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What Trump’s Reddit Supporters Are Discussing After Reports He Tried to Fire Robert Mueller

US President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.  / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum on Thursday.
Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

The day after the New York Times reported that Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, the president’s most adulatory Reddit supporters have been taking to the r/The_Donald forum to discuss the supposed corruption of the media and Mueller’s team.

The list of “Top” and “Hot” posts on forum on Friday morning were chock full of accusations against FBI official Peter Strzok, who was formerly a member of the team investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server and later joined Mueller’s team. Strzok has found himself at the center of an alleged scandal involving missing text messages from his conversation with Lisa Page, another FBI official with whom he was romantically engaged. On the right, the scandal has been purported to show that the FBI and the investigation is biased against Trump. The president himself tweeted about it on Tuesday morning.

The top post on the forum as of this writing, with around 12,200 upvotes, is a link to a Fox News story that the Department of Justice has recovered texts that were missing in the messaging log between the two. Commenters on the post discuss how there needs to be more attention paid to Clinton’s emails and how the FBI is looking to undermine the Trump presidency. As one poster put it, “These are typical Trump hating leftists who were talking to each other in private at peak Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Seven of the top 25 posts on the forum have to do with the text messages, with resulting conversations following this same general theme. The accusations extend to Mueller himself as well: a popular post with more than 2,000 upvotes features a picture of Mueller next to John Kerry during their days as classmates at the St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.

The president’s Reddit backers have also been expressing their indignation with the “main stream media.” One of the current “Hot” posts, with over 3,000 upvotes, suggest that Strzok and Page are in cahoots with the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post as anti-Trump leakers. A prevailing allegation on the page is that these papers cannot fairly cover the text message affair.

As for Thursday’s report in the Times, people on /r/The_Donald seem to be obliquely referencing the piece. A “Rising” post argues, “The sole reason for the Mueller investigation was to ‘Obstruct Justice,’” and the top comment reads, “Notice that in articles about the investigation now - in places like the NYT and WashPost - they say it is an obstruction of justice investigation.” Others, though, appear ready to defend the president if he did try to fire Mueller. Another “Rising” post is a screenshot of a tweet from Dilbert cartoonist and early Trump supporter Scott Adams:

Yet, the forum wasn’t all outrage. Many a pro-Trump netizen have been cheering the president on in his visit to the World Economic Forum, portraying him as a valiant cowboy “surrounded at Davos by enemy globalist scum.” Others liken him to a rock star, and have been trumpeting a quote from his Friday speech: “As president of the United States, I will always put America first … America first does not mean America alone.”

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Aaron Mak

Aaron Mak writes about technology for Slate.