Just one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that the ongoing Russia investigation was the reason the FBI didn’t prevent Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter,” Trump wrote late Saturday night. “This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.” He added that the FBI should “get back to the basics.”
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
On Friday, the FBI acknowledged that it had received a tip about the alleged shooter earlier this year and that the agency had failed to follow up on this information or pass it along to its Miami field office. But the idea that Mueller’s Russia investigation was the reason for this failure is simply nonsensical. The bureau employs more than 30,000 people and is obviously capable of conducting numerous investigations at the same time.
Despite the fact that two Trump campaign associates—George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn—have already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts involving Russia, the idea that the probe is distracting federal investigators from more important work quickly gained traction on the right in the wake of the shooting.