Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his probe and determined there is no evidence showing that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia.
In this episode of “American Thought Leaders,” Jason Meister, an adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign, says it’s time to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.
Meister says that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and the so-called Steele dossier should all be investigated, so that the nation can “heal and move on from this.”
Jan Jekielek: In February 2018—over a year ago now—you wrote a column for The Epoch Times, and I’m going to quote something that you wrote that I thought was fascinating. You wrote, “Mueller’s investigation is a total sham and the president should treat it as such. Mueller should be put to the test. Let him indict whoever he has evidence to indict and then pack his bags.” It seems like things have actually played out as you were suggesting then. What I want to know is, what made you so sure of your outcome at the time?
Jason Meister: That’s a good question. I think that if you’re paying attention, if you’re consuming news from reliable sources like The Epoch Times—you guys have been on top of this story since Day One—and I think that it was just my acute sense of the news and staying on top of what was actually occurring. This was the greatest political scandal in American history. It makes Watergate look like a nothing situation. And it’s the story of our time. The fact that President Trump was able to win the election, with this conspiracy theory sort of pointed at him, is just one of the most amazing political feats in American history. So, what a story that we get to talk about today and finally have behind us.
Mr. Jekielek: It was a very bold thing to say, I think, especially given what we saw and a lot of media back then. [There were] a lot of suggestions that Mueller is going to come in, he’s going to indict President Trump’s family, he is going to indict the president himself, and it’s just moments away, the evidence is coming, the evidence is coming. You went out on a limb and you said, “Let this play out. Let’s see what actually comes of it.” I think there weren’t a lot of people saying that.
Mr. Meister: No, there definitely wasn’t. But you could tell.
Mr. Jekielek: I mean, that believed he was innocent. Can you expand on that a little bit? How is it that you had the courage to be so unequivocal in this?
Mr. Meister: Look, this was a result of not accepting the results of an election of a duly elected president, OK? There was no collusion. The American people voted for a president and he won. He didn’t go to Russia. He went to the states that he needed to win the Electoral College. And Hillary Clinton didn’t do that—she was inefficient in her policies, there was criminal behavior behind her. And so I think that, really, this was the result of not accepting the results of an election and that’s why this all unfolded.
Mr. Jekielek: So, let me read a quote here. This is actually a tweet from the president. He wrote, “No collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration. Keep America Great.” Is what we’re seeing: Truly total exoneration? I’m seeing a lot of folks not agreeing with that statement out there.
Mr. Meister: They don’t want to lay in the beds that they made for themselves. This is a complete exoneration of the president and his campaign. This was a conspiracy theory that was pushed for two years. You had 2,800 subpoenas. You had 500 witnesses. You had 500 search warrants. You had 280 some-odd communications that were looked at. You had 13 foreign government intel investigations. This was a complete exoneration. It couldn’t be more of an exoneration for the president. This is a great day for the president.
Now, it’s time to look at how this all unfolded. What actually occurred? How did this investigation get opened to begin with? That’s what the American people need, to really heal and move on from this.
Mr. Jekielek: President Trump has been saying it all along—no collusion. We’ve seen it a few times. I guess my question is: What else do you think he’s been right on that the media don’t seem to understand?
Mr. Meister: The media don’t understand a lot. They’ve been pushing fake news …
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s say the legacy media, because there’s certainly some media out there …
Mr. Meister: There’s some, but it’s very limited. Look at the Covington boy’s story. Look at the Jussie Smollett story. Look at the Russian collusion hoax story. If you just look over the past six months, every story—one after the next—was fake, pushed. It was a narrative that the liberal mainstream media wanted to push and brainwash Americans to think one thing, when the reality was the complete opposite.
So, they’ve taken a huge blow. This president is a pragmatist [and] he’s a problem solver. It’s not about, any longer, the Democrats or the Republicans. It’s about solving America’s problems and making this country great again. And I think that what the media doesn’t understand is that this president isn’t an ideologue, and he’s not going to fit into a little box or into their narrative. And what’s happened is what many people have called “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Mr. Jekielek: Right.
