TRUMP: Russia’s Hacking Was ‘A BIG PROBLEM’ – Before They Were Helping His Campaign

The appalling revelations about Russia’s hacking during the presidential election continue to taint its outcome. Anyone who thinks our democracy is credible under these circumstances is willfully blind. And no one is more dismissive of the truth in this regard than President-Elect Donald Trump.

Trump/Putin

Seventeen intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, agree that Russia engaged in cyber attacks aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump. Nevertheless, Trump persists in defending his BFF, Vladimir Putin, and refusing to accept Russia’s obvious guilt. When Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday asked him about Russia’s hacking he responded that “It’s ridiculous. It’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.” As recently as last week he tweeted:

In that comment he not only rejected Russia’s criminal complicity, but lied about the White House response. The Obama administration revealed the facts in October and it was covered prominently in the media. Trump’s position that Russia was not responsible for the hacking remained as strong as ever. Well, maybe not ever. Because in 2014 he appeared on his regular segment on Fox News, “Monday’s with Trump,” along with the Fox & Friends gang. He had a very different opinion then. When asked about hacking by China, Trump made it clear that China was not the only culprit:

“It’s disgraceful what’s going on with China generally. No, I think [FBI Director James Comey] is 100% right, it’s a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russia … doing the same thing.” […]

“This is a different world today. You say things on the Internet, you say things over a computer and people are going to find out what you’re saying it’s very dangerous and very bad in many ways.”

So two years ago Trump considered Russia’s hacking to be a big problem. Today he thinks the notion is ridiculous. What’s changed?

Well, for one thing, Trump wasn’t running for president in 2014 and didn’t have any motivation for distorting the truth. More to the point though, the allegations of Russia’s hacking two years ago was related to commerce and had an adverse personal impact on him. However, this year their hacking was blatantly advantageous to him and damaging to Clinton. If the harm done by the hacking was appropriately considered, the election results would have to be regarded as suspect and set aside pending an investigation. That would nullify, at least temporarily, Trump’s “victory.”

It is clearly in Trump’s favor, therefore, to vindicate Russia and oppose any further inquiry. Consequently, his position now is to waive off the allegations and absolve Russia of any guilt. That’s in stark contrast to his prior position just two years ago. And, as is so often the case with Trump, he will reshape his position to whatever is in his best interest at the time. That’s how he gets away with calls for border walls during the campaign, but settles for fences now. Or promising to repeal ObamaCare, but now claiming to want to preserve its most prominent features. Or bitterly insulting his rivals as dummies, but now embracing and even praising them as brilliant. Even President Obama, who he said was “the worst president in history,” is now his trusted friend and advisor.

That’s what we call a hypocrite, a con-man, a liar. There is literally nothing Trump says that you can take at face value. You always have to look for how it benefits him, and expect to find some contradictions from the past. This is emerging as a hallmark of his presidency and it hasn’t even officially begun yet. Sad.

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

CONFIRMED: Russia WAS Helping Donald Trump To Win The Election After All

Charges that Russia played a role in tampering with the just concluded U.S. election have been floating around for months. Insiders have revealed some of the covert actions with disturbing specificity. However, official government channels have been reluctant to make these charges formal. Until now.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The Washington Post just published an article that blows the roof off of this story. The article states that:

“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

That’s a shocking statement from ordinarily tight-lipped agencies to make. The ramifications of this disclosure are profound and can lead to prosecutions and alter the outcome of the election. Making matters worse, this was known long before Election Day by both the CIA and Congress.

The leaders of both houses of Congress, and the chairmen of the intelligence committees, were informed of this in September. Democrats sought to form a bipartisan agreement to make this critical information available to the public. That ought to have been the only responsible course of action given the circumstances. However, Republicans balked and acted to suppress the CIA’s findings and keep the American people in the dark.

