There is a lot inside the Mueller report, and it will all take many weeks to digest. But two things remain unexplained. One is the question of messaging. Why was Trump, all through the latter part of the 2016 campaign, repeating and using slogans that were conceived on Russian state media? Obama “founded ISIS” and Hillary Clinton will cause World War III : These were slogans first used by Sputnik and other Russian sources. We still don’t know how Trump and his campaign happened to use the same conspiracy theories that the Russians were using, or happened to be promoting the same conspiracy theories online. I speculated, at one point, that campaign data might have been shared. And, indeed, Mueller did find exactly that: Manafort and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates were sharing data with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the FBI believes to be a Russian intelligence operative: “Gates periodically sent such polling data to Kilimnik during the campaign.” But there is no further information about how that data might have been used — and no explanation of why the online tactics used by the Russian military intelligence agency and the Trump campaign were so similar.
Why was Trump so afraid of the Mueller investigation? We may never know.
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