Mr. Meister: This is a real thing. And it’s really just … it’s driven people to hysteria, like the Russian collusion stuff that’s been sort of put out there into the media in sort of a brainwashing way—just like the way that they put the Smollett story or the Covington boy’s story. So I think that been a major blow to the legacy media.
Mr. Jekielek: I guess this is kind of an opportunity for the legacy media to do some soul searching. What do you think?
Mr. Meister: I think it’s time. I don’t know if it will actually happen, but I think that we are at a moment in American history for some self-reflection. And also for some honest reporters and networks to think really long and hard about what has unfolded over the last two years, and [whether] they want to exist, because they will go extinct like the dinosaurs. No, I’m not kidding. You know, social media, in some respects, has put a check on the legacy media. And that’s why you had some of these stories that were totally faked stories, corrected by people—individuals that had social media accounts that … like a video camera, like where the Covington boys were and they can see what actually happened.
What happens is that that video goes viral on social media, and then all Americans can see that what was being pushed upon them and what they were being brainwashed with was completely not true.
Mr. Jekielek: So … this so-called Trump Derangement Syndrome—it’s very interesting to me because it suggests [a sort of] an illness, and that people don’t really know what they’re doing. I guess my question is: When you say, “Oh yeah, there’s Trump Derangement Syndrome,” are people who have this so-called Trump Derangement Syndrome responsible for themselves in this? Is there something else that … you mentioned brainwashing … Can you unpackage that for me?
Mr. Meister: I think it’s driven the legacy media crazy. This president has driven the legacy media crazy. So they become crazy. They lose a sense of rational thought. They lose a sense of facts and …
Mr. Jekielek: So this refers to media mostly …
Mr. Meister: Well, no, I think that it refers to … I am discussing the media now, but it’s the other side of the aisle—many Democrats have this Trump Derangement Syndrome. Many of my colleagues and many of my friends have this [too]. It’s a syndrome that … and I don’t blame them necessarily, I think that it’s this hysteria of wanting something to be true that’s not true, because they want to get the president. They want to, you know, impeach the president, … but, in reality, they can’t, because he’s done nothing wrong. And so that’s what we see in this whole Mueller investigation and this report that came out.
Mr. Jekielek: It sounds like you’re putting the reason for this hysteria, let’s say, beyond the media itself, at least, into the hands of the media. Is that fair?
Mr. Meister: Well, I think the media perpetrates and furthers it because people consume media and they consume news. And if they’re consuming something that’s being put out by reporters with Trump Derangement Syndrome, they’re not going to be getting facts, they’re not really getting reality. Just like you had the Smollett story or the Covington story, where they were reporting something that was literally the opposite of what actually occurred. So I do point blame towards the media. I think that the media needs to live up to their lies. I don’t blame the people that consume the news, because that’s the news that they’re consuming and they don’t know any better.
Mr. Jekielek: Actually, I’ve heard a lot and I remember watching a kind of back and forth on CNN with Chris Cuomo and Matt Schlapp about this, in which Cuomo was talking about, “Oh, look the president lies, he lies,” and he just wouldn’t let Matt get a word in. And this seems to be a very common statement, let’s call it a narrative. Yet, in this situation, I mean, surely there is some evidence to support this whole Russia collusion thing? How did this all happen? Could this just be a complete and total lie from the beginning? It’s just hard to fathom, I think, for many of our viewers.
Mr. Meister: It’s very unfortunate but it is a sham. You basically had a fake dossier, the fake Trump dossier, which was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. It was then taken to the high-ups at the Obama administration. They then went to the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on the opposition candidate and his campaign [who are] all— by the way—private U.S. citizens. And that abuse of the FISA courts and that abuse of our system is what you’re seeing play out in this Mueller investigation—not one indictment of any single individual. After two years of investigating—not one indictment. It’s a complete sham.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, there were some indictments.
Mr. Meister: Well, there was. But none of them, not one—and you’ll hear this in the media that there was this indictment and that indictment—not one indictment having anything remotely to do with Russia or collusion. And that’s a very important thing to point out. They’re victims of Russiagate, which is the biggest disinformation campaign in American history.
