Greatest Witch Hunt in History? Trump Contradicts His Own Statement on Russia Special Counsel

On Wednesday the precarious fate of Donald Trump’s presidency took a turn for the worse. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the President’s connections with Russia. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was tapped for the job. The scope of his inquiry will likely encompass Trump’s campaign and short residency in the White House.

Donald Trump

It’s only been a few hours since this news broke, but that’s all it took for Trump to demonstrate a troubling incoherence on the subject. The first response from the administration was a formal written statement that had an atypical restraint and decorum. It said:

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”

Not surprisingly, that composure didn’t last long. Thursday morning Trump must have regained control of his phone and let loose another of his patented Twitter tantrums:

The original White House statement itself was likely written by staff. It lacked Trump’s familiar voice that is generally infused with rage and ego. Nor did it directly address the numerous legal breaches that are expected to comprise the core of the investigation. But it did misstate what was already known about his potential collusion with Russia. And the pretense of Trump looking forward to any of this is manifestly absurd. What’s more, it’s peculiar that Trump is accusing Rosenstein of conducting a witch hunt just a couple of months after appointing him to his current post.

However, Trump’s tweets were much more recognizably consistent with the bitter tone for which he is infamous. He lashes out at any criticism as being a deliberately hostile attack on him. And it isn’t just an unwarranted attack, it’s the worst ever. This charge comes the day after Trump told the graduating class at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy that “No politician in history … has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Needless to say, there have been scores of politicians who have suffered more than Trump. They begin with Abraham Lincoln and continue through to Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. And in Trump’s case, at least he was deserving of the treatment he has been receiving. Ironically, his second tweet was an example of two other politicians who were victims of far worse witch hunts. Hillary Clinton underwent repeated and relentless congressional inquiries into her emails and Benghazi. Yet the Republican led inquisition never produced any evidence of wrongdoing. President Obama was accused of being ineligible of office due to ludicrous assertions that he wasn’t born in the U.S. Trump himself led that witch hunt.

Somebody really needs to check on the President. He might be having a stroke. His tweets flagrantly contradict the official White House response to the special counsel appointment. They indicate that he is not actually looking forward to a “thorough investigation.” Neither does he seem particularly confidant that he will be cleared of the potentially impeachable charges. To the contrary, they suggest the fear of a guilty man who maligns the pursuit of justice. And in desperation he points accusing fingers at others to take attention away from himself. But to be fair, he does have good reason to be worried.

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.

Trump Was So Rattled By the Tax Day Marches He Posted Some Dumb Crap on Twitter

Saturday, April 15, saw tens of thousands of Americans taking to the streets in more than 150 cities. And it had nothing to do with it being the deadline to pay their federal income taxes. The occasion was to protest Donald Trump continuing to renege on his repeated promises to release his tax returns.

Donald Trump Chicken

True to form, Trump was noticeably upset by the outpouring of criticism from across a broad spectrum of the public. Not surprisingly, he expressed his dismay in fewer than 140 characters on Twitter. And as usual he made very little sense:

First of all, Trump once again demonstrates his grammatical incompetence. We should expect better from a president than “…what was an almost an impossible thing…” Especially a president who brags that he “has the best words.” And despite his ego-driven blindness, his tax returns are not just now being brought up. They have been a continuing issue since his campaign began.

More to the point, Trump’s ignorance of electoral history is appalling, but in line with his ignorance generally. Not only is it not impossible for a Republican to win the Electoral College, every Republican president has done it. And most have done it more easily than Trump. In fact, he lands at 46th out of 58 elections. As PolitiFact notes in rating his previous bragging false:

“Trump’s percentage doesn’t rank near the top. In fact, it ranks near the bottom, belonging somewhere between the lowest one-fourth and the lowest one-fifth of all Electoral College victories in history.”

