LMFAO: Fox News Must Wish They Waited Before Lauding Trump for Not Tweeting About Russia Leak

True to form, Donald Trump took to Twitter after the Washington Post revealed his reckless disclosure of classified information to Russian officials. This occurred at a White House meeting with Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The fallout from the story has driven new demands for independent investigations of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Trump’s tweets were typically self-serving and lacking relevant detail and substance:

Donald Trump

These tweets also contradicted previous responses from the White House dismissing WaPo’s story. First the administration claimed the story was false. Now Trump himself has abandoned that tack. He’s admitting that he divulged information, possibly classified, but that he’s allowed to do so. But even that is a transparent dodge. The problem here isn’t whether the President is acting legally with regard to classification status. It’s whether he’s acting prudently with regard to national security. Divulging information that could advantage hostile foreign nations (i.e. Russia), and alienate allies, could violate other laws.

Following the story’s publication, Fox News went into Emergency Trump Defense Mode. The memo must have gone out to demean the Post and the contents of its story. Because everyone on Fox had the same message. They disputed the Post’s reporting and absolved Trump of any wrongdoing. But the pinnacle of flagrant Trump fluffing occurred, as usual, on Fox and Friends.

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes ridiculed any notion that Trump had misspoken as mere hyperbole from the hysterically anti-Trump media. They began with a video from Tucker Carlson’s show wherein he complained that Trump’s critics “regard him as the single greatest threat to Western civilization since atomic weapons.” And then co-host Brian Kilmeade let this nonsense loose:

“The also thing to keep in mind too is, Donald Trump didn’t tweet out last night. I thought that shows an additional discipline. Let’s listen, let my guys handle it and Dina Powell handle it. They were there, they can walk it back.”

As we already know, Trump did tweet about this. And it was only about an hour after Kilmeade lavished praise on him for not doing so. If Kilmeade thought Trump’s Twitter silence was evidence of his discipline, what does he think now? Will he correct the record on Wednesday’s program? Will he concede that Trump is lacking discipline? Even Carlson said it was fair to consider Trump “undisciplined and impulsive” before returning to his robotic exaltation.

This is the problem that all Trump defenders have to face. Even after they come to his aid, he is likely to shift gears in a way that makes them look like fools. That’s always a risk of doing business with Trump. He is so erratic and focused solely on his own welfare that you stand to get run over by a fleet of buses. And if you pivot to avoid it, you’ll just get hit again when he shifts into reverse. So good luck, suckers.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Kellyanne Conway Told Morning Joe That ‘I Need to Take a Shower’ After Defending Trump

Let’s face it, political surrogates are a weaselly species who make a career of justifying the unjustifiable. For that reason we have to have some sympathy for Donald Trump’s surrogates. They have the dirtiest job in politics, and one that exceeds the bounds of any that came before it. Chief among those poor souls is Kellyanne Conway.

Kellyanne Conway

Conway served as Trump’s campaign manager last year and is currently Counselor to the President. She has had to dive feet first into the mud on more occasions than can be counted. Consequently, she often emerged with absurdities like “alternative facts,” including the fictional Bowling Green Massacre. She was in a constant struggle to cover for Trump’s lies with lies of her own. It’s notable that she wasn’t always so supportive.

Nevertheless, she continues to get booked on cable news shows that apparently aren’t interested in honest discourse. However, there was an exception on Monday when the hosts of Morning Joe decided to reveal some some of the backstage banter that frequently is more illuminating than what gets broadcast. In a conversation about the truthiness of the Trump White House, Mika Brzezinski related an exchange she had with Conway:

“This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would shill for Trump in extensive fashion. And then she would get off the air. The camera would be turned off. The microphone would be taken off and she would say, ‘Blech, I need to take a shower,’ because she disliked her candidate so much.”

The only thing surprising about Conway’s candid comments is that she she said them aloud. But she was saying what most of us were already thinking. Trying to defend a president who lies incessantly, insults his critics with vulgarities, and generally displays a level of intelligence that ranks lower than a banana slug, is going to leave a decent person somewhat nauseous. So in that context there might actually be some hope for Conway.

