Sean Hannity Forces a Fox News Lockdown on Opinions About the Rosenstein/Trump Affair

On Friday the New York Times published a bizarre story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The article alleged that Rosenstein had floated a suggestion to secretly record Donald Trump to gather evidence of his mental infirmity. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. That hardly seems like an allegation that needs any additional proof.

Fox News Sean Hannity

As noted yesterday, the article was peculiar because…

“…the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News.”

It looked like Trump was getting the support he would need to fire Rosenstein from a bevy of Fox News hacks. They included Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro. But all was not as tightly synchronized as one would expect of the Fox propaganda machine. Later that evening when Sean Hannity’s program came on, he had a decidedly different take on the matter. He looked squarely into the camera and delivered a personal message to Trump saying “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody. The president needs to know it is all a setup.” Hannity asserted that the whole thing might be an insidious attempt by the “deep state” to bait Trump into firing Rosenstein and then initiating impeachment proceedings against him for doing so.

Despite the absurdly Machiavellian flavor of that conspiracy theory, it appears to have taken hold and altered the Fox News playbook for this issue. Ingraham deleted her tweet without any explanation. And Pirro posted a subsequent tweet adopting Hannity’s framing. She even went a little further to speculate that Rosenstein was the Times’ anonymous source. Tucker Carlson was already on board having opined that it was former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who leaked the memos to the Times since he “has every incentive to want to see the president impeached.”

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

So now we have achieved the full hive-mind harmony that is required of a socio-political cult. This unanimity of viewpoint makes it possible for the borg Family to advance their robo-mission unencumbered by independent thought. And surprisingly, the leader of the Family has remained silent. Trump has not addressed the Times’ article directly since it’s publication. He did make a sideways reference at a rally that simply accused his Department of Justice of having a “lingering stench.” Which is something that, were he more self aware, he would realize was emanating from himself. But for the time being, Rosenstein’s job is safe due to the paranoid musings of Trump’s State TV (aka Fox News).

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Amen: Fox News Shill Recites Bible Verse that Perfectly Describes the End Times with Trump

This week in Washington, D.C., the ultra-conservative Family Research Council held its annual Values Voters Summit. Although it’s difficult these days to discern precisely what these sanctimonious blowhards regard as “values” considering their unwavering support for a philandering president on his third marriage, who breaks up families and puts the babies in cages, who is openly bigoted, who brags about sexually assaulting women, and whose policies harm the most vulnerable Americans.

Donald Trump Messiah

Among the speakers at this Christianist revival meeting were Republican heavyweights Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Sebastian Gorka, Ben Carson, and Mike Pompeo. Donald Trump made it last year, but skipped this year’s summit in favor of holding his own cult rallies in Las Vegas and Missouri. But that didn’t dampen the spirits of the attendees who were treated to some stemwinding political sermons.

One of the most most noteworthy was the address by Sandy Rios, a director of the American Family Association and a Fox News contributor. For part of her speech she chose to enlighten the audience with a passage from the Bible’s Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy. Her intention was to malign liberals and Democrats as heathens and sinners. However, the words had a familiar ring that she was too tone deaf to hear (video below):

“In the last days perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters. I just want you to think of each of these things without me even elaborating. Boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers. Can we say ‘Judge Kavanaugh’? Without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors. Shall we say ‘deep state’? headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Can she hear herself? There is no one in public life who fits that description better than Donald Trump. As a malignant narcissist, he is a diagnosed lover of himself. He’s an alleged billionaire who continues to illegally enrich himself via his office. As an Olympic-grade boaster he has no challengers. His ego is totally unrestrained. He’s a blasphemer who said that he doesn’t need to ask God for forgiveness. Every single one of the critiques in that verse fit Trump like a glove. And not the least among them the charge of slanderer, i.e. liar. And do we even have to mention the part about being a traitor?

The fact that Rios could read through that paragraph and not see the resemblance to the president she reveres is proof positive of the effect that cult worship has on these evangelical fakers. They simply don’t care about Trump’s obvious moral failings so long as he promises to strip women of their reproductive freedoms and deport everyone with brownish skin. And it’s that disregard for the values they claim to uphold that exposes them as purely political operatives. A church that is so closely associated with shame is not serving its faith by letting these hypocrites get away with this – let’s say blasphemy.