Despite the obvious importance to voters, GOP leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the consensus view of the intelligence professionals. He said that he would publicly oppose the release of the non-partisan info as being politically motivated. Never mind that he had no evidence to suspect any bias on the part of the CIA. Trump’s team made a statement Friday that also cast doubt on the intelligence community. That should make it hard for them to work together if he becomes their boss in a few weeks. His statement said:

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Actually, that isn’t true. The allegations about WMDs were orchestrated from the White House of George W. Bush and dictated to intelligence officials, not the other way around. Plus, the CIA isn’t made of the same people after sixteen years anyway. As for the Electoral College, Trump’s victory isn’t even in the top ten going back sixty years.

The revelations in this report are all the more troubling when you factor in Trump’s unsavory relationships with Russia. He has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and defended him against previous charges of hacking. As recently as last week he told Time Magazine that “I don’t believe they interfered.” He also went further than that in a campaign speech when he actually asked Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email. What’s more, many of Trump’s aides and early cabinet picks are also affiliated with Russia.

President Obama has ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign. He asked for that review to be completed prior to January 20, 2017, when he will leave office. That’s important in order to prevent Trump from “round-filing” it after inauguration. However, if justice is to be served, whatever is known currently should be made public now. The Electoral College should have this information before voting on December 19.

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

Even with what is only known now, any member of the Electoral College that votes for Trump is potentially complicit in treason. At the very least it would be irresponsible to allow Trump to take residency in the White House with this cloud hanging over him. This is precisely the sort of event that the Electoral College was designed to deal with by the Founders. And the evidence is damning enough to take the extraordinary action of denying Trump the presidency for the sake of national security.

HUSH MONEY: National Enquirer Paid 150K To Cover Up Trump’s ‘Affair’ With A Playboy Model

FBI insiders have spent much of the past week leaking dubious data about Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump’s campaign. It’s a horrifying state of affairs that implicates the agency in election tampering. Meanwhile, salacious information about Donald Trump is getting quashed by his pals in the tabloid media. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that:

“The company that owns the National Enquirer (AMI), a backer of Donald Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with the Republican presidential nominee, but then didn’t publish it, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.”

Melania and Donald Trump

Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year, has told friends she was romantically involved with Trump in 2006. He was married to his current wife Melania at the time. The Journal’s sources said that McDougal expected her story to be published, but that AMI never intended to run it. From the beginning it was a means of killing a story that was potentially damaging to Trump’s presidential aspirations.

Imagine that. A sensationalistic supermarket tabloid declining to publish a sex-drenched scandal about a prominent public figure. It has all the elements of the model story for the Enquirer. But even after the Access Hollywood tapes were released and a dozen other women accused Trump of sexual harassment and/or assault, the Enquirer kept the lid on their blockbuster scoop. Why would they do that?

Maybe because David Pecker, publisher of the Enquirer, is a long-time personal friend of Trump and supports his candidacy. He has used his paper to advance Trump’s campaign and attack his opponents. For instance, the Enquirer published a story alleging that Ted Cruz’s father was an accomplice to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Another article purported to expose “Hillary Clinton’s Secret Health Crisis.”

On the other hand, the Enquirer published a series of glowing homages to Trump. These tributes were about, and written by, The Donald with the audacious title “The Man Behind the Legend.” And Trump returned the drooling adoration by publicly wondering why the skeevy tabloid never got a Pulitzer Prize.

The Enquirer denies that they deliberately bought McDougal’s story to kill it. They claim they were paying for her to write fitness columns and to appear on magazine covers. However, the paper never published a single column or photo of her during the two year term of the agreement. There was also an ambiguously worded provision granting AMI the exclusive rights to “any romantic, personal and/or physical relationship McDougal has ever had with any then-married man.” That certainly would have covered Donald Trump without the nastiness of saying so outright.

These are among the benefits of having a media entity in your pocket. You can get them to zealously praise you and to bitterly malign your foes. And you can also have them snatch up lingering problems from your sordid past and prevent them from ever seeing the light of day.