Undeterred by reality, Trump goes on to question whether the protesters were paid to turn out. That would require quite a bankroll considering the massive attendance at these hardly “small” rallies. The assertion is absurd on its face. However, it isn’t the first time that Trump has proposed it. He leveled this charge during the campaign and was revealed to have been disseminating fake news. The only documented incident of payments being made to phony rally goers was when Trump himself did it.

In both of these tweets Trump returns to obsessing over an election that he lost by over three million in the popular vote count. That’s a record he is unlikely to brag about. He still seems to think that the election results have any bearing on the public’s interest in his tax returns. If anything, the public is more interested now than ever. Polls show that an overwhelming seventy-four percent of the people want him to release his returns. That includes forty-nine percent of his own supporters.

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

So contrary to his whining that only the media cares about this issue, it’s clear that the American people are not going to let it slip away. Whatever he is trying to hide is going to come out one way or another. Whether it be corruption, his true net worth, or unsavory connections to Russia. His impotent excuses for withholding this information will not protect him from his responsibility to the people.

TBT: Trump’s Twitter Rants on Syria are a Steaming Heap of Hypocrisy

The videos of Syrian children suffering and dying from chemical bombings are almost too awful to watch. But even as Donald Trump castigates Assad, he pivots to blame President Obama for the atrocity. Trump’s public comments so far manage to produce nothing but bluster and impotent finger-pointing. He chastises Obama for not having done enough, but over the past couple of years Trump has repeatedly argued for doing nothing at all.

Donald Trump

Now CNN is reporting that:

“President Donald Trump has told some members of Congress that he is considering military action in Syria in retaliation for this week’s chemical attack, and recognizes the seriousness of the situation, a source familiar with the calls tells CNN.”

In light of that news, let’s revisit his Twitter posts for the past three years:

Those last two tweets have particular significance. Any military action has the potential of going awry. Civilians are too often the victims, even in well-intentioned missions. And already Trump has presided over more than 1,400 civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, according to some reports. More than 200 in one incident alone. And he’s been in office less than three months. Is this what he meant during the campaign when he said that he would “bomb the hell” out of ISIS?

Also, it will be interesting to see if Trump will comply with his demand to get congressional approval before taking any military action. Needless to say, Trump has not exactly been a bastion of consistency. But on this matter he will be challenged by his Republican colleagues on Capital Hill. Sen. Rand Paul has already said publicly that he will oppose any military moves on Syria without authorization from Congress.

There really are no good solutions to this problem. Surface level analyses that advocate sending in the Marines will almost certainly result in painful losses. That includes both innocent Syrians and American troops. But more complex combinations of diplomacy and international cooperation are seemingly beyond Trump’s mental capacity to comprehend. And none of these routes guarantee a desirable outcome.

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

Unfortunately, America is now burdened with a leader who has no experience addressing these kinds of problems. Nor does he have any relationships with other world leaders. And he has recruited a staff that is just as unfit as he is. Does anyone really think that Jared Kushner or Rex Tillerson will find a path to peace? That leaves us with little more than crossed fingers and anxious hopes that the Pentagon will muster up some common sense and be able to exert some influence over our incompetent president. It isn’t much to hang onto, but it’s all we’ve got.

Trump, Still Obsessed With Clinton, Posts Hysterically Stupid Tweet Seeking An Apology

Another morning, another tweetstorm. On Monday Donald Trump took time away from his golf game to unleash a new round of deranged outbursts on Twitter. The president, whose attention span barely reaches 140 characters, continues venting via tweet rather than doing any actual work.

Donald Trump

Trump’s latest social media spew included a shout out to Fox News, which must be a contractual obligation. Another tweet featured a routine diversionary tactic to hype a phony surveillance story as a distraction from the Russia scandal. But perhaps the most comical tweet of the morning was this:

The first laughably absurd observation about this drivel is that Hillary Clinton never received any “answers” to the debate. What Trump is ineptly attempting to reference is the allegation that Donna Brazile passed along some topics that would be discussed by audience members in a debate with Bernie Sanders. Of course, topics are not answers, which Clinton would have had to come up with herself. That’s a mental process with which Trump is obviously unfamiliar.

