Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr has Fully Morphed Into a Fox News Trump-Fluffer

On Monday the Inspector General of the Justice Department released his report on the origins of the Russia probe. The top-line conclusion was that it “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI.” Yet somehow Trump embraced the report with delusional glee. He even boasted that it was “one of our great achievements.”

William Barr, Donald Trump

Now Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, is disputing the very same IG Report that a deranged Trump said was a victory for him. This is the sequel to the aftermath of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, when Trump insisted that it “totally exonerated” him, while simultaneously disparaging it as a hoax and a witch hunt. It takes a mind that is either brazenly dishonest or severely dysfunctional to attack a report that you also claim vindicates you. But that is what Trump did then, and is reprising now.

Barr was interviewed by NBC’s Pete Williams on Tuesday morning (video below). The whole interview was a bizarre affair that exposed Barr’s flagrant biases and his abandonment of principle, integrity, and honesty. He demonstrated that he is not the Attorney General for the people of the United States, but a shill for private citizen Trump. His remarks reflected the glassy-eyed devotion of a cult follower whose adoration for Dear Leader is unflappable. Barr began by dismissing three years of criminality by Trump and Company:

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press.”

Barr is forgetting that in the past three years many of Trump’s closest associates have been indicted and convicted, including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Micheal Cohen, and Roger Stone. And there were dozens of other indictments that are still pending. Plus, Mueller’s report found at least 270 contacts between the Trump team and Russia-linked operatives. That is hardly the result of a “bogus narrative.”

By blaming his slanderous criticisms on the press, Barr is just parroting his White House Overlord and the glassy-eyed sycophants on Fox News. The AG continued in this vein sounding more like Sean Hannity and Alex Jones than the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. Barr made the ludicrous and unsupported assertion that Trump “was clearly spied upon” by the FBI. Then he continued saying that…

“From a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state … both to spy on political opponents but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of an election.”

First of all, Trump was not spied on, he was investigated. Barr is using language that is deliberately prejudicial. No police officer engaged in collecting evidence would ever say that they were “spying” on a murder suspect. What’s more, the FBI wasn’t even investigating Trump. They were legitimately probing the suspicious activities of individuals connected to his campaign.

It’s also troubling that Barr refers to valid and justified FBI investigations as “the greatest danger” to our system of government. Apparently he thinks it’s worse than Russians hacking our elections and launching massive campaigns of propaganda in support of Trump. Barr also doesn’t seem concerned that Trump “used the apparatus” – not of the state – but of a foreign state “in a way that could affect the outcome of an election.’ This was evidently not a problem for Barr. In fact, he appears to think it’s commonplace and acceptable:

“Presidential campaigns are frequently in contact with foreign persons. And indeed, in most campaigns there are signs of illegal foreign money coming in.”

WHAT? That’s not only false, it’s insane. No campaign professional would agree that such contact occurs “frequently,” if ever. And if Barr has proof that “most campaigns” are receiving “illegal foreign money,” why on Earth isn’t he prosecuting anyone?

He went on to falsely state that “there was and never has been any evidence of collusion” with Russia. In fact, the Mueller Report said that, while he could not unequivocally establish such collusion, there was actual evidence. Just not enough to indict. What’s more, Mueller affirmed that Trump “welcomed and encouraged” Russian interference in the 2016 election, and then sought to cover it up. That alone should warrant his impeachment.

On Tuesday morning Trump relaunched his attack on the FBI. This time against Christopher Wray, the FBI Director that Trump himself appointed. Wray’s offense was to affirm the findings of the independent Inspector General. The one Barr that is discrediting and publicly humiliating. Bill Barr is a disgrace to the office of Attorney General. He deserves to be impeached and removed from office every bit as much as Trump does. He is purposefully reorganizing the Justice Department as the defense team and PR operation for a corrupt president. And isn’t that Fox News’ job?

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

Trump’s Mental Disabilities Prevent Him from Understanding the Inspector General’s Report

On Monday the long-awaited report about the FBI’s Russia probe by the Inspector General of the Justice Department was released. Donald Trump, Republicans, and the vast right-wing conspiracy had been insisting for weeks that this report would provide damning proof that Democrats and the imaginary “Deep State” were conspiring to stage a “coup” against Trump.

Donald Trump, Deep State

Now, with the release of this report it’s clear that the hopes of the Trump cultists have been thoroughly dashed on the rocks of reality. The conclusions by Inspector General Michael Horowitz could not have been stated more plainly:

IG Report: We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority.

Among the findings were key revelations that upend the Trump regime’s favorite fallacies. For instance, the FBI did not use the Steele dossier to open the Russia probe. Also, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were not decision-makers. None of the hair-raising charges espoused by the wingnut set were upheld.