Brzezinski’s co-host (and fiance), Joe Scarborough added that Conway had implied that her job as a Trump apologist was merely a “summer job” which she would soon be over with. That appears not to be the case since she signed on full time with the administration. Therefore, we can expect to continue seeing her cleaning up after her floundering boss for the indeterminate future. Hopefully she has a sufficient supply of anti-bacterial soap to wash away the muck and grime.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

HOLY SH*T: Trump Leaked ‘Highly Classified Information’ to Russians During Oval Office Meeting

The negligence and incompetence of America’s Reality TV show president is having serious consequences in the realm of national security. The Washington Post is reporting that Donald Trump revealed “highly classified information” during a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the White House. The Post writes that:

“Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.”

Putin got his man:
Trump Putin

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were invited to the White by Trump the day after he fired FBI Director James Comey. That’s something his Russian guests must have appreciated as it would derail the investigation into their interference with the 2016 presidential election. But what Trump disclosed during the meeting could have far reaching consequences.

According to sources familiar with the meeting, Trump was boasting that “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.” As if to prove it he told them about a threat that the United States could only have learned through a key espionage partner. In the course of his bragging Trump revealed “the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.” This is information so sensitive that the Post is “withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.”

Even if Trump held back on some specifics, the exchange was still dangerous because Russia would be able figure out our sources or techniques just with what Trump told them. And betraying the confidence of our partner would likely cause them to refrain from sharing information with us in the future.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Post noted that “Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout.” But significant damage was already certainly done. The disclosure of this sort of data to a hostile foreign country’s top officials is something that was predictable in the election of a novice like Trump. And now he’s proving that our greatest fears about him are coming to pass.

REPORT: Chaffetz Is Ditching His Job Spinning in Congress to Do It Professionally on Fox News

Much has been made of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency from the ranks of reality TV game show hosts. And that surely was a dumbfounding development, with an emphasis on dumb. However, it is less often mentioned that Trump is also a former Fox News personality. He had a regular weekly phone-in segment on Fox & Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” Now that he’s in the White House the lines between Fox News and the Republican Party continue to blur. It’s often difficult to tell the players a scorecard.

Jason Chaffetz Fox News

This weekend a new report surfaced that offered an explanation for the sudden retirement announcement of Jason Chaffetz. The Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee recently disclosed that he would not be running for reelection. Sources also speculated that he would resign before his current term ended. The only explanation that Chaffetz himself provided was the familiar desire to spend more time with his family.

Now his GOP colleagues are revealing that Chaffetz has confided in them what he intends to do after leaving Washington. According to the Washingtonian:

“Chaffetz has been telling people he’ll take on what one source calls a ‘substantial role’ in on-air talent at Fox News Channel, possibly as early as July. […] ‘Let’s just say that when Jason told us he was headed to Fox, no one was surprised,’ says one senior House Republican aide.”

What is meant by “substantial role” is unclear, but implies that he will have more to do than guest commentaries. Perhaps he is angling for his own show. That would make him the third Republican politician to host a program on Fox News. Previously Mike Huckabee and John Kasich anchored shows even as they pursued elected offices. Chaffetz would be in the same position as he is expected to run for governor of Utah in the future.

Along with Huckabee and Kasich, Chaffetz would be following a well worn route from GOP politician to Fox News personality. Others include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, and Sarah Palin. The list gets longer when you include party operatives like Karl Rove, John Bolton, and Dana Perino.

And the road runs both ways. The Trump administration has already recruited several people from Fox News. They include Heather Nauert, Richard Grennell, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, and Jonathan Wachtel. Most recently Trump nominated Fox contributor Scott Brown to be ambassador to New Zealand.

And the rumor mill is churning new speculation that Trump is looking for even more Foxies to adorn his White House. Unhappy with his current communications staff, Trump is said to be interested in hiring producers from his favorite network. Even Press Secretary Sean Spicer isn’t safe. Trump insiders are telling the media that he’s souring on Spicey and “wants Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle to take his place.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party is making it difficult to tell where the GOP ends and Fox begins. Is Fox the PR division of the GOP? Or is the GOP the operational unit of Fox News? It hardly matters. The bottom line is that they have effectively merged into a single entity. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is openly backing the Trump administration, and Trump is repaying the favor with nearly exclusive access and free advertising on Twitter. It’s a match made in Hell for America and what remains of its free press and democracy.