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

Donald Trump is fond of attacking the media in the most vile manner. He has literally made it dangerous to cover his campaign rallies. Many news organizations have had their press credentials revoked when they did something that displeased him. And prominent journalism organizations have condemned his overt threats to freedom of the press. But in his world the National Enquirer is a Pulitzer-worthy publisher that will come to his rescue when needed.

Megyn Kelly Is NOT The Women’s Champion Fox News Pretends She Is

Ever since Megyn Kelly was promoted to anchor of her own primetime program, “The Kelly File,” she has been heralded as “the future of Fox News.” These tributes came from a surprisingly diverse assembly of media watchers and even competitors. For the most part they were based on a couple of incidents wherein Kelly took positions that gently contradicted the Fox doctrine.

Megyn Kelly Roger Ailes Fox News

The most noticeable of those partisan detours occurred during discussions of issues of concern to women. But like most conservatives, Kelly only adopts progressive positions when they affect her personally. For instance, she soundly thrashed a couple of male colleagues who belittled her upon her return from maternity leave. And then there was her question to Donald Trump during a Fox News Republican primary debate. She put him on the defensive by asking about his derogatory references to women as “fat pigs, dogs, and slobs.” That led to a prolonged and public feud between Kelly and The Donald. She later made up with Trump and granted him an hour of softball questions that ignored his blatant misogyny.

However, a more thorough examination of her record does not show her to be much of a feminist icon. She has been a frequent critic of Planned Parenthood and efforts to advance reproductive health care. And she callously dismisses the gender pay gap as a “meme.” But the best evidence of her conflict with the interests of women comes in the pages of her new book.

RadarOnline got a pre-release copy of the upcoming book and published some excerpts. In these remarks she discusses her encounters with former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. For the first time Kelly admits that she was also a victim of his unwanted advances:

“Roger began pushing the limits,” she alleges. “There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me — veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (e.g. about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.” […]

“But in January 2006, she claims, he “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.” When she shoved him away, she alleges, “he asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”

It’s about time Kelly came clean on the abhorrent behavior of her ex-boss. The problem is that she waited ten years to do so. If she was harassed in 2006, then her silence for a decade thereafter allowed Ailes to victimize countless other women. She didn’t even come forward with a public statement after the Ailes affairs broke in the press. It was her colleague Gretchen Carlson who took the courageous step of challenging Ailes – her boss and the most powerful man in media. Kelly essentially left Carlson hanging in the wind.

It’s not as if Kelly wasn’t aware of the consequences of her silence. The book excerpts include a quote wherein she expresses her concerns about other potential victims. She asks “What if — God forbid — he was still doing it to someone?”

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

Yeah – What if? In fact, he was doing it to other women and Kelly permitted it to continue for ten years until she was ready to publish it for profit. That is not how a champion of women’s rights behaves. That’s the behavior of a self-absorbed coward who is only concerned about her own welfare. And now Kelly is exploiting her experiences to squeeze a richer contract out of Fox. She’ll probably get it. Proving that the only woman who benefits from her “activism” is Megyn Kelly.

YIKES: Ex-Spy Tells FBI That Russia Has Been ‘Cultivating’ Donald Trump For Years

This election just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. The latest bombshell to roil the campaign comes out of the intelligence community and casts a dire shadow over Donald Trump.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

A former spy has divulged what he learned about Russia’s engagement with Trump to David Corn of Mother Jones. The magazine is reporting that:

“A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump and that the FBI requested more information from him.”

This is an alarming turn of events, to say the least. It suggests that Trump has been assimilated into the machinations of a foreign government’s clandestine operations. While this may sound like the plot of a Hollywood thriller, a senior US government official has vouched for the ex-spy as “a credible source with a proven record” of providing reliable information.

The information in this case is described as a “troubling” connection between Trump and the Russian government. It further asserts that “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” According to an account by the ex-spy:

“…conversations with Russian sources noted, ‘Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.’ It maintained that Trump ‘and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.'”