More importantly, Trump’s passive aggressive-request for an apology stretches the limits of hypocrisy. After all, did he ever apologize for calling Clinton crooked? Or for five years of birtherism, insisting that President Obama was Kenyan? Or for asking Russia to illegally hack Clinton’s emails? And even worse, colluding with Russia to steal the election? Did he ever apologize for mocking a disabled reporter? Or for maligning Sen. McCain’s service in Vietnam? Or for ripping off donations intended for veterans? And what about apologizing to Mexican immigrants for saying they are criminals and rapists? Has he ever apologized for insulting Carly Fiorina’s face? Or saying that small-chested women could never be a ten? Or for grabbing women by the pussy?

This list only brushes the tip of Trump’s offensive behaviors. And it doesn’t even begin to address the offensive policies he has proposed. For instance, his now failed effort to repeal ObamaCare, which would have thrown millions off of their health insurance plans. Or his inane border wall. Or tax reform that transfers America’s wealth from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy. Then there’s his determination to defund Planned Parenthood. And his phantom strategy to defeat ISIS, much of which constitutes war crimes.

Finally, will he ever apologize for demonizing the Constitution’s guarantee of a free press? For his relentless smears of reporters as liars, sleazy, and horrible people? For revoking press credentials of media critics? Or for proposing to alter libel laws so he can file frivolous lawsuits? Or for calling the media “the enemy of the people,” echoing the rhetoric of fascist regimes? Trump’s use of the phrase “fake news” is a bastardization of the term. In his ignorance, he applies it to any reporting that he doesn’t like.

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

Trump has called his reliance on Twitter his own form of media.” Another term for that when managed by the head of state is “state-run media.” The press is not supposed to be a mouthpiece for the president. That may be how it’s done in the dictatorship of his pal Vladimir Putin, but not in America. And most of the country is still wondering when Trump will stop his idiotic tweeting and start pretending he can govern. Or maybe they’re just glad that he’s so distracted by his swollen ego that he isn’t causing more harm by actually trying to do his job. That would only give more for which to apologize.

Trump Whines Because ‘Democrats Are Smiling’ – No, They’re Laughing at You, Loser

The failure of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to pass their anti-ObamaCare bill is still stinging. Maybe a bill that would cancel health insurance for twenty-four million people was never a good idea. It had a pitiful seventeen percent approval rating in recent polls. Consequently, the prospects for its passage were dim from the start. But that didn’t sway the President and his party who are more focused on cutting taxes for their wealthy pals than helping average Americans.

Donald Trump

Having had a couple of days to think about, Trump is still peeved that his incompetence has been displayed to the world. So naturally he is blaming everybody else. In another of his morning tweets the President lashed out at those he feels betrayed him:

First of all, Democrats are smiling across the country, not just in D.C. And it isn’t just Democrats. All Americans who appreciate having access to affordable healthcare are glad that the GOP bill never got off the ground. Secondly, it wasn’t the House Freedom Caucus or the Heritage Foundation that doomed the bill. It was the short-sighted thinking of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thought they could muscle through sham legislation that achieved none of what they promised. Despite their public pronouncements, they never intended to insure all Americans. They never tried to hold costs down. And they never sought bipartisan consensus to attract Democratic support.

Trump’s tweet exhibits the petty vengefulness that is the hallmark of his flawed character. He’s attacking his closest allies because they weren’t a hundred percent obedient. Heaven forbid he should accept any responsibility for his own political fiasco. What’s more, he’s lamenting that Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare were saved. According to most polls, both are supported by large majorities of the population. They would certainly regard saving them as admirable, not lamentable.

Trump’s disconnection with the majority of the American people, and even his own party, is unusually vast. He appears to have a severe case of ideological tunnel-blindness that has warped his worldview. And by announcing that on Twitter he drew a response from the online community that puts him in his place. If he’s really interested in why “Democrats are smiling” here are a few of the reasons provided by twitterers:

Trump’s arrogance and inability to accept defeat continue to alienate him from most voters. It’s a big part of the reason he has the most unfavorable ratings of any president before him. His response to having been rebuked by the his congressional colleagues, and the voting public, is to hope that ObamaCare “explodes” and causes great harm to innocent people. That’s not leadership. That’s the response of a vindictive narcissist whose only concern is the feeding and welfare of his ego.

