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.

Donald Trump Plans To Kneecap The Intelligence Community – Playing Into Putin’s Hands

For several months Donald Trump has bitterly criticized the United States intelligence agencies. He has accused them of politicizing intelligence data and making critical errors in analysis and reporting. His public statements give more credence to Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin, and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, than to the agencies on which he must rely as president. That has raised questions as to his loyalties from politicians and pundits across the political spectrum.

Trump/Putin

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published a story detailing Trump’s plans to revamp the CIA and other intel ops. The article relied on sources close to the Trump transition team who revealed Trump’s desire to “restructure and pare back” these agencies. One of the insiders quoted said that:

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized. They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Among those who would eagerly support slimmed down intelligence bureaus is Trump’s BFF, Vladimir Putin. Along with every other nation hostile to American interests. By weakening our intelligence capabilities, our adversaries would gain the upper hand in clandestine activities and diplomacy. However, Trump’s motivation isn’t as simple as siding with our enemies. He is hypersensitive to allegations that his electoral victory was illegitimate. Consequently, any assertion that Russia’s involvement benefited him grates against his ego and must be suppressed. According to the Journal, that’s a view shared by Trump’s team:

“Among those helping lead Mr. Trump’s plan to revamp the intelligence agencies is his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn [and] Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), whom Mr. Trump selected as CIA director. […] Gen. Flynn and Mr. Pompeo share Mr. Trump’s view that the intelligence community’s position – that Russia tried to help his campaign – is an attempt to undermine his victory or say he didn’t win, the official close to the transition said.”

The Journal also quoted Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, who said that he finds it “disturbing that the president should come in with this negative view of the agencies.” Another former CIA operative, Evan McMullin, expressed similar concerns. He tweeted that “Trump’s overhaul of CIA is a reprisal for its alerting Americans of Russian interference in the election and its valid concerns about Trump.” And that “In addition to attacking the press, there is no more typical authoritarian tactic than consolidating power in the intel & armed services.” That observation should send shivers down the spine of every American. Remember that Putin himself was a KGB operative prior to becoming Russia’s dictator.

As for Trump, he had his own Twitter statement on the subject early Thursday morning:

Typically, Trump is misrepresenting reality. He actually did praise Assange on several occasions. And quoting him without any critical objection is tantamount to agreement. What’s more, he is outright lying about being a “big fan” of intelligence. He’s done nothing but disparage it and refused to even take the daily briefings on national security.

Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters on Thursday that the Journal story is false. However, his statement didn’t specify how it was wrong, and left the interpretation wide open. He said that “All transition activities are for information-gathering purposes and all discussions are tentative.” That doesn’t mean that the story was false or that the plans under discussion won’t be adopted. It’s a old-school dodge that the media seems far too willing to accept.

Everything that has come out of the Trump camp in this regard has affirmed the conclusion that he has a deeply held grudge against America’s intelligence professionals. And no matter what the motivation, that can only serve to strengthen the hands of our enemies. It also sets up a potentially dangerous conflict between the White House and the intelligence community.

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

American citizens, and their representatives in Congress, need to be vigilant and active in opposing Trump’s anti-intelligence agenda. Because if he succeeds, so does Russia, and China, and North Korea, and Syria, and Iran, and ISIS. In short, if he succeeds, we lose.

Trump Wants To TAKE AMERICA (WAY) BACK To Handwritten Notes And Couriers

While speaking to reporters at his New Year’s Eve party, Donald Trump made some peculiar remarks about computers and hacking. The questions sought to get him to comment on the ongoing controversy over Russia’s hacking of the election. On this, and many other issues, Trump has been evasive and has refused to hold a press conference since July.

Donald Trump

In this impromptu avail, Trump continued to insist that the evidence of Russia’s guilt is is unproven. He disagrees with every American national security agency about that, including the FBI and the CIA. Apparently he prefers the KGB and his pal, Vladimir Putin. On whether the information about Russia’s hacking is accurate, Trump said:

“I just want them to be sure, because it’s a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know.”

It’s fair to say that these professionals would not have drawn conclusions were they not sure. What’s more, President Obama would not have ordered sanctions if he didn’t have the assurance of his intelligence team that they were warranted. Trump likes to bring up the example of Iraq’s WMDs, but he fails to recognize that those assumptions were directed by the Bush White House, not the intelligence experts.

Trump continued his off-the-cuff party banter by bragging about his personal expertise and insider knowledge. Which is curious because he doesn’t take regular briefings from national security personnel:

“I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

Trump doesn’t explain how he would know a lot about hacking. It’s a specious claim considering that he admits that he doesn’t use a computer and rarely sends email. The extent of his tech capabilities appears to be his Twitter posts from his iPhone. Neither does he explain what he knows that others don’t, or how he would know it (Vlad?). The inference that he has information that the President doesn’t have is absurd. It could be evidence of a severe mental disorder. However, when asked to reveal what he knows he said “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.” We’ll see. He has a history of reneging on such promises. We’re still waiting for his tax returns and his press conference on his business conflicts.

But Trump’s remarks extend beyond insulting the American intelligence community. He also has some backward notions about computers and modern communications:

“It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier. The old fashioned way. Because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe. I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe.”

So Trump wants to return to the days before computers and electronic communications. That should be real effective in dealing with international crises and even domestic emergencies. Rather than addressing the risks of computer use, Trump would simply discard the confounded things.

This comment exposes a disturbing gap in Trump’s comprehension of the modern world. Situations develop and change with light-speed urgency. Relying on couriers would put us at a distinct disadvantage. And couriers weren’t a perfect form of communication either. Not only did they delay operations, they could be captured or killed or bribed.