Corn’s reporting did not connect these allegations with the WikiLeaks scandal that found links between Julian Assange and the Russians. However, this is eerily similar to the sort of “intelligence flow” that WikiLeaks has been releasing. Notice that their information was derived from emails stolen from Trump’s Democratic rivals by Russian hackers. Among the victims were the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

But perhaps the most chilling revelation in the ex-spy’s memo was the assertion that “Russian intelligence had ‘compromised’ Trump” and could “blackmail him.” While that might seem implausible, it would explain Trump’s fervent defense of Russia against the hacking allegations. That’s something he actually did on a Russian propaganda TV network. It would also explain Trump’s advocacy of foreign policies that benefit Russia at the expense of U.S. interests. These include abandoning the West’s commitment to NATO, retreating from military presences in Japan, Germany, etc., and looking the other way when Russia annexes parts of Ukraine or other former Soviet bloc nations.

It is too soon to draw conclusions about the depth of Trump’s involvement with the Russians. The FBI has much of the information, but they refuse to comment on it. They wouldn’t even comment on the charge that Russia is responsible for various hacking efforts after the White House and other agencies did so. FBI Director James Comey is said to have objected to such disclosures so close to a federal election. And yet he had no such objections about commenting on an ongoing investigation of Clinton’s emails. Never mind that he had no evidence of any wrongdoing and it was even closer to an election.

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

That sort of double standard is becoming the hallmark of this election. It’s a state of political delirium wherein the media treats sloppy email management as more perilous than potential Russian espionage. As result we have 24/7 coverage of Anthony Weiner’s laptop, but a virtual blackout of Trump’s unsavory foreign adventurism. And even when a credible intelligence source implicates Trump as a tool of the Russian government the media yawns and cuts to his live rally.

Keith Olbermann does an outstanding job of telling the whole story:

The Biggest Hillary Hater On Fox News Defends Clinton, Pummels FBI

There have been some historically unprecedented occurrences in this wildly turbulent presidential campaign. But through it all Fox News has maintained a consistent state of stridently partisan reporting in support of Donald Trump. Their programming relentlessly disparages Hillary Clinton and some of their most prominent hosts have explicitly endorsed Trump.

Clinton Pirro

In the wake of the FBI’s shameful disclosure about their investigation of Clinton, many critics have excoriated Director James Comey for breaching the agency’s policies and ethical responsibilities. These critics have spanned across the political spectrum with most law enforcement experts united in chastising Comey. Former Justice Department officials of both parties have publicly questioned his judgment and motives.

However, no critic is more surprising than Fox’s own Jeanine Pirro. Pirro is a former judge and prosecutor with years of experience in the legal system at the local and federal levels. She is also one of Fox’s most starkly anti-Clinton commentators. Her weekly rants against Clinton have accused her of having “corrupted the State Department.” She called Clinton “a liar, and a pathological one at that.” She falsely charged that the Clinton foundation is “nothing more than a money laundering operation.” In one commentary she lashed out that “Bill and Hillary Clinton are the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics.”

It’s difficult to imagine that someone who equates Clinton to cold-blooded murderers would suddenly come to her defense. But that’s an indication of just how seriously improper Comey’s behavior has been. In this week’s commentary on her Fox program, Pirro joined those who have assailed Comey saying that his announcement coming just “eleven days before one of the most hotly contested presidential elections of our time, both disgraces and politicizes the FBI.” Making certain to reinforce her political preference, Pirro said:

“Now you know that I support Donald Trump and I want him to win, but whether it’s Hillary Clinton or anyone else, Comey’s actions violate not only long-standing Justice Department policy, the directive of the person he works under, the Attorney General, but even more important, the most fundamental rules of fairness and impartiality.”

Pirro then relates her personal experience when she was as a candidate for New York State Attorny General. The FBI opened an investigation of her at the time about which she says “the adverse publicity cost me at the polls. What was done to me in 2006 was wrong, and what happened to Hillary Clinton [Friday] was equally wrong.” Continuing, Pirro laid out the fundamental reasons for her position:

“The Justice Department and the FBI’s policy to not comment publicly about politically sensitive investigations within 60 days of an election exists for a very important reason. Announcements so close to elections have an impact. Now this nation has already gone through an exhausting and traumatic campaign season. The FBI director should not now be front and center. One of the most revered agencies in our nation’s history, now seen as putting its finger on the scales of justice.”