Whaaa? Trump Wants to Cancel All Press Briefings Because ‘The Ratings Are So High’

Last week Donald Trump floated a proposal to cancel all future press briefings. The comment was made during an interview with Jeanine Pirro on his favorite “news” network, Fox News. He followed that up with a tweet affirming his desire to silence the White House press office.

Donald Trump

Trump’s casual suggestion that he might just cancel all future press briefings reflects his tendencies toward fascist authoritarianism. The presidency is not his fiefdom. It is a position of service to the people. Press briefings are the method by which the people’s intermediaries in the media have opportunities to hold national leaders accountable. They cannot be replaced by written press releases. What’s more, Trump’s anger is entirely misplaced. He’s mad at the press because he and his staff are incompetent.

But Trump went even further with his hostile proposal to wrap his presidency in a soundproof cocoon. And his reasoning sunk even deeper into an illogical rant that exposes his deranged thought processes:

“These press conferences are like the biggest thing on daytime television, OK. You see the ratings. They’re blowing away everything, on just about, I think, everything, on daytime television. What I’d love to do is stop them.”

So Trump is now intent on stopping pressing briefings because – – – they are too popular? Trump is actually right, for once, about ratings. The Sean Spicer Show (Fibby Spice) does pull in an audience. And ratings reflect what America’s TV viewers want to see. Apparently they are anxious to see the media holding the President accountable and forcing his administration to explain its actions.

So obviously Trump wants to put an end to that. Ironically, three weeks ago Trump cited those same ratings as the reason he would never part with Spicer. He told the Washington Post that “I’m not firing Sean Spicer. That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.” Now insiders are hinting that Spicer will soon be replaced, possibly by Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

So what happened between then and now that made him so scared of the ratings? Could it possibly be that he’s incapable of justifying his unethical actions and comments with regard to the firing of FBI Director James Comey? Does he recognize that he’s confessed to impeachable acts and needs to shut down the press before the country finds out? Clearly his motivation, at least in part, includes a desire to punish the media. He said so himself:

“They will be very unhappy, because the ratings are so high that I don’t know what these networks are going to do. They’re going to start to cry. They get free ratings because of me and yet they don’t treat us fairly.”

Setting aside Trump’s authoritarian tendencies to clampdown on the press, his concept of their purpose is painfully ignorant. He is not there to produce ratings for the media. And to the extent that he does it’s a reflection on the public’s interest in government, not his popularity. But the kicker is that Trump thinks the media owes him positive coverage because of the ratings that he claims are his doing. Donald Trump can’t stop acting like a reality TV game show host long enough to be president. And that, along with his narcissism, paranoia, and general incompetence, makes him an imminent threat to the nation.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump is Frantically Looking to Hire Fox News People to Staff His Flailing Press Office

The controversy over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to unfold. And the President insists on making matters worse with comments that are implicit admissions of impeachable offenses. For instance, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he asked Comey if he was a subject of an FBI investigation. He also asked Comey to pledge an oath of loyalty and threatened him with releasing secret tape recordings. All of these could be regarded as ethical breaches sufficient to warrant an impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump Sean Spicer

While the core story is as disturbing as anything that’s come out of Washington in decades, there are spin-offs that are equally unsettling. Among them are recent reports concerning the toxic status of Trump’s White House Press Office. Sean Spicer and company have been taking a severe beating over their inability to communicate a consistent, coherent message. They have lost credibility among their peers and, apparently, their bosses as well. On Friday Jeanine Pirro of Fox News asked Trump if Spicer’s job was secure. He pointedly declined to give a straight answer.

Trump is so upset that he actually proposed eliminating the daily press briefings and communicating via Twitter. He also suggested that he might just hold weekly press conferences by himself. An article in the Associated Press noted that Trump “increasingly sees himself as the White House’s only effective spokesperson.” While the absence of regular press avails would ordinarily be an unprecedented insult to the public trust, in the case of this White House it hardly matters. Very little of substance, or truth, is derived from their daily get-togethers.

