DAMAGE CONTROL? Putin Offers Transcript of Trump’s Meeting with Russians to Rescue His Puppet

With each passing day the precarious status of Donald Trump’s presidency becomes ever more wobbly. The latest controversy involves disquieting allegations that Trump disclosed top secret intelligence information to Russian officials visiting the White House. Since this story first broke, the President and his shills have offered varying responses. They began with outright denials. Then, undercutting his own staff, Trump tweeted that it was true, but legal. The record to date is one of diversion and obfuscation.

Putin Voted

Enter Vladimir Putin. The man credited with putting Trump in the White House has come to the rescue of his most valuable asset. Speaking at a news conference in Sochi, Putin criticized the turmoil surrounding Trump. He asserted that “[T]he United States has been developing political schizophrenia.” It’s hard to argue with that. However, Putin’s solution to the problem only exacerbates it. Talking Points Memo is reporting that:

“Russia President Vladimir Putin offered Wednesday to turn over to Congress records of President Donald Trump’s discussions with Russian diplomats in which Trump is said to have disclosed classified information. His offer added a bizarre twist to the furor over Trump’s intelligence disclosures. […] Putin told a news conference that he would be willing to turn over notes of Trump’s meeting with the Russian diplomats if the White House agreed.”

“Bizarre” only begins to describe this. First of all. it’s significant that Putin has a record of the White House encounter that he’s willing to make public (if the White House agrees). Particularly because the President has made no such claim or offer. In fact, only Russia’s press were permitted into the meeting. The U.S. media was explicitly excluded. Furthermore, what makes Putin (or anyone) think that his transcript would be considered a credible account of what occurred? He has an obvious vested interest in concealing any transfer of intelligence data he acquires from Trump. His own spy network would benefit from the data more if his foes in Israel, Syria, and elsewhere were in the dark.

Putin’s offer can serve as much more than a life preserver for the floundering American president. It can also be exploited by conservative media to protect Trump from further criticism. That would fit with Russia’s known efforts to plant stories in the press that advance their foreign policy goals. Russia has been determined to be the source of thousands of self-serving fake news articles. This could just be the latest part of that ongoing propaganda effort.

From press reports it’s unclear exactly what sort of documentation Putin has. According to NPR he used the Russian word “zapis” which can be translated as either a written record or a recording. That opens speculation as to whether the Russian diplomats brought surveillance equipment into the Oval Office. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell had an opportunity to address that with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Wednesday morning. His response was somewhat unnerving:

Really? How hard would it be to sweep the Oval Office for listening devices? And shouldn’t he be a little worried about the prospect that Russia could bug the White House and he wouldn’t know? This is just further evidence that Team Trump is dangerously inexperienced and incompetent. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case is that Trump isn’t worried about Russian listening devices because he is the listening device. If he’s telling our secrets to the Russians himself, then why would would they need to plant a bug?

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

It’s STILL Russia! But Fox News and Trump Are Trying to Deflect to Phony ‘Unmasking’ BS

New revelations tying Donald Trump to Russia continue to appear every day. Simultaneously, Trump’s defenders launch new efforts to divert attention to media decoys. Among the latest are allegations that President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, improperly “unmasked” Americans recorded in conversations with possible foreign agents. Never mind that she never leaked anything or that her actions were all legal and proper. The story was a convenient distraction for the Trump administration as it’s mired in ever-growing scandal.

Trump Putin

Joining the spin party, Fox News featured a story about a former Obama defense official that they tried to malign. Evelyn Farkas left her job at the Pentagon in 2015. But more recently she sought warn her former colleagues about the risks of the incoming administration of Donald Trump. Fox News tried to spin Farkas’ public comments as something nefarious with the headline “OBAMA CHEERLEAKER? Ex-WH official’s call for Trump dirt part of pattern.”