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


Fox News Urges Trump to Fire Rosenstein Over Comments in the ‘Fake News, Failing’ New York Times

The latest bombshell to emerge from Washington D.C. in the twisted era of Donald Trump comes just as the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is reaching a boiling point. Is it a distraction or a legitimate news story that demands immediate attention? No matter, it’s already getting the airwave blanketing that was inevitable considering the subject.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The New York Times is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had floated the idea of secretly recording Trump to gather evidence that he was mentally unstable and unfit for service. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. Other news reports have spoken to sources who say that Rosenstein was being sarcastic. And Rosenstein himself issued a firm denial.

What’s peculiar about this story, other than the distracting effect it has on Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, is that the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News. And he’s already getting it:


[Note: Ingraham deleted this tweet the next day. Was it because Hannity took the opposite position?]

Wow. Are these three confirmed Trump-fluffers all buying into the “fake news” from the New York Times? Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro are three of Trump’s most devoted supplicants on Fox News. And it stands to reason that they would want to rush to give him cover to jettison the bone spur that has traveled from Trump’s foot to his ample backside. But will he take the bait?

Trump has posted ten tweets since this news broke, and none of them are about Rosenstein or the New York Times. Is he consulting with Sean Hannity, Bill Shine, and the rest of his propaganda team to come up with a strategy? Is he afraid to get out too far ahead of the story while it’s still unfolding? Is he getting spanked by a porn star at Mar-A-Lago? Who knows? But the fear factor may be the most plausible scenario. Because even his pals at Fox News aren’t completely in his corner. Shelby Holliday of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had this to say in an interview shortly after the story was released:

It probably won’t be long until Trump makes his views known about this. He is simply too lacking in self control to keep his mouth shut. But if he does fire Rosenstein he’s going to have to explain why he suddenly believes the “failing” New York Times” whose story was based on the anonymous sources that Trump says don’t exist. He will also have to face more charges of obstruction of justice as Mueller gets closer to wrapping up his probe. But if he let’s it go, then Mueller and company proceed as before. So all told, this is really a lose-lose proposition for Trump.

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

LATE BREAKING: Sean Hannity is diverging from his Fox colleagues above. On his program Friday night he had a personal message for Trump, warning him that “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody.” Hannity thinks Trump is being set up by Democrats – or the deep state, or Satan – and that giving Rosenstein the boot is a “set up,” a plot to justify impeachment. Those insidious demonrats.


Uh-Oh: Fox News Host Says that Trump’s Attack on Kavanaugh Accuser ‘Might Blow This Up’

The melodrama concerning Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman he allegedly assaulted, just seems to keep gaining momentum. Especially when Trump himself can’t help but intervene with idiotic and damaging comments on Twitter. And on that score, Friday morning’s regularly scheduled tweetstorm didn’t disappoint.

Fox News Trump

For much of the past couple of weeks, Trump has been relatively restrained with regard to Dr. Ford. The White House was even bragging about how sensitive he’s been by not attacking her, which is what would be expected from this petulant brat of a president. But that all ended Friday when Trump’s will power (or babysitters) failed him:

First of all, it’s ludicrous for Trump to say that facts don’t matter to the Democrats, when they are the ones that want the FBI to investigate and produce a factual account of what happened. It’s Trump and the GOP who are opposed to that fact-finding effort.

But more to the point, Trump’s attack on Dr. Ford is as brazen as it is senseless. He knows (or should know) the details of Dr. Ford’s account and why she didn’t report the incident at the time. That’s all public. So Trump is deliberately pushing to inject a false narrative into the affair.

And that seems to be all the rage these days. Ed Whelan of the National Review pushed his own conspiracy theory yesterday about another possible suspect in the sexual assault. The only problem was that he had no evidence or even a plausible argument. It was so bad that Whelan posted an apology for his “appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment” on Twitter last night. However, that didn’t stop Fox News from promoting the libelous accusation:

Interestingly, Fox News host Ed Henry asked in that segment “Is it a case of mistaken identity?” He and his co-hosts were giving credence to the allegations that the author had already disowned. Although Fox News has still not issued any retractions or apologies for regurgitating the charges. And what makes Henry’s validation of Whelan’s lies interesting is that he later appeared on another Fox program to criticize Trump for tweeting about Dr. Ford (video below):

“If you had asked me an hour ago, I would have said that I think Judge Kavanaugh is in a strong position. But In the last hour the President is tweeting, questioning Dr. Ford’s account. Why didn’t she go to the police? The White House has been making such a big deal about how the President stayed off Twitter. He’s not attacking the woman here. He’s just praising Judge Kavanaugh.

