Presidential historian roasts Mueller’s ‘convoluted’ language — which gives room for Trump to lie about exoneration
Former special counsel Robert Mueller (Screen cap).

Presidential historian Jon Meacham expressed frustration with special counsel Robert Mueller's grammar in his report, and his first public remarks about his two-year investigation of President Donald Trump.

Mueller made clear that the president had not been cleared by the investigation, but Meacham told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that his "convoluted" grammar left an opening for Trump and Attorney General William Barr to mischaracterize his findings.

"I do think the biggest headline was that wonderful double negative, you know, 'if we thought he had not committed a crime we would have said so,' which is wonderfully -- you know, if you saw that sentence as an editor you would fix it," Meacham said. "It's a little too convoluted, but that right there is the point. Trump says a person is innocent, Mueller says, 'If we thought he had committed' -- I can't even say it. 'If we thought he had' -- I can't even quote it, which sort of proves my point."

"It's an unfair fight in this political atmosphere," he added.

Meacham said the situation reminded him of the McCarthy era in the 1950s, when the Wisconsin senator would level outrageous charges that grabbed attention, while the denials and facts were more subtle.

"Mueller was speaking the language of reason and fact, Trump was speaking the language of tribalism and ideology, and guess who is going to win that fight in this climate," Meacham said. "It's going to be Trump, but that's, to me, the test of citizenship is to actually do what Mueller said, and take a look at this report."