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

CNN Commits Journalism – Trump Shill Gets Trolled On Twitter For Whining About It

CNN’s Kate Bolduan did a segment Monday about Donald Trump’s unsupported claim (aka: lie) that thousands of voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote illegally. She noted that there was no evidence of that other than baseless assertions by administration shills like Stephen Miller. Then she played a video of Miller on ABC directing the media to where they could find the elusive evidence. Miller told George Stephanopoulos that:

“Many, many highly qualified people, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, have looked deeply into this issue and confirmed it to be true and have put together evidence. And I suggest you invite Kris Kobach onto your show and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud.”

So that’s exactly what Bolduan did. However, she didn’t get the result that Miller promised. She interviewed Koback and started off by asking him what evidence he has that thousands of people voted illegally. The next seven minutes (video below) was consumed by Kobach dodging the question and failing to provide any shred of the fabled evidence. Each time Bolduan asked for proof of illegal voting, Kobach contorted his answer to address only registration issues. His lone argument was that there were people who were on the registration rolls of both Massachusettes and New Hampshire. But he had no proof that any of them actually voted in both states.

To be clear, there is nothing illegal about being registered in more than one state. It happens frequently when registered voters move to a new state and re-register. Most people will never inform the election authorities of their previous residence that they moved. And so long as they only vote once they have broken no laws. It would be easy to ascertain whether someone voted more than once. Consequently, the absence of more than handful of such incidents attests to its rarity. The allegations of thousands – or even millions, as Trump has claimed – is preposterous and has been widely debunked.

Nevertheless, Kobach persisted in switching the subject to entirely legal registration matters. He struggled to reply when Bolduan pressed him to certify the claims by Miller that fraud had already been proven. After hemming and hawing he would go straight back to the registration red herring. A clearly frustrated Bolduan eventually concluded the interview with an exasperated sigh.

And here’s where it get’s truly absurd. Following his embarrassing performance, Kobach took to Twitter to complain about a graphic that appeared on screen during the interview. It read “Trump Aide Repeats False Claims Of Voter Fraud.” Kobach’s tweet accused CNN of Bias:

First of all, the graphic is simply stating something that is verifiably true. That isn’t bias, it’s journalism. Secondly, the truth is not something that viewers get to “decide.” As Daniel Patrick Moynihan so poignantly observed “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” Finally, the graphic isn’t even even referring to Kobach. It is referring to Trump’s aide, Stephen Miller. This should be clear to Kobach since he’s not presently a Trump aide, unless there’s something they’re not telling us. Bolduan herself apprised Kobach of that:

She was being kind, because he was lying also. Kobach’s petulant whining and failure to understand the graphic was pounced on by an amused and outraged Twitter community. Here are a few of the replies that he received to his tweet:

And those are the nice ones. Kobach is just another one of the sycophants that populate Trump’s world. They are chosen for their aversion to facts, indifference toward the trials of ordinary Americans, and the ability to lie with a straight face. He’ll go far in the Era of Trump.

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

CREEPING FASCISM: Trump Insults Another Judge In Ongoing Effort To Deligitimize The Judiciary

The rule of law is often touted as a cornerstone of democratic society. The United States regards equal justice under the law as a core value. Founding Father John Adams articulated this principle when he declared that we are “a government of laws, not of men.” None of this, of course, presumes that there is a tyranny of legal rhetoric. That’s why we have courts to adjudicate the meaning and scope of the statutes that govern us.

Donald Trump

Respect for the law is generally observed in a civil society. That doesn’t mean unquestioning agreement or forgoing the right to dissent. But it does mean appreciating the role of an independent judiciary. That’s a concept that Donald Trump has repeatedly trashed.