Mr. Jekielek: What do you make of Attorney General Barr basically being given the license from Mueller to decide, based on the evidence, [if] there was obstruction or not. What do you make of Mueller deciding to walk away from answering that question?
Mr. Meister: I don’t make much of it. I think that Mueller was the [one] who conducted the investigation, and he’s giving it to a third party to sort of read through it and then deliver the results to the American people, and he did.
Mr. Jekielek: There’s a lot of people, actually, of all stripes politically, that are calling for a full release of the report. What do you make of that?
Mr. Meister: I think that’s great. I think transparency is a great thing. I think we need transparency to heal from this terrible collusion hysteria that’s gone on for two years. It’s ripped this country apart. The media has dragged us through the mud, and I think it’s time for transparency, so that all Americans can see the sham that it is.
Mr. Jekielek: So you’re advocating for more investigation, just to shift of the focus. Is that what I think …
Mr. Meister: It’s time for the real investigation—the investigation into Hillary Clinton, into the DNC, into the fake dossier, into the Steele dossier that created this entire mess, into Comey, into all the perpetrators of this Russian collusion hoax. I think it’s very important. We live in a country where there’s the rule of law, and people that break the law need to be punished for those laws that were broken. I think that we need, as a country, to heal and figure out how we got into the mess that we’re in.
You can’t just have a sham for two years—2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, 500 search warrants—and not have any rational reason for that and not have any understanding of where that came from and why we’re here today.
Mr. Jekielek: Senator Lindsey Graham, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, seems to agree with your idea that there should be an investigation. He’s actually inviting Attorney General Barr to testify. I also heard that Congressman Nadler is also inviting Barr to testify. What are your thoughts?
Mr. Meister: I think that they should come and testify. We should hear what they have to say—under oath. I think that, again, in order for this country to heal after two years of being ripped apart … and I actually do feel bad for people that believed this nonsense. You know, people go about their lives every day—they go to work, they take care of their families. They’re not in the weeds on this stuff. And you put on CNN and you put on MSNBC, and it’s 24 hours-a-day complete nonsense stories. I don’t know the numbers, but the amount of stories per day, I think it was like 13 stories per day on this for the past two years.
The American people were brainwashed into believing a complete hoax. And I think that in order to heal and get beyond this we need to really understand the truth. And the American people need to understand the fake dossier. How did Obama’s administration get a FISA warrant to spy on an opposition candidate? Just think about that for a second. I mean that’s a banana republic. We have an election, we have a Democrat running and a Republican running, and the sitting president of the United States of America on the Democrat side was spying on the opposition campaign and candidate for president of the United States.
Mr. Jekielek: Allegedly.
Mr. Meister: He was spying on it. No, no, we know that there were wiretaps. We know that the FBI was looking at the Trump campaign. We know that there were phone taps and email taps. And why were those phones and emails tapped? Because of the fake dossier, which was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. We need to get to the bottom of this. It’s a very serious matter. So I hope that the Republicans and I hope that the Trump administration do.
Mr. Jekielek: So you feel there’s some kind of reckoning coming? The reason I’m asking this is because I’ve seen a lot of kind of cynical chatter in the social media—so the narrative is “we’ll just shift and there will be some other issues,” perhaps. You know, there’s all sorts of investigations—I think 81 or something like that—different investigations that are the really important thing actually, maybe the Mueller report isn’t that important.
Mr. Meister: That’s what they’re saying today.
Mr. Jekielek: And if you folks have said well, wait a sec, this was two years. This is like you said the biggest deal, it’s a bigger deal than Watergate. So it’s not going to go away so fast.
Mr. Meister: It’s not going away fast. And the president and this administration has been focused on the American people, on the economy, on tax reform, and has been making America great again from the time he’s taken his position in office. And he will continue to do so going forward. By the way, I think that with this cloud off him and his administration, he’s going to do even better than before. But I think that it’s vitally important to this country that we get to the bottom of how this all came about. How did this sham hoax, collusion illusion come about to begin with?