The report did identify a number of bureaucratic mistakes and flaws in the processes. But the bottom line was that none of these minor mishaps impacted the integrity or honesty of the work of the FBI and its senior officials, including Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, or anyone else in the Bureau. The report unambiguously declares that the investigation of Trump campaign operatives was fully justified and that its conduct was free of partisan politics.

However, despite the clarity of the report, Trump offered up his own bizarre and delusional analysis when asked by reporters after the report was made public (video below):

Trump: The IG report just came out and I was just briefed on it and it’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another president. It is incredible, far worse than I would’ve ever thought possible and it’s an embarrassment to our country, its dishonest, it’s everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse.

What report was he reading? There is no plausible way a person could utter that nonsense unless they were clinically insane or purposefully intended to deceive. For this report to be “far worse” than Trump “ever thought possible,” it would have to have uncovered evidence of something worse than treason, because that’s what Trump had called the Russia investigation in the past. There was, of course, nothing in the report that supported that hysterical take. Although, Trump did get affirmation from his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, who said that “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions.” Which the IG Report most definitely didn’t do. Then Trump continued…

Trump: They fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way and this was something we can never allow to have to happen again. The report actually, and especially when you look into the details of the report are far worse than anything I would’ve even imagined. What they were doing and what they would’ve done if I didn’t make a certain move, a certain move that was a very important move because it would’ve been even worse if that’s possible. And they might’ve been able to succeed, this was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught, they got caught red-handed.

There is also no evidence of anyone fabricating evidence or lying to the court, as Trump is alleging. And naturally, he won’t provide any examples of such activity, because there aren’t any. Trump often speaks in vagaries to avoid having to support his preposterous assertions. Another example of that is his reference to a “very important move” that he says prevented even worse atrocities – for him. He’s talking about his firing of Comey, an action that should itself result in an Article of Impeachment for obstruction of justice.

Finally, Trump’s deranged claim that the Russia probe was “an attempted overthrow” of the government is both false and strikingly paranoid. He further claims that there were “a lot of people in on it” that he now says have been “caught red-handed.” Who the hell he’s talking about is a mystery. None of the people that Trump has been viciously slandering for the past couple of years has been charged with any crime, or even cited for administrative errors.

In short, the FBI has been fully exonerated by an independent Inspector General who was appointed by Trump. And Trump has been shown to be a malicious liar. His mental infirmity is still on display with crazy comments that amount to dubious declarations of victory. “I think,” Trump said, “I’m gonna put this down as one of our great achievements.” Really? That says something about what he regards as his other alleged “achievements.” Namely that they are all in his mind and only exist to fluff his super-sized, narcissistic ego.

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

Trump Unleashes a Wacky New Tweetstorm of Lies About Corruption in Ukraine

The Republican Party is demonstrating an evermore eager determination to abandon principles and embrace the dishonesty and self-exaltation of Donald Trump. As his impeachment in the House nears, Trump has escalated his efforts to muddy the debate with proven falsehoods about his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

Trump has lately taken the position that the only thing he was interested in with regard to releasing military aid to Ukraine was the alleged corruption in their government. Never mind that the State Department had already affirmed that the concerns about corruption had been resolved and the aid was approved for disbursement. And forget the fact that Trump never even mentioned corruption in his phone calls with Zelensky. He spoke only about the mysterious DNC server and the Biden family. Which raises the question: If Trump believed that Ukraine was too corrupt to get aid funds, then why did he think they were capable of conducting an investigation of the Bidens?

There is no doubt that Trump engaged in an extortion plot to force Ukraine to join the Biden smear campaign or forfeit aid that they desperately needed to fight Russian aggression. Trump even admitted it on national TV. And yet, Trump continues to brazenly lie about his affairs with Zelensky.

During his regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm, Trump posted a flurry of tweets quoting Sen. Ted Cruz defending the President. And when you have to rely on Ted Cruz for your defense, let’s face it, you’ve already lost. Cruz was the target of numerous attacks by Trump, including allegations that he wasn’t eligible to be president because he was born in Canada, and that his father participated in the plot to assassinate John Kennedy, and even that his wife was ugly. Cruz responded by calling Trump a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen” and “a serial philanderer.” That was then, this is now…

Suffice to say that none of that bears any resemblance to the truth. Democrats have never “admitted” that they can’t prove a crime. Quite the opposite. Extortion, bribery, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations, and witness intimidation are all crimes. Not that any crime is necessary to warrant impeachment, but the fact is there are many that Trump violated.

What’s more, Cruz is reiterating the falsehood that Trump was concerned about corruption. And of course, he fails to provide any scrap of evidence of that. So instead, he employs the common GOP deflection of accusing the Bidens of crimes for which there has never been any proof. But the worst of what Cruz said was in this same interview on Meet the Press (video below). Host Chuck Todd asked him…

TODD: Do you believe Ukraine meddled in the American election in 2016?
CRUZ: I do! And I think there’s considerable evidence of that.
TODD: (Incredulously) You do?
[…]
TODD: Is it not possible that this president is capable of creating a false narrative about somebody in order to help him politically?
CRUZ: (Laughing) Except that’s not what happened. The President released the transcript of the phone call. You can read what was said on the phone call.
TODD: You, yourself thought the Biden part was troubling.
CRUZ: Chuck, let me point out a game that the media is playing.