No one should mistake Pirro’s remarks for anything resembling support for Clinton. And in the very same commentary Pirro made that crystal clear:

“Hillary Clinton should have been indicted a long time ago. She and Bill’s scandals have done nothing but soil this great nation’s image. It’s long-past time for both of them to start paying for their wrongdoing.”

Of course, she doesn’t expand on her vague condemnation of Clinton because there aren’t actually any violations of law for which she could be indicted. Virtually every alleged “scandal” attributed to the Clintons has been repudiated and debunked as purely political smear campaigns. But it does demonstrate the ferocity of her animosity toward the once and future First Family.

Yet with all of that seething hatred, Pirro cannot ignore the disgraceful and unjust actions by the FBI director. That should be enough to convince even the most glassy-eyed, alt-right, Trump disciple that Clinton was dealt an unfair blow. It is now incumbent on Comey to repair the damage he’s done by either releasing what he has, or clarifying that there is nothing in his findings that indicate any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.

Short of that, Comey will continue to be suspected of partisanship that may even be illegal. As Senator Harry Reid noted, he may be in violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits such partisan activity by government officials. This includes the astonishing revelation that, while Comey is doing harm to Clinton’s campaign, he is protecting Trump. Says Reid:

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government.”

Reid wonders why Comey would release damaging information about an ongoing investigation of Clinton, but lets Trump off the hook. So should we all. Clinton’s past management of her email doesn’t compare with the threat of a Trump presidency that’s aligned with the Kremlin. So why won’t Comey reveal what he knows about Trump and the Russians? It’s a blatant double standard that tarnishes his reputation and that of the agency he heads. And if Jeanine Pirro, a notoriously shrill foe of Clinton notices the hypocrisy, it must be the genuine article.

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

How Director Comey’s SHAMEFUL Behavior Destroys The FBI’s Ethical Tradition

With less than two weeks before Election Day, James Comey, the Director of the FBI, injected himself into the campaign in a strikingly improper way. There is an unwritten rule at the FBI that has been in effect for decades. It states that the agency will not make public unconfirmed information regarding in-process investigations when the disclosure could have an impact on an election. This rule is typically enforced anytime within sixty days of an election. For some unexplained reason, Comey chose to violate that rule.

James Comey

By sending his letter to Congress announcing the FBI’s new investigation, Comey, wittingly or otherwise, benefited Donald Trump’s campaign. The unorthodox communique fueled a torrent of media speculation that Comey ought to have known would occur. He was especially negligent considering the qualifications he included in his own subsequent statements. Here is what he told his FBI colleagues following the letter’s release:

“Given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. […] there is significant risk of being misunderstood.”

Ya think? Given that you were well aware of the risk of creating a misleading impression, why did you proceed? By his own admission Comey knew of nothing of substance that would be of interest to the public. If he intended to complete the investigation prior to the election he might have had some justification. However, he already said that the investigation will not conclude until after Election Day. Therefore, the only consequence of his announcement is to unfairly prejudice voters against Hillary Clinton. So what happens if Clinton loses the race and is subsequently found to be innocent of any wrongdoing?

The media, of course, rushed headlong into reporting the most salacious interpretation of this news. However, there are numerous reasons to dismiss it as a prime-grade nothingburger. First of all, we already know that none of the emails found were to or from Clinton. Neither did any of them originate from her infamous private server. There is also no evidence that any of them are new. They may be duplicates of emails already submitted to the FBI. And even if any are new, they may not contain any classified information.