“Cheerleaker?” Aint that cute. Of course it has no meaning or honest depiction of reality. It’s a purposefully negative rhetorical invention meant to smear Farkas. Which is pretty much what the rest of the story does as well. Fox’s story began by saying that:

“[F]ormer defense official Evelyn Farkas had undertaken a media campaign to pressure her old colleagues in the Obama administration — even Barack Obama himself — to disclose what they knew.”

Hot button terms like “pressure” deliberately misrepresent what actually happened. Farkas merely sought to offer her opinion on a matter of some importance. And her advice was entirely reasonable and warranted. That didn’t stop Fox News from putting it into the most negative light. However the quotes in Fox’s own story portray Farkas as a patriot coming forward on behalf of her country. For instance:

“I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking, the people on the Hill … ‘get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration,’ because I had a fear that, somehow, that information would disappear with the senior people who left,” she said. “That’s why you have the leaking, because people were worried,” she added.

“The information needs to be made public,” she wrote. “If the answers yield further evidence that the president-elect is indebted to the Russian government or individuals with Kremlin ties, the intelligence community and policy officials should also begin disclosing what they know about whether Trump’s associates have been in contact with Russian officials, and what they’ve been discussing.”

“We need President Obama to share with the public the information the FBI has to date on this issue, and we need President-elect Trump to explain the full extent of his ties with the Kremlin and influential Russians,” she wrote.

These are the comments that Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber are getting all hot and bothered about. But any sane observer would recognize them as calls for transparency and respecting American citizens enough to keep them informed. Why on Earth wouldn’t you want to protect potentially incriminating information from being destroyed? And why wouldn’t you want to know about any President’s connections to operatives of a hostile foreign country?

The only reason anyone would be worried about what Farkas said is if they were trying to hide wrongdoing. Fox News and Donald Trump have vested interests in shielding themselves from unsavory or unlawful activity. And they must be deeply concerned about what would come out if intelligence officials followed Farkas’ advice. Otherwise, they would welcome any disclosures as opportunities to clear their names.

Consequently, the word has gone out to the conservative media to hype stories like Farkas’ and Rice’s. And to do so deceptively in order to poison the public’s understanding and foment confusion. Then, while responsible journalists struggle to restore some sense of sanity, the Russian atrocities get swept aside. It’s tactic that we’ve seen used for months by the Trump camp.

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

Hopefully the press will stop being unwitting partners in this obfuscation and keep their eyes on the prize. There is nothing more important in American politics today than determining whether or not our president is a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Stay vigilant America, and don’t succumb to the practitioners of misdirection.

DUH! Trump’s U.N. Ambassador Says ‘No One’s Talking to Me’ About Russia’s Election Tampering

The prospect that Russia played a significant role in the election of Donald Trump continues to accumulate evidence. It is undoubtedly the worst scandal the United States has ever experienced. When a hostile foreign power is suspected of manipulating American democracy all citizens should be intensely concerned.

Nikki Haley

While a majority of citizens are indeed concerned, their anxiety doesn’t seem to be shared by Trump or his administration mouthpieces. On Sunday morning Face the Nation interviewed Nikki Haley, Trump’s United Nations Ambassador, and began with this topic. Host John Dickerson asked Haley whether she agreed with expert analyses of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to destabilize American institutions:

Dickerson: When you look at all the back and forth and the charges and the tweets that have been in the last few weeks, hasn’t he already succeeded in doing that?

Haley: None of my colleagues or ambassadors from other countries are talking about D.C. chatter.

First of all. Haley is dismissing congressional investigations, and even Trump’s tweets, as “chatter.” To some extent that’s true, but it can’t be the impression that Trump wants for his Twitter rants. So Dickerson took another swing at the question:

Dickerson: In your world, then, they’re not concerned about Russian efforts to meddle in elections in America, relative to its efforts to meddle in elections in other countries and in Europe? There’s no talk about that at all?

Haley: No one is talking to me about that.

So twice Haley insisted that no one is talking to her about one of the most disquieting acts of political subterfuge in history. That’s entirely believable. Why would any of her diplomatic colleagues talk to her about that? She’s a Trump minion who can be expected to align herself with his political interests. Trump has demonstrated that he has greater loyalty to Russia than to the U.S. He will never say a bad word about his pal Putin.