“And I think it seems to me – I don’t want to overreact – but it seems to be a big mistake to take a situation that has been calming down. There’s been negotiations over testimony and I think the Republicans have had the upper hand this week, because it started with this shocker on Sunday in the Washington Post. That he’s sailing to confirmation. Maybe not. There’s a problem here. She needs to be heard, and the Republicans said let’s hear from her. I think the president intervening might blow this up.”

Let’s set aside the absurd analysis that the Republicans had the upper hand. If that were true they would not have canceled the confirmation vote for Kavanaugh that was originally scheduled for yesterday. But Henry’s concern that Trump’s tweets might “blow this up” are proof that even Fox News is worried that Kavanaugh’s confirmation may be in jeopardy. And even worse, that it’s the fault of Trump’s uncontrolled psyche and ego.

If this nomination is blown up due to an unhinged outburst by Trump, it would not be the first time that his recklessness and over active pie hole has created chaos and hurt the prospects of his own agenda. In fact, that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of the Trump presidency. Everything he touches turn to – let’s say shiitake mushrooms (unless that’s too close a reference to his genitals). Trump is truly his own worst enemy. Even worse than the “enemy of the people,” the media. And this time it’s his favorite media, Fox News, that is sending up the flares.

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


Trump’s Video Confessionals Bring the White House One Step Closer to the Reality TV Presidency

A few months ago Trump brought Bill Shine into the White as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. In other words, Minister of Propaganda. Shine is the former Fox News President who was fired due to his handling of sexual harassment at the network by Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and other big shots. Now he is handling the PR for a president with his own history of being a serial predator and whose nominee for the Supreme Court is battling similar charges.

Donald Trump

The presence of Bill Shine in the White House is unmistakable. His fingerprints are all over Trump’s public appearances and rallies that are now stage managed more carefully. They are located in more photogenic environments. And the access of the media is constrained to insure positive visual imagery, or at least political sterility. Shine is a veteran TV manipulator who learned his craft at the knee of Fox’s Godfather, the late Roger Ailes.

Shine’s propaganda pedigree is long-established. Before taking the reins of the network as president, he was the producer of Sean Hannity’s program. Hannity was so reliant on Shine that when rumors erupted about his imminent termination, Hannity exploded and whined that Shine’s departure would be “the total end of the Fox News Channel as we know it.” If only.

In his new position, Shine is exploiting the assets of his “star” whose resume is mainly littered with the gossip pages and reality TV. Trump spent fourteen years as the “host” of The Apprentice, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that he was a busy real estate magnate. No authentic billionaire businessman has that much time to spare on television pablum. The Apprentice was Trump’s job. So Shine is putting that experience to work by casting Trump in short films that have little substance or news value.

The closest thing that these presidential clips can be compared to are the moments in reality TV shows where a character is separated from the herd and speaks directly to the camera about some personal observations regarding the other cast members. On Thursday one these confessionals was posted to Trump’s Twitter feed that whined about China taking advantage of America on trade issues. Trump complained that China looked at the U.S. as “very soft touches.” And he made the point that he doesn’t blame China, he blames America. It’s the “Blame America First” doctrine.

The day before that, Trump posted a video of himself declaring his devotion to the victims of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Never mind that the victims of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico are figments of a “deep state” cabal to manufacture a fake death toll. This video features Trump’s pseudo-sincere ramblings set to an inspirational music sound track.

The day before that, Trump posted a clip thanking the first responders to Hurricane Florence, which he described as “a tough hurricane. One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.” Okay, so Shine isn’t perfect. But look at who he has to work with.

These are just the most recent examples of the Reality TV style infomercials produced by Shine and Company. Others include segments from Fox News programs of Trump-fluffing characters like Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Some of the videos just show Trump signing a big book that represents some legislation or executive order that he’s touting.

The one thing that all of these productions have in common is that they are all purposefully staged to put Trump in the best light possible. They give the President a public presence where he doesn’t have to bother with pesky reporters asking difficult questions. And of course, there is no opportunity for rebuttal or for any opinion other than the state sanctioned one mandated by Trump and his Propaganda Ministry staff. Shine is literally bringing Big Brother to the White House.