In a petty and insolent tweet Saturday morning, Trump demonstrated once again his contempt for the judiciary and for any form of disagreement with his autocratic authority. He was responding to a ruling by a Washington state judge that stayed his executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The order even included legal residents and those with valid visas and green cards. He tweeted:

For the record, Judge James Robart was appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2004. Consequently, Trump could not lash out reflexively at the “liberal” courts. But that didn’t stop him from demeaning the Judge Robart, and by extension the entire judicial system.

By labeling Robart a “so-called judge,” Trump is implicitly denying that he isn’t an actual judge. By some twisted illogic he is demoting Robart to some other status. Perhaps Trump thinks he’s a “fake” judge, or an “alternative” judge. Either way, the effect is to undermine his legitimacy and that of his ruling.

Furthermore, Trump’s assertion that the decision “takes law-enforcement away from our country” makes no sense whatsoever. The judge’s ruling is, by definition, a component of law enforcement. And how does a decision by a U.S. federal court take anything away from “our country”? In what jurisdiction would Trump place this authority?

What’s more, Trump’s assertion that the ruling is “ridiculous” defies reason. Which may be why he didn’t even bother to supply one. However, four other courts agree with Robart’s decision. Last week courts in New York, Virgina, Washington, and Massachusetts issued similar judgments. That portends trouble for any hope by the White House for overturning the stay or prevailing overall.

Trump has previously expressed his disdain for the law when battling a suit over his fraudulent Trump University. In that case a judge who was born in Indiana, but whose parents were from Mexico, was accused of being biased and unfit to preside due to his heritage. That was just another example of Trump diminishing the role of the judiciary for irrelevant reasons. Despite swearing never to settle, he eventually did just that. The plaintiffs won a massive $25 million in compensatory damages.

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

The problem with Trump’s tweet cannot be overstated. It is common in totalitarian regimes for the government to assert dominance over its institutions. That applies to the legislature, the media, the military, and the judiciary. Trump’s comment reflects his view that the courts are, or should be, subservient to his will. It’s a view that reinforces concerns about his aspirations to dictatorship.

The judiciary is one of the last lines of defense to prevent a descent into tyranny. Hopefully they will stand strong against Trump and for the principles enshrined in the Constitution. And maybe the Democrats in the Senate will have the guts to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat that they stole. At the very least they should ask him whether he thinks Robart is a so-called judge.

White House Leaks Portray Trump As A ‘Clueless Child’ – His Own Tweets Prove It

Watch Donald Trump for any length of time and you’ll see someone who exhibits traits consistent with a juvenile ego. He is obsessed with himself and his own appearances. He cannot tolerate criticism. When challenged he lashes out with insults generally favored by eight year olds. So a column by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post that reveals White House insiders characterizing Trump as a “clueless child” may not come as a surprise. But it’s still a troubling revelation that an American president behaves this way.

Donald Trump

Cillizza writes that:

“I’ve never seen so much leaking so quickly — and with such disdain for the president — as I have in the first six days of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

Cillizza cites recent reporting that portrays Trump as lacking maturity and requiring special handling. One of the reports was from the New York Times and described Trump’s staff saying they:

“…privately worry about his penchant for picking unnecessary fights and drifting off message. They talk about taking away his telephone or canceling his Twitter account.”

Another report was in the Washington Post. It noted how easily Trump falls into tantrums during which he cannot be reasoned with:

“Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.”

This is not the sort of measured, thoughtful behavior that is expected from a responsible leader. As Cillizza said, it reflects the temperament of “a clueless child – someone who acts on impulse. […and…] needs to be managed or else he will say and do stupid things.” Clearly that assessment is on the nose.