If there was collusion between Trump and Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton, it would be crazy to confide with Haley. Other diplomats are wise enough to know that you don’t get in bed with puppets of totalitarian regimes. Many European countries are dealing with similar attempts by Russia to interfere with their elections. Considering the circumstances, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t talk to an American who submits to such interference. Anything they say confidentially to Haley could find its way back to Putin and put them at even greater risk.

Haley also shares her boss’s reluctance to malign Vladimir. Dickerson brought up Putin’s denial that Russia interfered with the U.S. election. He asked Haley pointedly, “Did he lie?” That would be an easy question for most patriotic Americans. Instead, Haley mumbled weakly that “we’re all aware that Russia was involved in the elections.” But then she went on to say “I’m not going to talk about who is lying and who is not.” And Putin will surely appreciate that.

Several times in the segment Haley asserted that the U.S. would confront Russia when necessary. When Dickerson asked for an example, the only thing she could come up with were the sanctions due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Those, of course, were imposed during President Obama’s administration. And it was Trump’s disgraced ex-National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who sought to ease them in secret meetings. Furthermore, in an alarming admission of negligence, she told Dickerson that she has not even read the Countering Russian Hostilities Act currently before Congress.

The spectacle of watching the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. admit that she is ignorant of issues critical to her mission would be troubling by itself. But when combined with her Trump-like attachment to Putin it becomes downright scary. And the fact that her U.N. colleagues aren’t talking to her about Russia shows their dire lack of respect. Even worse, it shows a wariness that could be dangerous.

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

Trump-Fluffer Hannity Implies CIA Hacked Democrats and Blamed It on the Russians

The role of Fox News during the presidency of Donald Trump is essentially the same as Pravda’s in Russia. It is as close to state-run television news as we get in the United States. The network will almost always support Trump and defend him from any and all criticism. And the most fawning Trump flunky at Fox is, without a doubt, Sean Hannity.

Trump Hannity

During the campaign, Hannity hosted Trump on his program more than any other candidate. And Trump appeared on his show more than any other show on TV. Hannity even publicly endorsed Trump in the midst of the campaign. So no one should be surprised that he is still licking Trump’s Ferragamos. But this week he went even further. Hannity is now joining the President’s pro-Putin fan club and opposing America’s intelligence community.

Analysis of all available data about the hacking of Democrats has produced near unanimous agreement that Russia was the culprit. Seventeen separate intelligence agencies agree with that assessment. And the ever-growing number of connections between Trump and his inner circle are cause for concern. Unless, that is, if you’re Sean Hannity.

On his radio show last week Hannity floated an absurd and utterly unsupported allegation acquitting Putin’s gang of any wrongdoing. He asserted that the CIA “uses stolen malware to attribute cyberattacks to nations like Russia.” Hannity said that this was revealed in documents from WikiLeaks, but that isn’t true. It was merely part of a press release that WikiLeaks put out, but was not supported by the actual documents. Then Hannity continued this line of nonsense on his Fox News program (video below). His guest, Lt. Col Tony Shaffer (ret), said that it was the CIA that hacked the Democrats. Despite having said the very same thing himself on the radio earlier that day, Hannity pretended to be surprised. In the following exchange with Shaffer he wondered:

Hannity: You’re telling me this whole Russian story – that the media’s been running with for months and months and months – that it was our people that did it and they just put the fingerprints of the Russians on it?
Shaffer: That’s right. I don’t have proof of it, but I’m telling you this is what I’ve heard.

The notable part of this charade is that Shaffer openly admits that he has no proof. But that doesn’t stop Hannity from participating in spreading this crackpot conspiracy theory. In order to believe his ramblings you would have to dismiss the findings of the entire intelligence community. Plus, you would have to dismiss them in favor of unfounded opinions based on Russian denials. It hardly seems patriotic to side with a hostile foreign adversary over American national security professionals.