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

Shine’s role at the White House is to reproduce the sort of media tyranny that exists in Russia, North Korea, and that was pioneered by Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels. All of whom Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his admiration for. And Bill Shine is the person who is doing the most to help Trump realize his authoritarian goals with a reality TV flavor.


SRSLY? Trump Dislikes the Term ‘Deep State’ Because ‘I’m Really Not a Conspiratorial Person’

It’s wonderful to have a president with a sharp a wit and a keen sense of humor. And maybe someday we will have such a president again. Until then we will have to get used to Donald Trump and his wacky lack of any self awareness whatsoever. He is a man that is so warped by flaming narcissism that he actually believes that he is loved by a nation where his polling is at historic lows. He even refers to himself as Your favorite President who “did nothing wrong.”

Donald Trump, Deep State

In an interview with The Hill, Trump spoke glowingly about his State TV (aka Fox News) Shadow Cabinet. Referring to the network’s most sycophantic Trump-fluffers, the President fondly singled out “the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful, great Jeanie Pirro.” And you know the feelings are mutual. Trump cited them as the reason he declassified Russia-related documents that he didn’t even read. But you have to wonder what these conspiracy hounding crackpots will think when they find out that Trump has renounced their favorite theoretical label: the Deep State.

“I don’t like to use it,” Trump said, “because it sounds so conspiratorial, and believe it or not I’m really not a conspiratorial person.”

Really? That is such a megalithic distortion of reality that it’s hard to comprehend how he can be that delusional and still get through the day without stripping naked and skipping down Pennsylvania Avenue singing “I Feel Pretty.” Even the The Hill couldn’t let it stand without an instant fact check:

“Trump may not like the term, but he has used it more than once. At a rally earlier this month, Trump used it to refer to the anonymous author of an op-ed published in The New York Times, denouncing ‘un-elected deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself.’ He described the ‘deep state’ as a threat to democracy in the Sept. 7 speech.”

And that is just the beginning. Trump has referenced the imaginary “Deep State” on numerous occasions. He has long been convinced that there is a secret governmental cabal that is out to get him. He rants about it incessantly. It’s a conspiracy that includes the agencies he is currently overseeing as President, including the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department, etc. And it’s so pervasive that he can’t rely on these agencies, so he turns instead to his BFF, Vladimir Putin (who has recently been stoking the Deep State mythology in private phone calls with Trump). What’s more, it’s a regular feature of his Twitter feed:

Nevertheless, Trump now incomprehensibly asserts that he doesn’t like the term anymore. Notice that he doesn’t say that there is no Deep State. Only that he isn’t comfortable with that particular descriptor. Nothing can sway him from his long-standing conspiracy theories. After all, this is the same guy who pushed the Birther conspiracy for years. He believes that vaccines cause autism. He insisted that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11. He thinks climate change is hoax started by China. Most recently he decided that the 3,000 estimated deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was made up by the scoundrels at George Washington University.

But more problematic is the fact that the people Trump admires most – his Fox News Council of Propaganda – use the term even more than than he does. Hannity has made it into a brand that encompsses nearly everything he does on his program. What will they do now that Trump has expressed his disdain for the term? Will they drop it in deference to Dear Leader? Will they convince him that he should reconsider and embrace it? Will they go rogue and use it in defiance of his authority? Or will he forget that he ever renounced it and go on using as if nothing happened (that’s my bet)? Tune in next week for the shocking conclusion to this earth shaking dilemma.

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

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Poor Trump: He’s ‘Sad’ that He Doesn’t Have an Attorney General Who Will Help Him Obstruct Justice

For someone who has sold himself as being tough and unbending, Donald Trump sure whines an awful lot. But then again, he actually did say that “I am the most fabulous whiner.” So America should not be all that surprised when he incessantly complains about how he is being treated so unfairly and that everybody is out to get him.

Donald Trump

The latest example of the Crybaby-in-Chief’s infantile carping came during an interview with The Hill on Tuesday. There was little in the way of actual newsworthy revelations in the discourse, but Trump did let it be known that he was a sad puppy. “I don’t have an attorney general,” he said. “It’s very sad.” He went on to whimper that he’s “not happy at the border,” and “not happy with numerous things.” Poor baby.

