Mueller’s work continues . . .

EDITORIAL

The announcement by special counsel Robert Mueller that 13 Russians have been indicted for interfering with the 2016 US presidential election would have been welcomed by President Donald Trump, but he will still be crossing his fingers.

Mueller’s Friday bombshell took some attention from the latest gun catastrophe in the US and Trump’s feeble response.

After learning that 17 students had been shot dead at a Florida school, Trump once again tried to turn the attention to mental health issues rather than gun controls. He also said the FBI had failed to follow up on tips about gunman Nikolas Cruz because it was too focused on the Russian inquiry.

He and his wife Melania flew to Parkland to commiserate with the victims and praise the medical staff and first responders for an “incredible job”, but to many observers this seemed hollow.

Angry survivors of the massacre announced they would march on Washington to try to get some movement on gun laws.

It is obvious to the rest of the world that the US has a huge problem with lax gun laws that allowed the mentally disturbed Cruz to carry out his murderous attack.

Somebody should tell Trump that 1.3 million assault rifles are sold each year in the US. The modified AR 15 rifle used by Cruz was the same weapon used in the preceding four mass shootings, including the Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed. It can be bought as a single-shot weapon and easily modified to fire multiple rounds, with ads encouraging buyers to do this to avoid “onerous” firearms regulations.

Despite a ghastly list of catastrophes, there is no sign that Trump or the Republican Party will budge. The National Rifle Association contributed $US30m to Trump’s campaign.

So in a strange way Mueller’s announcement will actually take some of the pressure off Trump. However, the indomitable Mueller continues his work and is reportedly about to complete a plea bargain with former Trump adviser Rick Gates. He may still be able to uncover a link, so Trump should not relax yet.

The announcement by special counsel Robert Mueller that 13 Russians have been indicted for interfering with the 2016 US presidential election would have been welcomed by President Donald Trump, but he will still be crossing his fingers.

Mueller’s Friday bombshell took some attention from the latest gun catastrophe in the US and Trump’s feeble response.

After learning that 17 students had been shot dead at a Florida school, Trump once again tried to turn the attention to mental health issues rather than gun controls. He also said the FBI had failed to follow up on tips about gunman Nikolas Cruz because it was too focused on the Russian inquiry.

He and his wife Melania flew to Parkland to commiserate with the victims and praise the medical staff and first responders for an “incredible job”, but to many observers this seemed hollow.

Angry survivors of the massacre announced they would march on Washington to try to get some movement on gun laws.

It is obvious to the rest of the world that the US has a huge problem with lax gun laws that allowed the mentally disturbed Cruz to carry out his murderous attack.

Somebody should tell Trump that 1.3 million assault rifles are sold each year in the US. The modified AR 15 rifle used by Cruz was the same weapon used in the preceding four mass shootings, including the Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed. It can be bought as a single-shot weapon and easily modified to fire multiple rounds, with ads encouraging buyers to do this to avoid “onerous” firearms regulations.

Despite a ghastly list of catastrophes, there is no sign that Trump or the Republican Party will budge. The National Rifle Association contributed $US30m to Trump’s campaign.

So in a strange way Mueller’s announcement will actually take some of the pressure off Trump. However, the indomitable Mueller continues his work and is reportedly about to complete a plea bargain with former Trump adviser Rick Gates. He may still be able to uncover a link, so Trump should not relax yet.

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