In addition, you’d have to ignore all of the connections already proven between the Russians and Trump’s “brain” trust. They include Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, J.D. Gordon, and Roger Stone. What are the odds that a single candidate – now president – would have so many associates tied to communications with our Russian foes? This can’t be written off as coincidence.

Nevertheless, Hannity struggles vainly to absolve Russia of any complicity with the hacking. Instead, he places the blame squarely on his fellow Americans. It’s unclear why Hannity thinks that’s a better scenario. His theory asserts that it was the CIA that hacked Democrats in order to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He believes that Trump’s victory was assisted by rogue and treasonous spooks. And this is better how? At least he seems to be accepting that Trump is an illegitimate president who won as the result of unlawful interference. Except that in his blind haste to exonerate Putin, he doesn’t appear to know that he believes that.

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

Former GOP Intel Committee Chair: Vladimir Putin Should Be Feeling Pretty Good Right About Now

The fallout from Donald Trump’s reckless and paranoid accusations that President Obama had wiretapped him continues to spread like wildfire. Ever since he tweeted these delusions, criticism has poured out from across the political spectrum. Voices as diverse as Republican senator Ben Sasse and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi have called for investigations of these charges. One intelligence expert speculates that Trump is “getting buggy because he knows that he’s caught.”

CNN Mike Rogers

Sunday morning on CNN’s State of the Union a panel discussed the wiretap allegations with near universal disapproval. Most notable were the remarks of Mike Rogers (video below). Rogers is a Republican who chaired the House Intelligence Committee. Prior to his congressional service he was a special agent for the FBI and Army veteran. His experience and conservative credentials are unimpeachable. Which makes his comments on the wiretapping controversy particularly significant. When asked what might have motivated Trump to post his accusatory tweets, Rogers replied:

“I don’t understand why he did this. They just put another quarter in the conspiracy parking meter. They’ve extended this story for a week, two weeks? Makes no sense to me whatsoever.

“Two things. One: This should have been held, if he had that belief, and if he believed there had been some inappropriate behavior on behalf of the Justice Department doing this, then there are internal investigative mechanisms he should have used and called for. Making this a big public fight like this, I just think is wrong.”

Indeed. It is wrong both legally and politically. As knowledgeable people in the field have affirmed, it is not even within the powers of the president to do what Trump charged. Only a law enforcement entity can request a surveillance warrant, and even they would need approval from the FISA court. But what Rogers said next should send shockwaves through Trump’s White House and the Republican Party:

“As a matter of fact, the only winner in this whole thing has been Vladimir Putin. I mean, the Democrats are saying that he stole an election. And the President of the United States is saying ‘Don’t worry about it. He’s a pretty good guy.’ If I were Vladimir Putin I’d be feeling pretty good right about now.”

No kidding. Putin has managed to tamper with the electoral process of his biggest international rival. He has elevated his hand-picked candidate to the presidency of the United States. Now his pawn in Washington is implementing policies that Russia has long dreamed of. These include weakening the European Union, threatening the stability of NATO, and inserting wedges that separate America from allies such as Australia, Germany, and Japan.

And all the while, Trump continues to praise Putin. Trump has criticized Meryl Streep and Nordtrom’s more than Russia. But Streep and other Trump targets have not invaded Ukraine or murdered political rivals. At least that we know of. Perhaps disclosure of those atrocities are forthcoming in Trump’s future tweets.

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

Now Can We Declare Trump Insane And Remove Him From Office? (Tweetstorm On Wiretaps)

The reasons to impeach Donald Trump, or otherwise remove him from office, continue to mount. His conflicts of interest, financial corruption, sexual predatory behavior, associations with mobsters, and on and on. And this is the guy that the media swoons over for his allegedly newfound “presidential” demeanor? The most troubling of his growing collection of scandals is the unsavory relationship he and his administration have with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump

However, on Saturday morning Trump revealed another reason to remove him from the presidency. He is STRAIGHT UP BONKERS! Note this latest torrent of deranged tweets:

As usual, Trump provided no evidence that these paranoid accusations have any truth to them. They appear to be a wild excursion into a hallucinatory nightmare that only he can experience. His determination to find villains plotting his demise is taking over his already hampered mental state. Professionals in the psychiatric field have warned of his “malignant narcissism” and other dangerous lapses of cognitive ability. Since his election, legislators from both sides of the aisle have drafted bills to mandate a White House psychiatrist.

