President Trump has once again taken to making false statements on Twitter about the special investigation by Robert Mueller III, calling it a “witch hunt” by “Bob Mueller & the 17 Angry Democrats”. He also incorrectly stated that the U.S. economy is the best ever and claimed, without any data to back it up, that the economy would be “25 points higher” if not for the investigation.
While my (our) poll numbers are good, with the Economy being the best ever, if it weren’t for the Rigged Russian Witch Hunt, they would be 25 points higher! Highly conflicted Bob Mueller & the 17 Angry Democrats are using this Phony issue to hurt us in the Midterms. No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2018
President Trump’s poll numbers for last week found him to be at around a 40 percent approval rating, The exception is today’s poll by Rasmussen Reports, which consistently polls at higher numbers than other outlets. CNN’s was at 36 percent, Quinnipiac’s was at 38 percent, ABC News-Washington Post’s was at 36 percent, and Rasmussen Reports was at 47 percent. The Real Clear Politics average is at 41 percent, which is President Trump’s lowest since March.
The economic growth was 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, and 4.2 in the second quarter of 2018. However, under President Reagan, economic growth averaged 4.6 percent annually from 1983 through 1987. In addition, under President Clinton, the economic growth averaged 4.3 percent annually from 1996 through 2000.
Robert Mueller III is the special counsel overseeing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. 17 attorneys are working on the investigation, and it is FBI policy to not choose investigative attorneys based on their party affiliation. Regardless, Politifact has investigated the claim, and it is known that not all 17 attorneys working on the investigation are Democrats.
Greg Andres, Rush Atkinson, Ryan Dickey, Michael Dreeben, Kyle Freeny, Andrew Goldstein, Adam Jed, Elizabeth Prelogar, James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee, Brandon Van Grack, and Andrew Weissmann and Aaron Zelinsky are Democrats. However, Scott Meisler and Aaron Zebley are registered without a party affiliation. In addition, Zainab Ahmad registered as a Republican at 18 and later registered with no party affiliation. The party affiliation of the remaining member of the team, Brian M. Richardson, is unknown.
Four people involved in Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to charges brought as a result of Robert Mueller’s investigation and agreed to cooperate with the investigators. Also, Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and Samuel Patten, an American businessman who is a business partner with a Russian national accused of having ties with the Kremlin, have also pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the investigation.
In addition, Alex Van der Zwaan, an attorney who once worked with Paul Manafort and Rick Gates pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller’s investigators about contacts with an official in the Trump election campaign. He served 30 days in prison and was fined $20,000. Konstantin Kilimnik, an aide of Paul Manafort in Ukraine, was charged with witness tampering.
On top of that, 12 Russian intelligence officers were accused of hacking Democratic Party computer networks in 2006 and 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities were accused of tampering the 2016 election in favor of Trump.
Finally, an American citizen named Richard Pinedo was not involved in the Trump campaign, but he pleaded guilty to creating false identification, as well as buying and stealing hundreds of identities, some of which he sold to the Russian nationals who are accused of tampering with the 2016 election.
The photograph in the header was taken by a photographer for Getty Images