Now there are reports that Trump is sending out feelers to reshape his press operation more to his liking. In the same AP article there was a line that revealed where Trump’s thinking is headed for the near future:

“Trump is mulling expanding the communications team and has eyed hiring producers from Fox News, according to one White House official.”

That should fix everything. When your press office isn’t lying well enough, get yourself some professionals to do it. For the record, Trump has already tapped Fox News for several administration appointments. Former Foxies on the White House payroll currently include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastion Gorka, Heather Nauert, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. There has never been an administration that was so packed with people from a major news enterprise. And now that’s going to get even worse.

Among the rumored changes is one that predicts the departure of Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Trump insiders are telling the media that Trump “wants Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle to take his place.” Guilfoyle was an attorney who is currently a co-host of Fox’s right-wing gab-fest, The Five. She has never been a journalist and has no experience in press relations. That surely won’t bother Trump who regards inexperience as an asset. Trump may also appreciate Guilfoyle’s admiration for Vladimir Putin, who she thought would be a better president than Barack Obama. And if you don’t believe the anonymous sources speculating about Guilfoyle, the story broke two days earlier on Alex Jones’ Infowars. So that should settle it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

By bringing in Fox News producers and presenters, the White House press office would take on a new identity as an overtly partisan purveyor of propaganda. So one might ask, what’s the difference? Well, it would also cement Trump’s image as a TV character who relies on the fakery of entertainment values over honest journalism. And it would reinforce the relationship between Trump and Fox, which is already a marriage of political convenience and ideology. But most of all, it would abandon any hope of securing the respect of the American public or the world at large. It would turn the press office into a punchline. And considering that the Trump administration is already a bad joke, they don’t really have that far to go.

The Lawyers Trump Used to Clear Him of Russian Ties Were the ‘Russian Law Firm of 2016’

File in the “You Can’t Make This Shit Up” file. Friday morning Donald Trump released a letter from his attorneys that purported to absolve him of any conflicts of interest stemming from dealings with Russia. The letter stated that the lawyers had reviewed ten years of Trump’s tax returns and affirm that he has had no income from Russian sources “with a few exceptions.”

Trump/Putin

Another way of saying that is that Trump did have some income from Russian sources. However, the larger problem with this letter is that there is no way to confirm any of its claims. What’s more, the way that Trump plays with the truth, they could be saying that he has not received any income personally from Russia, but his businesses might still have extensive financial ties.

But what makes this self-serving dispatch all the more peculiar is that the law firm representing Trump in this matter, Morgan, Lewis, has deep ties to Russia itself. ABC News reports that:

“In 2016, however, Chambers & Partners, a London-based legal research publication, named the firm ‘Russia Law Firm of the Year’ at its annual awards dinner. The firm celebrated the ‘prestigious honor’ in a press release on its website, noting that the award is ‘the latest honor for the high-profile work performed by the lawyers in Morgan Lewis’ Moscow office.'”

Needless to say, the optics of this are atrocious. Couldn’t Trump have found a purely American law firm to attest to his patriotic business dealings? Does everyone with whom he associates have hidden connections to Russia? Is Vladimir Putin handling his PR?

The honor bestowed upon this law firm may not be particularly significant. They have an office in Moscow and do considerable business there. And the award is from a private entity, not the Russian government. So it may all be an innocent coincidence. But there have been an awful lot of those erupting around Trump & Co. Plus, the law firm’s website makes note of their specialties. Some of them seem especially well-suited to Trump’s organization, including real estate property transactions:

“Our Moscow office includes more than 40 lawyers and staff who have been working together for many years. Our lawyers are well known in the Russian market, and have deep familiarity with the local legislation, practices, and key players.” […]

“We are particularly adept at advising our clients about compliance and sanction matters.”