His problem lies mainly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump thinks has let him down. He believes that when Sessions recused himself it was unnecessarily hurtful to Trump. He said that Sessions was “mixed up and confused” at his confirmation hearing and that “it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself.” Of course, that wasn’t the truth. Sessions was required by law to recuse due to his personal relationship with Russian operatives and his involvement in the campaign that was under investigation.

On Wednesday, Trump awkwardly tried to walk back the comments in the interview. The morning press gaggle inquired about his remarks concerning Sessions (video below). “I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for numerous reasons,” he said. “But we have an attorney general.” Well, that clears that up. However, when he was asked if was going to fire Sessions, he gave a clear signal of no confidence saying that “We are looking at lots of different things.” So maybe he will fire Sessions. Or maybe he’ll throw him into an alligator-infested swamp. Or maybe he’ll dress him up like a Barbie doll. You know, lots of different things.

The only thing that is certain is that Trump’s disappointment stems from Sessions not helping him obstruct justice with regard to the special counsel investigation. He wants Sessions to fire Robert Mueller and put an end to those pesky questions about his unsavory connections to Russia. He’s tired of hearing about all of his former associates (Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, etc.) pleading guilty and becoming witnesses for the prosecution. And he’s desperately frightened that he’s going to be held accountable for his treasonous activities.

Trump has good reason to be afraid. The walls are closing in around him and his family. And the potential charges extend beyond the Russia affairs to his personal affairs – both sexual and business related. Trump is a festring legal boil that is ready to burst. So naturally he is lashing out and blaming others for his own failures. Speculation is rampant the Trump will fire Sessions after the midterm election in what may be a much broader purge of anyone he considers less than worshipful. But if he does that he will likely wind up all alone in that big, old drafty White House. So sad.

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


Total Transparency? What Trump Really Means When He Lies About Exposing the Phony Witch Hunt

There has never been a president who has expressed more animosity toward the intelligence community he is supposedly leading than Donald Trump, His open disdain for the Department of Justice, the FBI, and all of the other intelligence agencies throughout the federal government and the military, is well documented. He even prefers the word of Russia’s Vladimir Putin to his own intel resources.

Donald Trump

On Monday evening it was revealed that Trump ordered the declassification of a select group of documents involving the the investigation of his nefarious connections to Russia. It’s a conspicuously cherry-picked set of docs that were previously requested by the smarmy and ultra-biased Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. Needless to say, these items were chosen to deceitfully advance Trump’s paranoid “witch hunt” narrative. However, they actually pose a significant risk to intelligence sources and methods, while also adding to Trump’s expanding portfolio of obstruction of justice charges.

So naturally Trump made a statement on Tuesday morning to try to shore up his crumbling arguments against the work of special counsel Robert Mueller (video below). Trump unironically told the press that “I want total transparency.” Sure he does. He continued saying that:

“This is a witch hunt. Republicans are seeing it. The Democrats know it’s a witch hunt, too, but they don’t want to admit it because that’s not good politics for them. But it’s a terrible witch hunt and it’s hurt our country. And the things that have been found over the past couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency, and so does everybody else. As you know, congressional committees came to me and they wanted this, and I did it based on their request. But I think it’s a good thing because we should open it up for people to see.”

It’s funny how Trump thinks he knows what Democrats want and are secretly thinking. Particularly since he doesn’t even know what is in the documents that he just declassified at the request of partisan hacks in Congress. But it’s his claim to wanting transparency that really tests the limits of believability. If Trump is really committed to transparency, here are a few other matters that he might want to consider being transparent about:

  • His tax returns. He promised to release them several times, but that’a promise he never intended to keep. Presumably due to the numerous illegal and embarrassing things we would learn if he did release them.
  • Transcript of meeting with Vladimir Putin. Trump met with Putin for a couple of hours in Helsinki, but has refused to disclose what was discussed, even to his own national security officials.
  • Obama’s birth certificate. Trump said that “investigators” he sent to Hawaii “cannot believe what they’re finding.” We know how they feel.
  • Brett Kavanaugh’s file. Tens of thousands of pages relating to Kavanaugh’s service in the George W. Bush White House are still being withheld by Trump.
  • Emails and text messages related to Russia. While Trump did selectively declassify some of these documents, they were limited to those produced by people he regards as “deep state” enemies (James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr) He refuses to release the same sort of documents by Devin Nunes, Jeff Sessions, Sean Hannity, Wikileaks, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, etc.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Trump is surely withholding much more information regarding his finances, his campaign, his relationship with Putin and Russia, and his myriad relationships with the women he was cheating on his wife (wives) with. This is not the behavior of someone genuinely interested in transparency. It’s just another dishonest representation by a notorious liar who is now trying to employ the deceitful, punitive practices of the dictators he admires.

