First, they interpret each incremental development in the Mueller investigation completely in isolation. The overall pattern of the Mueller probe, fleshed out by a large amount of reporting, displays a series of trails between Russia and the Trump campaign. These include the Trump Tower meeting, Roger Stone’s interactions with WikiLeaks, Paul Manafort’s history of pro-Russian political work, Peter W. Smith’s work on behalf of Michael Flynn, to take the most prominent.
But Trump’s believers see not patterns in these episodes, but a series of disconnected dots. So, for instance, when Mueller charged Russian internet trolls with election interference, they saw it not as one element of a broader indictment of Russian interference, but proof that the bad actors were entirely those operating on the Russian side.
…Second, they concede Trump lies constantly, but insist he does so for no particular reason.
…The assumption here is that Trump’s lifelong habit of pathological lying tells us nothing about his underlying guilt.
…Third, and following logically from both of the above, Trump’s defenders do not see his actions forming any pattern of obstruction of justice.