discussion of why they didn't investigate why Trump met with Putin individually with no record taken twice. This happened twice and no one has raised any issues about that. The other is that in the report it was proven that Russia hacked in to the election in 2018. But no federal agency will agree or come up with any solutions to how we can protect our upcoming election.

  • 12:16:45

    NNAMDIWell, we're talking about 2016 as opposed to 2018.

  • 12:16:49

    MELISSAI'm sorry. Yeah. You're right about that. But 2020, you know, it's clearly going to be happening. And I've forgotten who the particular agencies are that are responsible for that, but they've indicated that, Yeah. It's going to happen and there's nothing we can do about it.

  • 12:17:06

    NNAMDIAs to the one on one meetings that President Trump had with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, everybody knows the report has 400 pages. So I don't know if there's any reference at all to that in the reports. Have you heard anything at all, Patrice?

  • 12:17:20

    ONWUKAI haven't. And the good question is are you referring to meetings he's had with Putin as president?

  • 12:17:28

    NNAMDIPost presidency? Yes.

  • 12:17:29

    ONWUKAYeah, that's important because world leaders do meet.

  • 12:17:29

    MELISSAYes, as president.

  • 12:17:32

    NNAMDIYou're talking about meetings he has as president. I don't know if that may have been covered in the investigation since the investigation was not about the post presidential period.

  • 12:17:41

    MELISSASo this investigation stops at the election, when it seemed very clear by his statements and his actions that he still has close ties with Russia, especially the meeting he had with the Russian ambassador. What was his name? Kisa something where they greeted each other with open arms and --

  • 12:18:07

    NNAMDII know we do have to move on, because there are a lot of other people who are calling. But you probably are reflecting on the White Water investigation, which started as an investigation of a land deal in the state of Arkansas and somehow ended up some place with address and kinds of stuff going on. And I think a lot of people see that as the kind of president for this. And so expected that this would not only look into what happened during the election, but in the post-election period. There's no evidence so far that the report looked extensively at what happened with President Trump and his relationship with Russia post-election, post-campaign. Thank you for your call. On now to David in Washington, D.C. David, your turn.

  • 12:18:45

    DAVIDHi, there. Thanks for taking my call. I just want to make three quick points. The first one is your last caller, I feel really bad, because your current guest has made some great points about the difference between political commentators and actual reporters. And it seems like the last guest you had has been listening to a lot of political commentators who just speculate, because Trump meeting with Putin privately is something that every president has done with Putin. Meeting with him privately is something that heads of state do. And if you actually care about moving forward with the country, there has to be the understanding that there needs to be privacy, that everything that you say in a meeting cannot be leaked out.

  • 12:19:22

    DAVIDAnd with how much leaking that has been going on in the government lately since Trump's been in office, which is unprecedented, if you look back from Obama previously, it's the most leaky government in history. We definitely don't want that when it comes to foreign leaders. The next point is that we keep hearing that the DNC hack was done by the Russians. This is factually not true, and I'm really upset to hear from NPR and CNN and MSNBC and even Fox that this is an accusation. Because there was actually a study that was done by several independent researchers that showed that the download speeds for the files -- because the metadata contains the download speeds for the files -- was actually exceeding the bandwidth that the DNC allowed.

  • 12:20:05

    DAVIDSo, the only possible way for those files to have been downloaded was with a thumb drive or a hard drive connected directly into the server. So, the only way the information could've been transferred and actually downloaded was if somebody was inside the DNC doing it. The last point I wanted to make is that your guest said that, you know, people are gonna believe what they want, based when this report comes out. The fact of the matter is, it's objectively true or not. And what we know is it's objectively false. Trump did not collude, and Trump did not try to compromise the investigation at all.

  • 12:20:42

    DAVIDPeople have been saying all day about how he possibly could've wanted to fire Mueller. If he fired Mueller, that is his right. I think it would've been a bad political move, but it still would've been his right to do, just like it was his right to fire Comey. So, I just think that there's a lot of misinformation out there right now, and unfortunately, people aren't reporting actual facts. They're reporting speculation...

  • 12:21:03

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Well, allow me to have Patrice deal with this aspect of what you're saying. I'm in the news business, so my focus on this might not reflect that of the average person. How closely do you think people are actually following this? We have David here on the line, who is reflecting hypothesis of theory that it originated from the DNC, and we all know about a conspiracy theory involving the young former DNC employee who was murdered here in Washington, DC, and the speculation about why he was murdered. His own family and everybody else has about denounced -- debunked that conspiracy theory. But just how closely are some people following this?