In light of how little is known about these emails, it could not have been more irresponsible for Comey to allow this titillating gossip to become public. But having made that mistake, he ought to be willing to set the record straight before anyone votes. Absent that, he should release everything he has so that the public can determine for themselves the significance of this. And that is precisely what Clinton has asked him to do in a hastily assembled press conference:

“The director himself has said he doesn’t know whether the emails referenced in his letter are significant or not. I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July. […] That is why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they are talking about. Because right now your guess is as good as mine and I don’t think that is good enough.”

Comey has been receiving harsh criticism from his peers for his actions. Even Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her top deputy objected to his sending the letter to Congress. But Comey decided to disregard their objections and sent the letter anyway. Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice spokesman, chastised Comey on CNN about the 60-day rule:

“This latest example violates a long-standing practice, which is that the department goes out of its way not to do anything that can be seen as trying to influence an election when you are in the closing days of an election. Usually they interpret the ‘closing days’ as the last 60 days before the election, let alone the last 11 days.”

The Trump campaign is already reveling in this reckless disclosure. Trump himself is making wildly hyperbolic misinterpretations at his rallies. His surrogates have fanned out across the media to hype their knee-jerk, anti-Clinton accusations. And his glassy-eyed disciples are deliriously chanting “Lock her up.” This is representative of the harm done by an FBI director with loose lips.

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

It’s unfortunate that Comey chose to poison the election with this boneheaded move. As a result, Clinton’s rights as a candidate have been violated by a careless government agency. But more importantly, the people’s right to a fair election is being trampled as purely speculative rumors consume the discourse. Comey now has an obligation to mitigate the damage. He needs to release what he has acquired or to conclude the investigation well before Election Day. Only by doing that can he hope to salvage his reputation and that of the FBI.

Russia Defends Torture-Loving Trump After Criticism By UN Human Rights Chief

The continuing saga of Donald Trump’s long-simmering romance with Vladimir Putin is heating up. The Associated Press reports that Russia took to defending Trump after some harsh criticism at the United Nations.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

According to the AP, Russia filed a formal complaint last month in response to remarks by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, was upset by Zeid’s inclusion of Trump in a coterie of known human rights abusers. Zeid had said that:

“In what may be a crucial election for leadership of this country later this year, we have seen a full-frontal attack — disguised as courageous taboo-busting — on some fundamental, hard-won tenets of decency and social cohesion that have come to be accepted by American society. Less than 150 miles away from where I speak, a front-running candidate to be president of this country declared, just a few months ago, his enthusiastic support for torture.”

Indeed, Trump has made his advocacy of torture a key focus of his campaign. Last February he promised that “I would bring back waterboarding, and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” The U.N. has called for rescinding “any interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

In criticizing state sponsors of torture Zeid included Trump along with Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage (UKIP), Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Czech President Milos Zeman.

Given recent revelations about Trump’s affection for the Russians, and vice versa, this should not come as a surprise. Just yesterday he was caught parroting the false claims of a Russian media outlet. He has appeared on Kremlin-controlled cable networks criticizing America and defending Russia. And his financial entanglements with members of the Russian oligarchy and government are well-documented.

The Clinton camp responded with a short but firm statement by senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan:

“This is not only strange — it’s scary. A major-party candidate for the presidency of the United States is being protected by the Kremlin. Wow.”

In addition to the frightening aspects of this, Trump’s campaign has embraced a broad array of pro-Russian policies and praise. He consistently has better things to say about the Russians than he does about America, which he has called a hell hole.” Likewise, he has greater admiration for Russia’s leaders than any of those in the U.S. of either party. The AP addressed all of this saying:

“Trump has praised President Vladimir Putin’s strength and leadership, vowing to improve ties between Washington and Moscow if he defeats Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8. He has questioned whether NATO, an alliance of Western nations formed to counter the Soviet Union, is outdated. He has suggested Russia hasn’t entered Ukraine although it annexed the Crimea region in 2014 and is supporting anti-government rebels in the east. And he urged Moscow to find emails that Clinton deleted from the private server she used while secretary of state.”