Well, that’s not suspicious at all, is it? For Trump to send this firm out to sweep away any unsavory speculation was astonishingly inept, at best. At worst it is evidence of his steel-trap embrace of all things Russian. And it makes it all the more imperative that he release all of his tax returns for himself and his businesses. Without access to that information all the American people have is the word of a severely compromised and untrustworthy charlatan.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Makes a Big Mistake By Insulting Stephen Colbert. Gets Smacked Right in the Truthiness

What is it about spoiled narcissists that makes them think they can out-snark professional comedians? On Thursday Donald Trump took time off from his Twitter tantrums to attack Stephen Colbert. Never mind that his presidency is up to its neck in criminal investigations and scandal. Or that serious issues like North Korea, healthcare, tax reform, terrorism, and climate change are pending. A comedian said something that Trump didn’t like and, dammit, that required the immediate attention of the President.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

So Trump sprung into action with a forthright declaration of principle. It is certain to go down in history with Churchill’s “blood, sweat, and tears,” and Kennedy’s “ask what you can do for your country.” Trump mustered up all his rhetorical prowess to tell Time Magazine that:

“You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him.”

Where to begin? Colbert’s millions of fans might disagree with Trump’s assessment of him as a “no-talent guy”. And it appears that the only people who don’t think he’s funny are Trump and his cadre of glassy-eyed disciples. And if Trump really believes that people like Colbert are helping him, then why is he complaining? Shouldn’t he be encouraging more of what Colbert does so that he can get more of the benefit from it.

As for the filthiness of Colbert’s material, that complaint is cute coming from the pussy-grabber-in-chief. Not to mention that Trump is notorious for his own affinity for profanity. Who can forget when he told American business that they could “go f*ck themselves”? Or when he promised to “bomb the sh*t” out of ISIS? He wasn’t deterred by the fact that there were children in the audience.

Speaking of which, what kind of parent is Trump? He seems to think that America’s children are awake at 11:30pm watching television? Just because he watches TV constantly and behaves like a child doesn’t mean that actual children are staying up to catch Colbert. Most parents don’t let their kids stay up that late. But then again, most kids don’t act so immaturely. To be fair, Trump has to watch TV a lot, especially Fox News. That’s where he gets all of his policy ideas from.

But if you think Trump was through, you don’t know Trump. He continued his rant to further disparage Colbert and, of course, to exalt himself:

“The guy was dying, by the way. They were going to take him off television. Then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high – highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.”

Huh? Trump just made the argument that Colbert wasn’t successful until the show starting attacking him. That’s evidence that America’s TV viewers were just waiting for someone to bash Trump. And when Colbert began doing so they rewarded him by becoming loyal viewers. Is that really the point Trump wants to make?

As for Trump’s claims about the ratings, he is just adding to his many previous bouts with delusion. There weren’t thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. His inauguration didn’t have the largest attendance in history. And his appearance on The Late Show was not its highest rated show. In fact, as Colbert pointed out, a program with Jeb Bush as the featured guest rated higher. So did the premiere.

What all of this leads up to is Thursday night’s show where Colbert responded to Trump’s vacation from reality. And it was delicious. Colbert began by noting that Trump had addressed “the most important issue to him: this show.” Colbert’s reaction to being personally called out by the President was “YAY!” He regarded it as proof that he had won by finally getting Trump to say his name. And then he spoke directly to the President:

“Making jokes about you has been good for my ratings. It’s almost as if the majority of Americans didn’t want you to be president. […] You know who’s got really bad ratings these days? You do. Terrible approval numbers. I hear they’re thinking about switching your time slot with Mike Pence. And since all of my success is the result of talking about you, if you really want to take me down there’s an obvious way. Resign.”

Watch the segment here. But don’t laugh. He’s a no-talent guy who isn’t funny.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Scared Sh*tless: Der Fuhrer Trump Threatens to Cancel ‘All Future Press Briefings’

The fallout from Donald Trump’s incompetently executed firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to rain down hard on his administration. Not only did he transparently interfere with an active investigation of his collusion with Russia, but he admitted as much in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.

Comey Trump

At one point in the interview, Holt pressed Trump “Did you ask, am I under investigation?” Trump responded saying that “I actually asked him, yes. I said, if it’s possible, will you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, you are not under investigation.”

That is a wholly inappropriate question for a president to ask an FBI director under any circumstances. But in this case, Trump already told Holt that the dinner where this occurred was one where Comey was seeking to stay on as director. So Trump was actually tying Comey’s job prospects to the investigation. Elsewhere it was reported that Trump had tried to extract a loyalty pledge from Comey, which Comey refused.