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


Trump is in a Panic Sweat as He Binge Watches Fox News for Leaked Conspiracy Theories

Monday morning we have been treated to a new episode in the continuing series of Donald Trump’s epic saga “How Can I Make Myself Look Even More Guilty?” It’s the tale of a traitorous president who thinks that by repeatedly lashing out against the valiant guardians of the law he will escape accountability for his treasonous crimes. In this outing we see our lead character colluding with Fox News to weave a narrative that mocks reality.

Donald Trump Fox News

Over the weekend there was a dearth of Trump tweets for an extraordinarily long seventeen hour span. The only plausible reason for this was that Fox News was covering Hurricane Florence non-stop and couldn’t engage in their usual advisory role for the President. Since Trump doesn’t have the foggiest notion what he actually believes, he was left dumb by the absence of his brain trust. But now that the hurricane has been demoted to old news by Fox, the pundits are back fulfilling their duties to the White House.

In a tweet dripping with the panic sweat of a caged rat, Trump once again portrays the investigation of his activities as a “totally illegal Witch Hunt.” Proving that he doesn’t know the meaning of the words “witch hunt” or “illegal.” Furthermore, Trump acquired his latest paranoid delusion from his senior White House advisers at Fox News. Here is what he posted:

The Fox News story, as reported by Catherine Herridge (video below), did assert that former FBI attorney Lisa Page testified in a closed-door session of Congress that that there was no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. Herridge said that:

“A transcript reviewed by Fox News shows that during her recent closed-door interview on Capital Hill, Page testified that collusion was still unknown nine months into the FBI’s Russia case when the special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed. Quote: ‘I think this represents that even as far as May 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question.'”

Herridge later characterized Page’s testimony as an “admission that there was no evidence of Russian collusion.” But that is not what Page said. According to Herridge’s own reporting Page merely said that it was an open question. If anything she was saying that, while there was evidence, there wasn’t hard proof. What Page actually said was that “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing.” That means there was a chance nothing happened, not that nothing happened.

Contrary to Trump’s assertion that “the case should never have been allowed to be brought,” this is exactly the sort of scenario that calls for a special counsel to conduct a more in depth and independent investigation. Still, the Justice Department, acting with an abundance of caution, didn’t request a special prosecutor until after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, signalling the possibility of obstruction of justice. And it cannot be reiterated enough that it was a Trump appointee (Rod Rosenstein) who named a life-long Republican (Robert Mueller) for the job.

So Trump is, once again, demonstrating that he spends an inordinate amount of time watching Fox News and regurgitating the nonsense he learns from it. That’s no longer in question. What isn’t being asked is how Fox News got Page’s testimony from a closed session of Congress? Who leaked it and why only parts that help Trump (if they are deliberately misinterpreted)? What about the rest of her testimony? Shouldn’t that be released now to insure that the leaked portions are viewed in their proper context?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the remainder of Page’s testimony to be made public. The Republicans in charge of that information don’t want a fair reading of what took place. That’s why they cherry-picked some ambiguous comments and delivered them exclusively to Fox News. And it was tailor made for their number one viewer to validate his already preposterous fantasy that there is a nefarious “deep state” cabal working to destroy him. What a coincidence.

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


A New Record? Liar-in-Chief, Donald Trump, Squeezes 10 Lies Into a Single Tweet

For someone who has made lying the hallmark of his public persona, Donald Trump is committed to advancing that character flaw to ever new heights. It’s not enough that he has won at least two Lie of the Year awards from PolitiFact, or that he surpassed 5,000 lies since his inauguration. He continues to climb to new summits in the pursuit of prevarication.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

On Sunday morning, Trump apparently missed church so that he could repeatedly violate the Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not lie. And he managed to commit this sin ten times in the space of a single tweet. It’s a feat that could compete with the holy spectacles of parting the Red Sea or getting elected president after bragging about grabbing women by their private parts. Here is the miraculous tweet:

Lie #1: It’s not illegal.
Let’s break this down in order. The first lie arrives quickly in the second word, “illegal.” The Mueller investigation is legal by any measure of consideration. It was authorized by Trump’s own attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and is headed by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein. The entire probe is subject to the review of the Deputy Attorney General, who has approved everything that Mueller is doing.