If Trump plans on discarding his electronic communications devices he will put the country in imminent danger. Our adversaries, we can be sure, will not be joining him in the 1950’s. This is just more proof that he was never fit to lead the nation. His ignorance, and his utter lack of awareness of it, is a perilous combination.

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

Trump said last year that he knows more about ISIS than the generals. Now he says he knows more about hacking, and Russia’s involvement, than the experts in those fields. He probably thinks he knows more about homemaking than Martha Stewart, and more about astrophysics than Stephen Hawking. If this keeps up, he’ll claim that he knows more about the meaning of life than God. Buckle up, America. We are in for a fascinating, and frightening, new year.

New Poll Reveals The Eight CRAZIEST Things Trump Voters Actually Believe

The nastiness and ignorance that epitomized the campaign of Donald Trump has proven to be stubbornly enduring. Now, as 2016 wraps up, the effect it had on his followers is brought into focus by the results of a new poll. The Economist/YouGov survey (pdf) addressed many of the pressing issues that face the nation. It’s a revealing exploration into the mindset of the electorate. However, the most fascinating (and frightful) revelations are those relating to Trump voters.

Donald Trump Voter

Below are some of the more worrisome responses. Let’s start off with what ought to be the most clear cut inquiry by the pollsters:

Is the country better off now than it was eight years ago?

Most Americans recall that eight years ago the nation was descending into an economic abyss. The stock market dropped 46 percent. Unemployment shot up to 10.1 percent. Home foreclosures hit record figures. And total household wealth declined by more than $19 trillion.

Yet somehow a whopping 60 percent of Trump voters responded to this question saying that the country was better off eight years ago than today. Another 19 percent say there is no difference. That’s after stocks climbed back from about 7,000 to nearly 20,000. And unemployment dropped to 4.9 percent. The auto industry that was on the brink of collapse is reporting record profits. And the delusions of the Trumpsters are unique to their breed. Only 21 percent of Democrats thought 2009 was a better year.

Do you think that the proportion of persons without insurance has increased or decreased over the past five years?

This is another question where the answer is an unambiguous fact. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), the rate of the uninsured dropped to its lowest levels in history. It now stands at about 10 percent as more than 20 million people got insurance through ObamaCare.

Nevertheless, only 26 percent of Trump voters correctly said that persons without insurance decreased. And once again, Democrats demonstrated greater knowledge with 49 percent answering correctly.

On the subject of climate change do you think: (A) The world’s climate is changing as a result of human activity; (B) The world’s climate is changing but NOT because of human activity; (C) The world’s climate is NOT changing.

While conservatives fiercely deny reality on this question, 97 percent of scientists who study climate agree that “A” is the correct answer.

That doesn’t stop Trump voters from dismissing the science. Only 36 percent of them chose “A” as their answer. That compares to 79 percent of Democrats doing so.

Did Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the U.S. never found?

Many people may have forgotten that prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq there was an international team of nuclear experts investigating and monitoring Iraq. They never found any trace of WMDs. Neither were any found after the invasion.

Of course Trump voters are not constrained by facts. Consequently, 68 percent of them said that it was definitely/probably true that Saddam had WMDs. By contrast, the definitely/probably true respondents among Democrats were only 10 and 32 percent respectively.

Was President Obama born in Kenya?

Why is this still a question? Even Trump stated in a press conference that he now believes that Obama was born in the U.S., period.

Still, Trump’s loyal followers are unmoved. A majority of 52 percent continue to say that Obama is definitely/probably a native Kenyan. Democrats aren’t perfect on this question, yet they’re still far better informed than the Trumpsters. Their definitely/probably born in Kenya numbers are only 7 and 13 percent.

Did Russia hack the email of Democrats in order to increase the chance that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election.

Seventeen American intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the CIA answer this question with a resounding “YES!” President Obama just slammed Russia with sanctions and diplomatic expulsions in retaliation for their interference in our democracy.

However, Trump voters are as defensive about Vladimir Putin as Trump himself. Eighty percent say the charges against Russia are definitely/probably NOT true. And by now you won’t be surprised to learn that the same figures for Democrats are a measly 9/16 percent respectively.

Were millions of illegal votes cast in the election?

This question was motivated by Trump’s tweeted assertion that he would have won the popular vote but for millions of illegal votes cast for Clinton. He never bothered to provide and documentation for his claim. And every expert that reviewed it found it to be false or unsupported by any facts.

OK, guest what? Sixty-two percent of Trump voters say the claim is definitely/probably true. Sixty-four of Democrats say the opposite.

Did Leaked email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign contain code words for pedophilia, human trafficking and satanic ritual abuse – what some people refer to as ’Pizzagate’?

This was one of the more prominent examples of fake news that made the headlines in the past few weeks. It was never given credibility by any legitimate news source. It simply spread like a virus via Facebook and Twitter infecting the dimwitted, right-wing cult fetishists. Eventually, it led to a near tragedy as one of the believers showed up at the pizzeria with an assault weapon.

And yet, 46 percent of Trump voters said that this ludicrous fiction was definitely/probably true. That compared to 76 percent of Democrats saying, essentially, “WTF?”

In conclusion:

It is incomprehensible that so many Americans can be so plainly and dangerously ill-informed. It doesn’t bode well for 2017 and beyond as the Trump administration begins to put its imprimatur on the country. But this epidemic of ignorance was not accidental. It was a deliberate act of disinformation by Trump and the Republican Party. And the media bears its share of responsibility for putting ratings and profit before journalistic ethics.

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

The only hope is for those who have not been deceived to relentlessly correct the record. They need to use facts, and reason, and shame, if necessary, to distribute the truth. It’s a difficult task to pitch reality to weak-willed, faith-based, zealots for whom facts hold no appeal. But failing to try is a far worse alternative. Be strong. Be persistent. Resist!