These comments are literally impeachable offenses all by themselves. Trump’s intimidation tactics were obvious and intolerable. Not surprisingly, the media reported on what he said, which always makes him mad. But this morning’s tweetstorm included some frightening suggestions of a tyrannical mindset:

First of all, Trump is making excuses for his press representatives dispensing misinformation (lies) to the public. That is never acceptable. If there is some question about the facts, the correct answer is “I don’t know. I’ll get back to you.” But Trump’s people instead decided to pollute the discourse with falsehoods.

More importantly, Trump’s casual suggestion that he might just cancel all future press briefings reflects his tendencies toward fascist authoritarianism. The presidency is not his fiefdom. It is a position of service to the people. Press briefings are the method by which the people’s intermediaries in the media have opportunities to hold national leaders accountable. They cannot be replaced by written press releases.

What’s more, Trump’s anger is entirely misplaced. He’s mad at the press because he and his staff are incompetent. The issue that preceded his outburst was Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that Trump fired Comey at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. That wasn’t true, and Trump himself contradicted it the next day in his interview with Holt by saying that he already planned to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation. So in Trump’s deranged brain, the press must be punished and banished.

Another item in this morning’s Twitter tirade was also notable for its threat to democracy and the rule of law:

REALLY? Trump is implying that he might be keeping Nixon like secret recordings. Comey isn’t the one who should be worried if such tapes exist. Their existence, and Trump’s use of them to intimidate, would be another justification for impeachment. And something tells me that the contents of any such tapes would affirm Comey’s account of what occurred at their meetings. Trump, after all, is a pathological liar.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

HUH? Trump Now Says He MIGHT Release His Tax Returns – ‘After I’m Out Of Office’

An interview of President Donald Trump by The Economist was published today. The transcript reveals a painfully incoherent man who appears incapable of answering a question. His rambling, off-topic responses are typically excuses to demean his opponents or brag about himself.

Donald Trump

Among the absurdities in the interview were his claim to have coined the phrase “prime the pump.” As the folks at Merriam-Webster tweeted later, that phrase is about two hundred years old. The interviewer even told him that he knew the phrase. But that didn’t stop the President from asserting that he made it up “a couple of days ago.” Well, not only didn’t he just make it up, he used it himself five months ago.

In that vein of utter nonsense, Trump was also asked about the political path to passing his tax reform plan. Democrats have recently been hinting that they would block any Trump tax bill if he didn’t release his returns. Their argument is that without that data it would be impossible to gauge whether the plan would improperly benefit the President and his family. The Economist sought to discern what negotiating strategies Trump might use to get enough Democratic support for the plan pass in Congress. That led to this exchange:

Economist: If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?
Trump: I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to…nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them actually. I did a good job. […] I might release them after I’m out of office.

SRSLY? After he’s out of office would obviously be too late to apply anything that is learned from the data. It would be too late to catch him enriching himself, his family, and his cronies. It would be too late assess whether he had any improper dealings with Russia or other unsavory characters. What’s more, if he hasn’t felt sufficient pressure to release his taxes during his campaign or presidency, what would make anyone think he’d release them after he leaves office?

In addition to that phony offer, Trump also repeated the lie that no one cares about his taxes but reporters. Every poll on the subject shows large majorities of the American people want him to release his returns. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 74 percent in favor of releasing his returns. That includes 49 percent of his own supporters.

The excuse that an alleged audit prevents him from releasing the returns was never credible. Even the IRS refuted that claim as baseless. If Trump were really proud of the good job he did, he would have released his returns long ago. There’s nothing he likes better than a pat on the back and a cookie for good behavior. Clearly there is something he’s hiding that frightens him were it to be revealed.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Between his tax returns and the rapidly unfolding connections to Russia, Trump is mired in a pool of quicksand of his own making. He is sinking fast and his only recourse is total obstruction. However, that’s a strategy that won’t hold up for long. And eventually even his Republican colleagues will start to abandon him in order to save their own necks. When that happens watch for the bottom to fall out fast.