Lie #2: It’s not a “Witch Hunt”:
This is one of Trump’s favorite ways to malign the investigation. But the absurdity of his attack is evidenced by the fact that so many “witches” have already been found. Mueller has produced dozens of indictments and secured seven guilty pleas/verdicts. And many of these felons are now cooperating with Mueller on broader matters that might include Trump’s collusion with Russia.

Lie #3: Mueller is not searching for a crime:
The special counsel is limited to only those areas of inquiry that are authorized by his bosses at the Justice Department. Everything he has been investigating has been explicitly approved and he has no authority to go beyond those limits without getting additional approvals. His only mandate is to investigate alleged crimes and document what he finds. If there were no crimes committed, he won’t find any.

Lie #4: There was collusion:
No matter how many times Trump whines that there was no collusion, he cannot erase reality. His son and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, admit that they met with Russian operatives to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. What’s more, numerous people in Trump’s circle (Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, etc.) have met with Russians and lied about about until the evidence made that impossible.

Lie #5: The collusion was not by Hillary Clinton:
There is absolutely zero evidence that Clinton or her campaign had any dealings with Russia. What Trump likes to assert is that the infamous Steele dossier is somehow proof of Clinton’s collusion. But that research was done independently by Christopher Steele, who got information from Russian dissidents, not Kremlin operatives. And Clinton never directed any of that investigation.

Lie #6: There aren’t 17 angry Democrats:
As a technical matter, there are 65 million angry Democrats. But more to the point, Trump is accusing Mueller’s team of being partisan and biased against him. But these are career Justice Department professionals who have shown no bias whatsoever in the conduct of their duties. And the head of the team, Mueller, is a life-long Republican who could overrule any finding that he determined was improperly influenced by personal opinions. Mueller proved his impartiality by removing former FBI official, Peter Strzok, after only two weeks due to the appearance of bias (although none was actually found).

Lie #7: They are not Looking for “anything”:
This is similar to lie #3 where Trump asserts that the investigation is just fishing for anything to hang on him. But once again, Mueller’s authority is strictly overseen by his superiors at the Justice Department. He cannot simply wander off on his own to hook the President.

Lie #8: It’s not unfair:
This is just Trump whining (and he did say that he is the “most fabulous whiner”. This is only unfair to the same degree that any criminal regards his prosecution as unfair. They would obviously prefer not to be under investigation at all. But Mueller’s probe is following all the rules set forth by applicable laws, and if Trump doesn’t like it he’s just behaving the way any other guilty person would. If he were innocent he would expect that the result would exonerate him and welcome the investigation as as an opportunity to clear his name.

Lie #9: It’s not bad for the country:
Let’s face it. This is only bad for Trump. What’s bad for the country is that Trump engaged in such shady and illegal activities that we all have to go through this nightmare. It’s no one’s fault but Trump’s. And he doesn’t get to decide whether his being brought to justice is bad for the country. His conviction will result in his having to pay the price for his crimes. And it will hopefully serve as a deterrent to other aspiring criminals and traitors.

Lie #10: It most definitely is allowed:
Everything that Mueller is doing is strictly according to the law (see Lie #1). Trump didn’t cite any alleged legal violation because there isn’t one. Not that he would be able to understand it if there were. His lawyers haven’t even cited any legal argument for ending the investigation, nor have they filed any motions to do so. The only threat to the investigation is Trump’s frequent warnings that he might interfere with the proceedings because he doesn’t like that they exist. That would just be another incident of obstruction of justice.

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

So Trump’s tweet managed to get everything wrong. It was a panicky outburst that exhibits just how frightened and desperate he is. It’s what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.” And Trump has demonstrated that so many times it’s impossible to count. One thing for sure is that Mueller is taking all of this into consideration and it will be a part of his final report. Trump is so stupid he has no idea how badly he’s hurting his own case. But that’s typical of malignant narcissists who are always convinced of their own superior intelligence and virtue. And it’s also typical of their eventual downfall.