The hosts of The View didn’t know quite what to make of the first details that have emerged from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Monday morning.
“So, 22 months after Robert Mueller's investigation began, his report has been delivered,” Whoopi Goldberg said at the top of the show. “He found no evidence that the guy in the White House conspired with Russia. He stopped short of exonerating him for obstruction of justice, but you-know-who must not have read that part.”
With that, she cut to footage of Trump falsely claiming “complete and total exoneration.”
For former Fox News host Abby Huntsman, the report’s apparent conclusion was good news.
“It did say in the report that Russia was clearly trying to impact our elections and that is a serious, serious issue,” Huntsman said. “But what obviously the big finding was that, no, there was no collusion between Trump or any American for that matter when it comes to colluding with Russia, which I would say, whether you like the president or you hate him, that's something we should all be happy about. The alternative is our president colluding with the Russian government. That’s a pretty bad place to be.”
Joy Behar, meanwhile, isn’t buying that Trump is off the hook when it comes to obstruction. “Why did he keep his conversations with Putin secret, for example?” she asked. “Why did he ask Comey to go easy on Flynn? Those are like little questions that sound like obstruction to me, so I don’t buy that he’s completely exonerated, the way he just said.”
Then there was Meghan McCain, who said she felt like she was in a “sensory deprivation tank” over the weekend because she doesn’t “know what’s going on.”
“I'm exhausted and exacerbated by media coverage of this, because it was hyped so much,” McCain said. “I don’t have a horse in this race in the sense that I actually came in here today and I was like maybe the person sitting in this specific chair should be a Trumper, because I don’t like him and I think he has the mental and emotional capacity of King Joffrey in Game of Thrones, but that doesn’t make him a Russian spy.”
“And I actually have been like having a sort of existential crisis with this,” she continued. “Because I’m not a Trump supporter. I’m a hardcore conservative. I’m not a Trump populist. And this is where divisions lie as we’ve been talking about on this show. Trumpers love this, and by the way, this could get him re-elected, the media getting so out over their skis with this and saying it’s collusion, he was a Russian spy.”
Later in the show, when McCain asked ABC News’ chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl about the media’s role in “overselling” the Russian collusion narrative to the public, he said, “I think that there were some significant mistakes in some of the reporting, but I also think this is a huge story.
“This is the most significant investigation of a president since Watergate,” Karl continued. “The allegations couldn’t have been more high stakes, the idea of a foreign power potentially colluding with a presidential candidate. Now, it turned out that was not the case, but there were significant steps along the way. There was a major criminal investigation here. How could reporters not cover that and cover it aggressively and consistently?”