  • 12:21:39

    ONWUKAOh, not closely at all. A Fox News poll released a couple of days ago just before this report was going to be released found that 35 percent of registered voters -- people who would be politically engaged -- didn't even know who A.G. Barr was, which is very interesting. And so that speaks to both, you know, the lack of interest, the lack of understanding and probably the complexity of this entire investigation and how it's been presented in the news, some might say on purpose to make it complex, so that people will just kind of tune it out and just take the headline, which is either he colluded or he didn't collude. Either he obstructed or he didn't obstruct.

  • 12:22:20

    ONWUKAYou know, the last caller, I think we would agree on a lot of things, but particularly to, you know, the point about political commentary versus straight-up journalism and reporting. And I think it's very important that we be honest about, if you're commentary, which my position, and if you're a journalist, am I being biased in my reporting.

  • 12:22:39

    NNAMDIIt is your turn. Do you think the release of the Mueller report will change any minds, or are you more concerned about issues closer to home? It's your turn. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

  • 12:23:33

    NNAMDIWelcome. We're talking in the wake of the release of the Mueller report, which is being covered by news media around the country, and which you can find on the Justice Department's website. Or if you go to NPR.org, you can find it there. We're talking about what your reactions are to the report, or whether you are concerned that there is too much attention on this report, and there are local issues about which you are more concerned. It is your turn. Joining me in studio is Patrice Onwuka. She's a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum, a conservative organization focused on policies and issues affecting women and their families.

  • 12:24:08

    NNAMDIYou're an analyst with, as we said, IWF, living here in a very liberal and progressive area. Do you find yourself ever holding back when it comes to expressing your own political views? You're surrounded by enemies.

  • 12:24:21

    ONWUKA(laugh) Yes. Well, actually, I think in my neighborhood there are probably more conservatives than I know. But, generally, when I'm in a new company of people, I tend to be, you know, a little bit more tepid or cautious in my responses on political questions of the day. And then sometimes something flips, and, you know, people, their eyes open, because I'm a black woman. I'm young. I'm also an immigrant, and so the expectation is that I would lean left, when, in fact, I do lean right.

  • 12:24:47

    ONWUKABut on different issues, I work across the aisle. Like criminal justice reform, I was extremely excited about legislation that passed bi-partisan...

  • 12:24:55

    NNAMDI(overlapping) The First Step program.

  • 12:24:56

    ONWUKA...last year, yes, First Step. So, it's very fun when people -- when I say, yes, the tax cuts were fantastic, and here's why. (laugh) And eyes open, and then, you know, sometimes it's an open doorway, and sometimes it's just slammed shut, I'm not going to listen to this woman. So...

  • 12:25:11

    NNAMDIOn to the phones. Here's Kim in Middleburg. Kim, your turn.

  • 12:25:15

    KIMOh, I'm sorry. I thought this was NPR, where we got both sides of the story...

  • 12:25:21

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Well, this is where you hear NPR, if you are in this region, because we are the station that brings you all of the NPR coverage here. So -- but go ahead. If you want to comment on the NPR coverage, this is the place to do it.

  • 12:25:31

    KIMI feel like I'm not -- yeah, I'm not hearing equal representation like I'm used to hearing when I turn on NPR. I thought it was Fox, actually, for a while. It sounds so one-sided, and I'm not hearing the other side. And I think this issue, even though it may not be as important to people as their everyday occurrence, for our history and going forward as a country, to maintain the democracy we count on, I think it's very important. And I don't hear, except for people calling in, a few, I don't hear the other side of the story. There are...

  • 12:26:04

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Have you been listening to our analyst, Patrice Onwuka? Have you been listening to the analyst we have in studio?

  • 12:26:08

    KIMYeah, I've been listening to her, and she's definitely saying that determinations have been made that I don't think have -- that anyone, even if you're an analyst, could have a right to say this is the facts. I mean, people are out there, and they're not always paying attention to everything. So, I think everything that NPR broadcasts, people kind are kind of trusting, and this is upsetting to me, because I find it not to be anything decided here, and that we need to ask a lot more questions. And although it may not be the most important thing in everyone's day, I think it is important, like I said, as us going forward as a free democracy.

  • 12:26:47

    NNAMDIOkay. As I said, we are the NPR affiliate here in Washington, and we have had people complaining that they're hearing too much of a liberal perspective. But NPR, in fact, prides itself on bringing to its audience both or several sides of an issue. So, we'll just have to see what happens over the course of the next few hours or days, but thank you very much for your call. On now to Ann, in Silver Spring. Ann, your turn.

