The Mueller report was supposed to settle, once and for all, the controversy over whether the Trump team colluded with Russians or obstructed justice. Clearly, it has not. Reactions to the report have ranged from “Total exoneration!” to “Impeach now!”
Shouldn’t nearly 700 hundred pages of details, after almost two years of waiting, have helped the nation to achieve a consensus over what happened? Well, no. As Goethe said in the early 1800s, “Each sees what is present in their heart.”
Since 2013 — long before Donald Trump was even a candidate — we have been studying the “dueling facts” phenomenon: the tendency for Red and Blue America to perceive reality in starkly different ways. Based on that work, we expected the report to settle…next to nothing.
The conflicting factual assertions that have emerged since the report’s release highlight just how easy it is for citizens to believe what they want — regardless of what Robert Mueller, William Barr or anyone else has to say about it.