THE MORNING PLUM:
This morning, President Trump uncorked a series of tweets about how the “Corrupt Deep State” has been caught in a “major SPY scandal” that could prove to be “one of the biggest political scandals in history.”
This comes as the investigation he’s railing about continues to generate new revelations. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is examining yet another Trump Tower meeting, at which Trump’s son was reportedly open to accepting campaign help from Gulf state princes. Meanwhile, the business partner of Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen has flipped on him.
In short, Trump’s latest tweets show him concocting crazy conspiracy theories in the face of an investigation that is closing in on him, his family and his cronies. Why is he doing this? Because the investigation, in tandem with dogged media digging, has already produced evidence of Trump campaign collusion with a foreign power to subvert our democracy and allegations of mind-boggling levels of corruption, which include Trump corruptly going to extraordinary lengths to subvert the workings of justice, with the active help of Republicans in Congress.
This set of facts contains an answer to a debate consuming Democrats: How much should they talk about Trump and Russia, and how should they do it?
Some new data has put Democrats on edge over this question. McClatchy reports that Navigator, a group of liberals and Democrats working to help craft 2018 messages, has released a new poll finding that 59 percent of Americans don’t think Mueller’s probe has produced evidence of any wrongdoing by Trump’s team.
I’m told that in multiple private discussions, leading progressives and liberals have evinced frustration with Democratic messaging on the Mueller investigation. The complaint has been that, as the story gets more complex, voters will lose track of why the investigation is important in the first place, and Democrats need to be more effective in explaining that. “There is a growing sense among groups working on this issue that Democrats need to be more vocal,” one person involved in these talks tells me.
This has led to some liberal expressions of fear that Trump is “winning” the public debate over the Mueller probe, an idea that some journalists have been very quick to countenance. But this is just wrong. And a recognition of this is central to