Trump’s descent into ever deeper madness seems to be reaching a pinnacle. These tweets cover a lot of maniacal territory. For instance, he is accusing Obama of something that a president has no power to do. Only a law enforcement entity such as the FBI can request surveillance warrants. And in these circumstances even they would need permission from the FISA court to proceed. This isn’t new information either, as Trump insinuated.

His reference to McCarthyism demonstrates that he has no idea what that is. Obama did not make any baseless allegations of treasonous affiliations. Trump didn’t even assert that. To him McCarthyism is just an epithet to toss around recklessly to malign his perceived enemies. The Watergate reference is a bit more on track, except that in that affair Nixon tapped his own phones.

While Trump offered no support for his bizarre claims, the Guardian speculates that he got his info from ultra-rightist radio host, Mark Levin. On his Thursday night show Levin talked about the alleged steps Obama took to undermine Trump’s campaign. That unsubstantiated lunacy was later picked up by Breitbart News, the wingnut hack factory formerly run by Trump’s chief White House strategist, Stephen Bannon.

This is reminiscent of Trump’s frequent use of unverified lunacies from right-wing media that show up on his Twitter feed within minutes of them airing on Fox News. The President resides in a hermetically sealed bubble of far-right conspiracy theories and fake news. He regurgitates what he see and reads from dubious sources as fact and doesn’t even bother to cite those sources. Bloomberg News recently documented the extent to which Trump relies on Fox News, and vice versa.

The most puzzling part of this is trying to come up with a motivation for making these accusations now. Generally Trump’s intentions are easily discerned as distractions from some other abhorrent activity on his part. However, all this does is to remind people of his nefarious connections to Russia. Congressman Ted Lieu noted this in a candid and colorful tweet on the subject:

All of this points to a deteriorating mental state on the part of our President. This is the man who controls the nuclear codes. Yet he is easily influenced by the likes of Mark Levin, Alex Jones, and his own top aide, Bannon. The circumstances developing in the White House are exactly why the nation ratified the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. Section four of the Amendment provides guidance in the event that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

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

If there were ever a situation in which that argument could be made, it is now. And it isn’t just because of these recent tweets. Trump’s entire history in public life is symptomatic of psychological disorder. His pathological lying, his relentless egotism, his multiple marriages and public affairs, his faulty, and often imaginary, recollections, and his childish outbursts and insults, all suggest deep emotional abnormality. It’s long past time that he be evaluated and directed to somewhere that he get the help he obviously needs. And in the process, protect the country from further harm.

SRSLY? Trump’s Utterly Idiotic Reason To Investigate ‘Ties To Russia’ – Let’s Call His Bluff

Evidence of Donald Trump’s unsavory connections to Vladimir Putin and Russia are continuing to mount. Most recently his new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, was revealed to have given false testimony at his confirmation hearing. He said that he had not met with Russian officials during the campaign, but now admits that wasn’t true. These revelations have ignited renewed efforts to appoint a special prosecutor to look into every aspect of the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia.

Schumer Putin

Now Trump himself is proposing an investigation of sorts. In a tweet that must have gotten past his handlers, Trump said:

SRSLY? The photo in Trump’s tweet is of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sharing a donut with Putin at the opening of a gas station in New York. It was the first domestic franchise station owned by a Russian oil company. They were essentially participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new business.

So Trump wants to probe Sen. Schumer’s “ties to Russia and Putin” because they were sharing Crispy Cremes at a public event? That is hardly comparable to AG Sessions “forgetting” about a private meeting with the Russian ambassador in his office. And Schumer didn’t misinform a senate committee while under oath.