There really is only one question that comes to mind after observing all of this evidence. And that is: Whose side is Trump on? His open hostility to so much of what makes America great raises doubts about what the country would look like under his toxic leadership. He rejects the welcoming prose engraved at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. His policies violate domestic and international laws against human rights abuse. The bigotry he espouses is contrary to our nation’s quest for tolerance and equality. And his attraction to authoritarianism ought to chill the spine of every citizen.

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

It is not incidental that the only country in the United Nations that felt compelled to stand up for Donald Trump was Russia. The two share a philosophy and an agenda for international affairs. And who knows what other incentives tie Trump to the Russians, including a vast web of indebtedness.

‘I Never Said I’m A Perfect Person” Says Trump, Except That He Actually Did

The world-class ego, narcissism, and arrogance of Donald Trump have been on public display for decades. He can hardly complete a sentence without exalting himself as the richest, smartest, biggest, and bestest at everything. There is absolutely no trace of humility in the non-stop parade of vainglorious self-promotion that he exudes.

Donald Trump Messiah

In the wake of his deplorable comments bragging about committing sexual assault, Trump’s delusions of grandeur come into even sharper focus. In the very first words in his non-apology apology video Trump makes a play for sympathy by mewling that “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person.” There’s just one problem with that. He has said exactly that both implicitly and explicitly.

In 2011, Republican “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz asked Trump if he had ever asked God for forgiveness. Trump answered “I am not sure that I have […] I don’t think in terms of that.” While that answer fits perfectly with Trump’s signature pompousness, it also reveals why he’s so reluctant to apologize for anything. That includes his blatantly offensive remarks about immigrants, minorities, veterans and women. If he won’t ask God for forgiveness, why the hell would he ask anyone else?

Then last year Trump played his Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free-Card again during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. [Note: Cooper will be moderating the next debate. Will he bring this up?] He was asked to revisit his previous comments and given an opportunity to refine them. He rejected that opportunity and, as usual, he doubled down on his immunity from needing to seek God’s grace.

TRUMP: Well, I like to work where I don’t really have to ask for it. I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?

Talk about your Original Spin. There is no other way to interpret an assertion that you never make mistakes than as a claim of perfection. So right there Trump has exposed the lie at the foundation of his apology. Furthermore, he’s effectively saying that a good Christian can avoid seeking forgiveness from God by simply never making any mistakes. Who knew it was that easy? Of course, to do that would require a level of virtue not seen in about two thousand years. And yet he argues that he has achieved this pinnacle of purity. But if you ask the Presbyterian Church, to which Trump claims to belong, they have a completely different interpretation:

“Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God.” […]

“Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God’s loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being ‘good enough.’ No one of us is good enough on our own — we are all dependent upon God’s goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.”

Trump seems to think that forgiveness is something that you request when you have told a lie, cut someone off in traffic, or cheated in golf. His understanding of religion is on the level of a four year old (no offense to four year olds). He has no concept of the tenets of his faith that regards all men and women as sinners. Trump doesn’t seem to think that his own mistakes (of which he has none) rise to the level of sins. That means his three marriages and serial infidelity are wholly virtuous in God’s eyes. His four bankruptcies that left thousands of creditors in the lurch were just divine accounting. His fraudulent Trump University that ripped off hundreds of “students” actually taught them a valuable lesson in dealing with charlatans. And these say nothing of his sins of greed, lust, pride, and his newly revealed admission of sexual assault.

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If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that The Donald doesn’t need the forgiveness of God or anyone else. That’s because he is his own deity with omnipotent powers to solve every problem bigger and better than mere mortals. His followers are likely to grant him the forgiveness he refuses to request. And these are the self-appointed paragons of faith who claim to represent America’s morality. By the way, they’re also the same people who have been calling President Obama the Anti-Christ for seven years.