Mr. Jekielek: It just occurred to me that I think there have even been Pulitzer Prizes that have been won on the basis of reporting around Russia collusion. What does this conclusion mean for the media and the outlook for the legacy media?
Mr. Meister: I think this past weekend, with the Mueller report totally exonerating the president after two years of a fake hoax, puts the media in a terrible place. I think that they’ve lost tremendous credibility. They were losing credibility leading up to this, but it was a major blow. And I think that people … I mean, I can’t imagine. I was thinking about that this morning as people were getting up for work and they were getting dressed and they put on the news like I did. How could you even put on CNN, how could you put on MSNBC and actually watch that? I mean, you might as do, well, like my children do—watch Bugs Bunny. There is no reality to what was being pushed over the last two years. How could they have any credibility left for you to even give them a second of your time? I do think it was a massive blow to the mainstream media, mostly the liberal mainstream media. I think that it will have a huge impact on the 2020 race.
Mr. Jekielek: So that’s actually the big question, isn’t it?
Mr. Meister: I’m sure.
Mr. Jekielek: I imagine that the president will be discussing this exoneration for at least a bit of time. Obviously, it’s incredibly important for the American people to know what the Department of Justice thinks about all of this.
Mr. Meister: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: How do you feel the outlook changes for 2020, or does it?
Mr. Meister: I think it does change a lot. I think that you had … well, first of all, on the one hand, you had 2020 Democrat contenders that are vying for the nomination pushing this complete hoax for two years—Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker. We’ve all heard quotes from them believing in this nonsense. So I think that that’s going to have a real impact on them. I think I saw over the weekend, Beto O’Rourke was giving a speech somewhere in a gymnasium and he was pushing the collusion delusion. So I think that is going to have a huge impact on the 2020 race. But I think the broader thing that I see is the fact that President Trump ran on … that there’s this establishment and he’s running against the establishment. I think that’s the broader theme. The media, the corrupt politicians, like what happened in the 2016 election, the fake dossier—it’s all true. His criticism of the media being totally at odds with him and constantly giving him negative press and jumping down his … running against him on the collusion stuff. It’s all feeding into what he’s been saying, and he’s right about it and it’s a vindication. So I think it’s going to have a huge impact in 2020.
Mr. Jekielek: So there were several people, even some very prominent people, like the head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff [and] DNC Chairman Tom Perez. They’ve said—I hope I’m saying this right—they’ve seen evidence of collusion. I believe that something like that was said by both of those people. What do you make of that?
Mr. Meister: What do I make of it? We spent 35 million dollars. Like I said earlier, there were 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, 500 search warrants. There was no collusion. And Mueller said in his report that there was no collusion between President Trump, his campaign, and the Russians. So I think that it’s such a disgrace that politicians at the highest levels of our government are—even after Mueller comes out with a report—saying these types of things and pushing this fraud onto the American people. I think we’ve had enough of it and now it’s time to get to the bottom of it.
Mr. Jekielek: OK, so what would you recommend for folks that have gone out on a limb and said this? Or do you think there is something that they have [something] tangible?
Mr. Meister: They have nothing. That’s why we’re here where we are today. I think that it’s a dereliction of their duties as who we’ve elected. I think that it takes … again, it’s a major blow to their credibility as individuals. They’ve been pushing this hoax for two years, and I think that we need to investigate what actually occurred here. How did this fake dossier that was paid for by Clinton and the DNC get into the hands of a FISA court for a warrant? Who at the Obama administration knew about this and how did they go about getting the FISA warrant? These abuses Devin Nunes has spoken out about over the last two years, I think we need to get to the bottom of all that. And, again, I don’t think Americans can heal until they get to the bottom of it.
Mr. Jekielek: Ostensibly, you know, no collusion basically says whatever they used to get that spying in the first place was simply not enough. Because FISA warrants … it’s a very big deal to get one of those things, especially for an American, from what I understand.
Mr. Meister: That’s right. So, look, I think that we do have some investigating to do. I think we’ve already found out a lot about this fake dossier. There’s a lot more to find out. But I think that, again, we live in a country that has a rule of law, and we need to stand by the rule of law. People that break the laws in our country have to be punished for doing so.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.