  • 12:27:14

    ANNThank you, Kojo. My question is, what exactly do we mean by redacted? Because when I look in the dictionary, there are different definitions. One is to bring an item into a presentable literary form, to edit it...

  • 12:27:40

    NNAMDIThat's not what it means in this situation.

  • 12:27:42

    ANNOh, that's what it means in this situation?

  • 12:27:44

    NNAMDINo, it's not. What it means in this situation...

  • 12:27:45

    ANNOh, no it doesn't, and the other is...

  • 12:27:46

    NNAMDI...is the answer you're about to give.

  • 12:27:48

    ANN...yeah, the other is revise or edit.

  • 12:27:52

    NNAMDIYeah, I think that was a more accurate description of what we're seeing in this situation. It has been edited. And according to the attorney general, those redactions or edits have to do with national security, things that they feel that could threaten American security if they were revealed in public. However, members of Congress are likely to see a less edited or less redacted report because those members who are responsible for intelligence committees and the likes do have the right to see more than the public is allowed to see, because they are a part of the process of protecting the nation. Did I get that right, Patrice?

  • 12:28:31

    ONWUKAI think you did. I think they have a responsibility, these members of Congress, to see the information and to, you know, hold their peace, so to speak, but recognizing that, you know, they would have a fuller understanding of both the investigations, the conclusions that were drawn, but also all of the information that was used to come to that decision.

  • 12:28:51

    ONWUKATo the previous caller, you know, I do hope that I've been, you know, articulating something that conservatives, liberals, those who have no affiliation or have no nametag, you know, agree, which is that we need to ensure the integrity of our election system, and that especially going into 2020, that should be something of grave concern and great concern. But also, that if there was no collusion by the president, when he was on the campaign trail, in his campaign, with the Russian government, that is also something that every American should be pleased about. So, you know, hopefully, that is coming across, from me.

  • 12:29:28

    NNAMDIOn now to Pamela, in Washington, DC. Pamela, you're on the air. It's your turn.

  • 12:29:35

    PAMELAHi. I just wanted to say it's really frustrating, and I feel like I’m being gas-lighted, because we're all looking at the same set of facts, and people are coming to completely different conclusions. He's obviously guilty. He obviously colluded. He obstructed justice. He's a racist. I mean, come on, and he's illiterate, and I don't understand how people...

  • 12:29:55

    NNAMDI(overlapping) You heard all of that in the report?

  • 12:29:58

    PAMELAI did -- no, just watching -- I've watched the news, as it comes out. He's admitted, as such. He said...

  • 12:30:06

    NNAMDI(overlapping) So, what you see to be saying, Pamela, is that you don't care what the Mueller report says.

  • 12:30:13

    PAMELANo, I do care. And I see -- I've read a little bit of it already online, and they said he's done ten things that could be construed as obstruction.

  • 12:30:22

    NNAMDITrue.

  • 12:30:23

    PAMELABut they decided not to make it a criminal obstruction case against him, for whatever reason. Or maybe they're leaving it to Congress. But people keep saying he hasn't done anything. That's not true. Look at...

  • 12:30:36

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Can we draw that kind of conclusion, Patrice?

  • 12:30:40

    ONWUKATo say that we haven't done anything, I'm not sure what anything is, or...

  • 12:30:45

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Well, what the report finds is that there was no collusion, but it has not come to a definitive conclusion on whether or not the President may have obstructed the investigation.

  • 12:30:54

    ONWUKAWell, and I think there's the question of the legal standard of whether he could be prosecuted for something like that, versus whether he could be investigated through some of the congressional committees. And I think we can expect there to be some congressional hearings and investigations. So, you know, I think I made a point earlier, which is that Americans have, you know, mixed opinions on this investigation.

  • 12:31:17

    ONWUKAAnd I don't think -- I mean, most people -- I think it sets up in thirds: a third of people will always question and will always believe that he did something wrong. A third of people will believe that he was innocent, and that this was an entire hoax on the part of -- this investigation was really a hoax. And then a third of people may never know for certain. And so I think the callers are kind of breaking down pretty evenly, and it's very much partisan-driven.

  • 12:31:45

    ONWUKAWhat I think and hope unites all of us, once again, is the hope that we are ensuring the integrity of our electoral system, that social media companies are -- we're understanding what role they have in trying to filter this misinformation that gets passed along, and that's from both sides of the aisle, so that when we go to the poll in 2020, that we can, you know, be assured that no other country is trying to tamper and impacting the election results of our campaigns.