The picture Trump tweeted appears to have been dredged up by Gateway Pundit, a notoriously unreliable source. It went from there to the Drudge Report and other wingnut blogs. That’s presumably where Trump found it. Then, without the least bit of coherent thought, he blasted it out to his 26 million (mostly fake) Twitter followers.

For his part, Schumer had an appropriate reply:

Indeed. If Trump wants to initiate an investigation we should eagerly accommodate him. Call his bluff. Let’s appoint a special prosecutor with a mandate to delve into everything related to the Russian connections of candidates and politicians. That would include Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia’s election tampering. Also, his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn’s activities during the campaign. Throw in Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and his foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and …

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

Let’s get to the bottom of all of it. In the process, I don’t think Sen. Schumer has much to worry about. But the American people deserve the truth. This is an investigation that needs to begin immediately. And let the chips fall where they may.

[UPDATE: Trump also went after Nancy Pelosi. The offer still stands. Investigate everything, you fat coward]

Surprising Fox News Poll On Whether To Investigate Trump’s Contacts With Russia

Donald Trump has been desperately deploying weapons of mass distraction aimed at diverting attention from his mounting failures. His goal is to keep the public and the press occupied with fictional stories of terrorism in Sweden and allegations of fake news. Meanwhile, his national security team is falling apart, his immigration initiative was ruled unconstitutional, and controversy surrounds his cabinet appointees.

The most troubling scandal enveloping Trump’s nascent administration concerns his curious connections to Russia and Vladimir Putin. New incriminating evidence of collusion continues to seep out every day. His disgraced former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was discovered to have held talks with Russian agents during the campaign. That led to his dismissal by the President. But it still isn’t known what Trump and his White House staff knew during and after those talks.

Trump’s response to these inquiries is that it’s all “fake news” meant to harm his presidency. He even went so far as to accuse the media of being the “enemy of the American people.” But the American people may have a different opinion.

Donald Trump

A new poll was just posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, on this subject. It asks “Do you think there should be a deeper investigation into Trump administration contacts with Russian officials?” The response as of this writing might not be what the editors at Fox were expecting. An overwhelming majority (74%) say that “Yes,” there should be such an investigation. In fact, it’s 3-to-1 in favor of a deeper probe. See the current results of the poll here, and cast your own vote.

While this is not a scientific poll, it’s an online survey of the most right-wing, true-believers in the Fox News universe. Even if some lefty trolls sneaked in to tilt the results, it’s unlikely that they could or would have done so in such huge numbers. The total number of respondents at this time is over 60,000. That’s a significant chunk of opinions, and we have to assume that most of them are Fox’s audience.

What this tells us is that there is substantial skepticism about Trump’s dealings with Russia. Even conservatives are anxious about his relationship with a hostile foreign power. They want to know if their president is a traitor. Trump has been unusually tight-lipped about these matters. He still refuses to release his tax returns, which could show a financial connection. And what he has said often contradicts prior statements. He literally has said that he has spoken and worked with Putin. But he also insisted that he has nothing to do with him or Russia.

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

These contradictions, and efforts to suppress information, are probably why so many Fox News patrons want to know more. They can’t trust him any more than the Democrats can. And while Trump will try to dance around these issues, he can’t keep dancing indefinitely. Like Richard Nixon, the truth will come out in its own time, and his dodgy behavior will only affirm his guilt. If he were smart he would heed the results of this poll among his most loyal supporters. Of course, if he were smart we wouldn’t be discussing this at all. Sad.

Trump Defends The Murderous Putin By Saying The U.S. Does The Same Thing

Donald Trump was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly for a special Super Bowl broadcast. The full interview will be broken up into parts for airing prior to the game, and on consecutive episodes of the The O’Reilly Factor next week. However, there is a teaser that was released Saturday night (video below) and it is shocking, to say the least.

Bill O'Reilly Donald Trump

The short segment has O’Reilly asking about Trump’s frequent assertions that he respects Vladimir Putin. Trump concedes that he does because “he’s a leader of his country.” He goes on to say that “it’s better to get along with Russia than not.”