Wingnuts Spin Trump’s Sexual Assault As OK Because – Oh Look, It’s The Clintons

By now everybody has heard Donald Trump describe how easy it was for him to sexually assault women. His comments were a grotesque and candid display of his real character, or more correctly, lack of it. Following the release of the recordings, Trump attempted to dismiss them with a typical non-apology apology that shifted the blame to others. He released the following statement:

Donald Trump

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

So Trump is apologizing only “IF” someone happened to be offended, but not “FOR” his offensive remarks. It’s an old method of placing responsibility on the poor sap who was foolish enough to listen to him. What’s more, this is not anything like the locker room banter that I’ve ever witnessed. This a confession to criminally aberrant behavior.

However, perhaps the worst part of his dodgy apology is that he couldn’t refrain from using it as an opportunity to smear his political foes. Bill Clinton had nothing to do with this, and Trump’s accusation was arbitrary and utterly unprovable. But that didn’t stop him or his surrogates from leaping feet first into politicizing his boorishness. And most of them employed the same faulty defense. For instance:

Sean Hannity sought to whitewash Trump’s ugliness by first saying that “Nobody’s gonna defend this. You can’t defend – it is wrong, it is inappropriate, it is outrageous. I don’t think anyone’s gonna argue with that.” After which Hannity argued with it for the remainder of his show. Along with his guests, Monica Crowley and Jeanine Pirro, he waived off Trump’s tales of sexual assault and weaved in the affairs of Bill Clinton that have already been worked over in the media for years.

Then there was CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes who said that “The words of Donald Trump are bad. But they’re not near as bad as the actions of Hillary Clinton since she’s been in office. There are four soldiers in Benghazi right now, that are not with us right now because of Hillary Clinton’s actions.” Aside from that having been proven untrue by at least four Republican led congressional committees, it has no bearing on Donald Trump.

But no one came close to Trump’s ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who now works for CNN. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer he made the insanely audacious claim that “What we don’t know, and I’m not trying to change the subject here, we don’t have any understanding of what Hillary Clinton has said in those meetings with Wall Street where she was paid for these speeches. She’s never released those transcripts. For all we know, the same things are being said in that regard.”

Let that sink in. Lewandowski is actually implying that Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street executives might have been about how she sexually assaulted people. No wonder they paid her so much. You can’t get porn like that from a former Secretary of State on the cheap. And note also that Lewandowski wasn’t trying to change the subject. It makes you wonder what he thought the subject was. And while your wondering, WTF was Blitzer doing when Lewandowski made that disgusting accusation? He thanked him and went to commercial.

There was one thing that Lewandowski said that actually made sense. In defending Trump he asserted that America isn’t electing a Sunday school teacher, they’re electing a leader. And Trump’s remarks show the nation that “You’ve got a leader who talks tough. He’s been very bold. He speaks from the heart. People understand that. They know Donald Trump.” Indeed, he speaks from the heart. And apparently his heart is poisoned with perversion and hate. And yes, that is the Donald Trump that we know all too well unfortunately.

Finally, Trump himself made a video to take another crack at expressing remorse. This time he admitted that he was wrong and apologized. However, he continued his effort to minimize his grossness and redirect the outrage to his mortal enemies, the Clintons:

“This is nothing but a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today. […] I’ve said some foolish things. But there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.”

Once again, the Clintons have nothing to do with his bad behavior. Additionally, the problem with all of this is not his words. It is, in fact, his actions as he himself describes them. He was not simply spewing profanities, he was talking about things he actually did. His video apologia also contained his “pledge to be a better man tomorrow.” That’s all well and good, but it’s something he should do on his own time, not while residing in the White House.

These are just a few examples of the coordinated spin from Trump and his allies. Clearly they have decided that the way to approach this is to pretend it doesn’t matter and besides the Clintons did it too. That’s a defense worthy of nine year old, which may be the emotional age of Trump.

The video itself was embarrassing. And the proof of that is that after it was aired on Fox News, anchors Gregg Jarrett and Arthel Neville noted that Trump was awkwardly reading the statement and said that it was “almost painful” to watch. They observed that he was clearly reading something that his speechwriters had written for him. And when you’ve lost Fox News…

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