Trump himself, though, affirmed Cillizza’s analysis. Saturday morning he took to Twitter (again) and chewed out both the New York Times and the Washington Post. The infantile invective was pure Trump:

Notice that Trump never says what he’s so angry about. He just unloads his wrath in a blind rant and expects his glassy-eyed followers to sing along. It wasn’t clear what he was referring to until Cillizza’s column pointed out the leakers’ remarks in both newspapers. And needless to say, his comments contained several outright lies (i.e. the Times subscriptions are at an all-time high).Trump’s dishonest attacks on the media are reminiscent of historical regimes that ruled with tyranny and sought to crush a free and independent press and replace it with its own propaganda mouthpiece (i.e. Fox News, Breitbart, Infowars).

Sadly, we can expect to see much more of this going forward. During the campaign Trump insisted that he could start “acting presidential” any time he wanted. Apparently he still doesn’t want to. This leads most people to conclude that he simply isn’t able to. Trump is an emotionally stunted narcissist whose ego is an existential threat to the nation. And if you need a more visual representation of Trump’s personality disorder, News Corpse has uncovered an exclusive video of Trump in his natural element and, perhaps, a clue as to how he should be dealt with:

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

SRSLY? 34,000+ Tweets Later, Donald Trump Says ‘I Don’t Like Tweeting’

Donald Trump gave Fox News an interview Wednesday and it went pretty much like you might expect. Ainsley Earhardt tossed a few softballs at him, and he dodged them anyway. However, there were a couple of responses where he made news despite himself (video below).

Trump Twit

First of all, Trump was asked about his obsession with Twitter. He responded in a way that contradicts everything he’s done for the past couple of years:

“Look, I don’t like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it’s my only way that I can counteract.”

For someone who doesn’t like tweeting, he sure devotes an awful lot of time to it. And his tweets often address significant issues, including trade, and foreign relations. Of course, just as often he’s merely bragging about himself or insulting others. But if he has other things to do, then why isn’t he doing them?

Trump’s excuse for tweeting so frequently is that it’s the only way to counteract all the dishonest press he gets. That’s got to come as a surprise to anyone who owns a television. Trump has been the recipient of more uninterrupted airtime than any other candidate – or human. The media broadcast his campaign stump speeches in full and took his phone calls on the air. When he wants press time he only has to ask for it and the networks oblige. If there is any lack of Trump on TV it’s his own doing. Until last week he didn’t hold a press conference for seven months.

Clearly, there are many ways for Trump to counter what he regards as dishonest press. That includes friendly venues like Fox News, talk radio, and wingnut blogs like Breitbart. He obviously prefers Twitter because it doesn’t require much critical thought. There isn’t much of substance you can say with 140 characters. What’s more, it doesn’t open him up to questions he can’t answer or hold him accountable for his lies.

The other notable remarks from the Fox News interview concerned the controversy over the White House briefing room. Last week Trump’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, floated the notion that the briefings might be moved to another location outside of the White House. That didn’t sit well with the journalists who would be evicted. Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) later met with Spicer and issued this statement shortly thereafter:

“The White House Correspondents’ Association has always advocated for increasing access and transparency for the benefit of all news outlets and the public. I emphasized the importance of the White House press briefing room and noted that it is open to all journalists who seek access now. I made clear that the WHCA would view it as unacceptable if the incoming administration sought to move White House reporters out of the press work space behind the press briefing room. Access in the West Wing to senior administration officials, including the press secretary, is critical to transparency and to journalists’ ability to do their jobs.’

Trump told Fox’s Earhardt that, due to the negative reaction, he didn’t think the briefing room would be moved for now. However, he also announced a new and unprecedented control over access to the briefings:

“Some people in the press will not be able to get in because there’s just too many people … we have so many people who wanna go in so we’ll have to just pick the people who go into the room. I’m sure other people will be thrilled about that.”

Currently the non-partisan WHCA is responsible for assigning credentials to reporters who seek admittance to the briefings. The politicians in the White House have no say. That insures that the room isn’t stacked with sycophants and propagandists as is done in dictatorial regimes. Apparently Trump favors the dictator’s methods. That may also be why his Washington, D.C. hotel just announced that it is banning all media during the inauguration. So much for a free press.

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