Those are two of the worst reasons to respect a foreign leader ever uttered aloud. The fact that Putin managed to put Russia under his dictatorial boot is not deserving of respect. And getting along with murderous tyrants was never a goal of freedom-loving nations. But the most chilling comment from Trump came in a defense of Putin’s political assassinations. O’Reilly noted that Putin is “a killer.” Trump responded saying:

“There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think – our country’s so innocent?”

Let that sink in. Trump is asserting that he has knowledge of American assassins who kill the political opponents of our leaders. Were that true then President Obama might have offed Trump long ago. Yet Trump is placing the U.S. on the same moral footing as the murderous dictator of Russia.

Trump’s remarks go further than any president has ever gone with such allegations. He even goes further than Putin, since the Russian president has never admitted to killing anyone. In fact, he strenuously denies it. But now Trump has put the U.S. on record as committing such heinous acts. And he’s only been in office two weeks.

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

Trump’s Latest Tweet Threatens The Media (And Press Freedom) For Doing Their Job

Friday morning Donald Trump took another step toward the totalitarian dystopia he yearns to rule. He’s spent months disparaging the intelligence community on which he must rely. At the same time he has defended Russia from charges of hacking that has now been proven beyond question.

Trump Baby

And now he is proposing concrete actions to punish the free press that he so blatantly abhors. This is what he tweeted this morning while waiting to be briefed on the Russian hacking report:

The frightening aspects of that cannot be be understated. Trump is proposing an investigation of a news organization that did precisely what is expected of it. NBC utilized its sources to acquire government information that is relevant to all citizens. And contrary to Trump’s frantic accusation, there is no indication that any of it was top secret. The government was going to release a public version of the report anyway. NBC just scooped them.

What is apparent is that Trump is more concerned about NBC getting info that’s about to be released anyway, than he is about Russians hacking American citizens and political organizations. He is distracting from the far more significant news that Russia had helped him achieve his tainted victory. They even celebrated and congratulated themselves for their successful effort.

It’s important to note the distinction between what Trump’s allies in Russia did and what NBC did. The hackers stole private information from individuals and organizations. That data was not public property. Russia, WikiLeaks, et al, were not revealing government secrets that the people had a right to know. NBC, on the other hand did just that. The Intelligence reports they previewed were paid for by taxpayers for their benefit. So NBC was performing a public service, while Russia/WikiLeaks was invading privacy. But only the privacy of Democrats so as to assist their favored candidate, Donald Trump.

Trump doesn’t care about Russians hacking an American election. He has defended them, and his BFF Vladimir Putin, from the start. Even worse, he has maligned the dangerous work of American patriots serving their country. Under the circumstances, one has to wonder why any intelligence operative would risk their life for Trump during his administration.

Trump has also been a constant foe of the free press. He has called reporters “sleazy” and “dummies” and “liars” and worse. Respected journalists had their credentials revoked to prevent them from covering his rallies. Organizations that represent the interests of journalists have condemned him as a “threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.”

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

That condemnation is playing out bigly today with this new attack on the press. And Trump has still never called for a congressional investigation of the Russian hacking. His whining about NBC sharing intelligence before he has seen it rings hollow. After all, it’s easy to get intelligence before Trump sees it when he doesn’t even bother to take intelligence briefings.

UPDATE: As it turns out, about six hours before Trump’s tweet WikiLeaks posted a tweet that is eerily similar:

That tweet also falsely states that the information NBC reported was “Top Secret.” And it makes the point that NBC received the info before Trump. Considering the similarities it is likely that Trump simply copied the contents of the WikiLeaks tweet for his own. And that’s just more proof that they are working together.

It’s also astonishing that WikiLeaks is complaining about “leaks” to the media. That’s their whole friggin’ reason for existing. But those dishonest hypocrites go nuts when someone else disseminates information acquired through legitimate journalistic means (as opposed to hacking and theft) if it is adverse to their partisan agenda.