JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The summary of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russia during the 2016 presidential election says the probe found no evidence the president committed a crime but fell short of exonerating him.
Within hours, the front page of the St. Augustine Record featured a headline that read, “No Evidence of Russia Collusion,” over a photograph of President Donald Trump.
The front page of the Florida Times-Union read “No Collusion, No Exoneration,” over a photograph of Robert Mueller.
President Trump tweeted.” No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
"It was a witch hunt and that's what I have a feeling this is going to be,” said Chris McGuire of Mueller’s investigation and the calls for further probes. “If they don't have anything, they don't have anything let it go.”
"He's not completely exonerated,” said Eric Niwinksi. “That's why I don't like [the president], he makes up stuff as he goes along."
Dr. Michael Binder, a political science professor at the University of North Florida says aside from political differences, some popular media outlets cater to certain opinions by the way they present the facts and which facts they choose to represent.
“This is not just a Trump phenomenon,” Binder said. “Since we have such segmented news media, people can self-select into the types of information they want to hear, and because of that, we're operating with different sets of facts. People believe that the state of the world is different than other people believe."
McGuire and Niwinski agree that’s a problem.
“I think people believe what they would like to believe,” Niwinski said.
They also agree the best way around it is to keep an open mind about headlines and coverage that challenge your ideas.
“Unless you look at everybody’s opinion, you’re going to get a limited view, and limited views aren’t very good,” McGuire said.