  • 12:32:16

    NNAMDISpeaking of that, here's George, in Ybor City. George, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:32:21

    GEORGEI want to make two comments. One real quick to address the caller that was just on. I want her and I want everyone out there to read Donald Trump's first book, because all these people that think he's a racist, like she said, and he did this and he did that, it says in his first book, the strategy, that he's negotiated -- it's all negotiation. His strategy is win-win. In other words, it's win or not lose. That's different than win or lose. It's very different. And all the stuff that he says about being a racist and the border wall and all that, all of that is negotiation. It's not literal. And...

  • 12:32:59

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Okay. But what do you want to say about the Mueller report?

  • 12:33:02

    GEORGEWell, now, the Mueller report, Mueller (unintelligible) here's the evidence, here's the evidence. I'm going to pass it on. I'm going to pass it on...

  • 12:33:14

    NNAMDIOkay.

  • 12:33:14

    GEORGE...and let the authorities decide.

  • 12:33:20

    NNAMDIAnd who are the authorities to which you think he's referring?

  • 12:33:25

    GEORGEWell, that's a good question, because the media and the public is already convicting him. But doesn't it have to go (unintelligible) ?

  • 12:33:34

    NNAMDIWell, your phone is breaking up, but I wanted to bring this issue to Patrice, because it's not just the analysts and those in the Beltway buckle who are clearly extremely polarized politically right now. How does that affect the way the average American responds to this report, and do you think it will change any minds?

  • 12:33:50

    ONWUKAI don't think it will change any minds. Let me quote a CNN poll from just earlier, I think last week, after Barr's memo was released a couple of weeks ago. Only 13 percent said the findings would sway their decisions about who to vote for in 2020. Eighty-six whopping percent said the investigation wouldn't make a difference in their votes. So, while that third of people who are not certain about what happened in this investigation, maybe they will come to a conclusion. People have already made up their minds that this investigation is not going to have an impact on how they vote. So, that's forward-looking.

  • 12:34:27

    ONWUKAWhen we think about how this plays outside of the Beltway, it's going to depend very much on what news you're consuming and how that's covered. If you're watching the evening news tonight at 6:00 p.m., and you're in, you know, Kansas this evening, it's going to depend on how your local news is covering that issue. And, very often, it's going to be one headline, and the headline may be based on what the President's meme of him, “Game of Thrones” game over, or it could be more of the opposing side, which is, there's so much to dig into, we don't know. And he probably did something, so we'll find out.

  • 12:35:03

    ONWUKABut, again, a lot of people are still set in their minds, and they have decided whether they agree or disagree. And, for many people, it's not even going to matter about how they vote in 2020.

  • 12:35:13

    NNAMDIThis is a tough one. Attorney General Barr has said he has no objection to Robert Mueller testifying. Do you think he should? Do you think Congress should subpoena Robert Mueller?

  • 12:35:21

    ONWUKAI absolutely think Congress will subpoena Robert Mueller. (laugh) I would like to be done with this, honestly. We've spent two years, as a nation, waiting for this investigation. We had confidence in Mueller, going into this. People have lost their confidence over the past year, depending on what side of the aisle you're on. But he's come to a conclusion. He has produced a report, and it's important for our country that we can move forward, even if we disagree on issues and solutions, but to move forward from this. And I think continuing these hearings will continue to keep a question mark over this administration, you know...

  • 12:36:00

    NNAMDI(overlapping) Well, are you suggesting that there shouldn't be hearings?

  • 12:36:02

    ONWUKAIt's up to Congress to decide if they want to do hearings. The question is whether the outcomes of those hearings are going to advance our democracy or advance our nation forward. And I don't think they are. I think they're meant to be polarizing.

  • 12:36:15

    NNAMDIAnd I'm afraid that's got to be the last word. Patrice Onwuka is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum, a conservative organization focused on policies and issues affecting women and their families. Thank you so much for joining us.

  • 12:36:25

    ONWUKAOh, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure.

  • 12:36:27

    NNAMDIToday's show was produced by Ingalisa Schrobsdorff and Cydney Grannan. Coming up tomorrow, the Politics Hour. Virginia Delegate Danica Roem joins us to talk about the state of Democratic politics in Virginia after our legislative session filled with scandals. And Maryland Delegate Dereck Davis joins us to share why he is trying to be the next speaker of the Maryland House. That all starts tomorrow, at noon. Until then, thank you for listening. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

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