Whereupon Cruz proceeded to avoid the question and change the subject. But he maintained his position that Ukraine had interfered with the 2016 election, a position not shared by any of the experts in the intelligence community. Cruz asserted that Ukraine’s interference consisted of a Ukrainian official writing a newspaper op-ed that was critical of Trump. That’s freedom of speech, not election interference. And it’s not remotely similar to Russia’s covert campaign of espionage, hacking, and a massive social media propaganda project.

Nevertheless, these are the arguments that Trump sought to focus on with multiple quote-tweets of Cruz. It exposes his desperation more than anything else. And while it’s obvious that Trump and his sycophantic surrogates are furiously trying to shift the subject to Joe Biden, none of that absolves Trump of guilt for the many crimes he has committed. So WTF is the point? Regardless of what happens with Biden, Trump still deserves to be impeached, removed from office and prosecuted.

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

Do Not Believe THEM! That is Trump’s Order His Faithful Cult Followers About the Media

The messianic aspirations of Donald Trump continue to be displayed by Dear Leader on a daily basis. His reckless pronouncements of acceptable standards of obedience are made clear as he lashes out at any and all sources of criticism, particularly those that have the audacity to tell the truth about him.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In a recent tweet Trump made it clear that he opposes a common and necessary part of responsible and professional journalism. Unidentified sources are an indispensable part of collecting information that is being actively suppressed or misrepresented. They have been a factor in the uncovering of untold crimes and behavior that is improper and unethical on the part of public officials. And the information they have provided has been praised by members of both parties as well as law enforcement. But then we have Donald Trump…

This is a bizarre commandment issued by person who is an obviously consumed with anxiety and the fear of having his criminal behavior exposed. He is well aware of the criminal activities that he has engaged in and is frantic that others will learn the truths he is hiding. Consequently he has decreed that his subjects close their eyes and ears to reality and believe only what he tells them.

Notice that Trump isn’t merely suggesting that people take care to consider the veracity of what they see and hear. He is instructing them to “not believe ANY article or story you read or see that uses ‘anonymous sources.'” None of them, regardless of how accurate, well documented, and corroborated by named sources. He dictates that only stories with “an actual living name” are acceptable under his doctrine.

This is wrong on many levels. First of all, he’s not really referring to stories with “anonymous” (i.e. unknown) sources. He’s really talking about “unidentified” sources. These are sources whose identity is known to the reporters and editors, but who don’t want their identities to be made public for fear of retribution. In these cases the reporters have confirmed their credibility and suitably to provide information.

Furthermore, Trump’s assertion that “The Fake News Media makes up many ‘sources say’ stories,” is entirely unsubstantiated and as often as he has said it, he has never offered any proof. Trump just brazenly attaches this assertion to any story that he doesn’t like.

Often the unidentified sources that Trump is whining about are people in his own administration. In fact, the White House regularly holds officially, sanctioned anonymously sourced calls with reporters where they demand that the calls be attributed only to “senior administration officials.” And Trump himself routinely cites anonymous sources in his remarks to the press. He frequently prefaces his implausible comments to say that “people say…” or he asserts that “I’ve heard…” this or that nonsensical claim. He also tells stories about people without names who have come to him with ludicrous tales that coincidentally support some ridiculous position he’s taken.

A recent example includes his claim that unnamed “people” are telling him that they have to flush their toilets 10 or 15 times. Really? People who have the unique opportunity to talk to the President of the United States are telling him about their troubles in the bathroom? Setting aside that improbability, if anyone else were reporting this Trump would insist that they not be believed because the sources are not identified.

The Trump commandment that his disciples can “only accept information” under conditions that he deems fitting is just the latest demonstration that he is not leading a political party, but a cult. And as the cult leader, the only truths are those he deems acceptable. But what’s most frightening about this is that there are people who subscribe to this madness. And if Trump tells them not to believe any stories with anonymous sources, they will obey – unless they are his stories.

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

The Real Horror Show: Trump vs Trump on Democrats and the Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report for the month of November on Friday morning. Its top-line numbers looked pretty good, although there are caveats that need to taken into consideration, such as the fact that in November 42,000 striking GM auto workers went back to work at the conclusion of the strike.

Donald Trump Rally Trash

Nevertheless, Donald Trump does what he always does whenever there is some ostensibly good news reported: He takes credit for it. Of course, there is nothing in Trump’s record that can be plausibly cited as having any impact on the labor market. In fact, virtually every initiative that might help American workers has been bottled up in congress by GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, including infrastructure projects and a minimum wage increase. But didn’t stop Trump from tweeting that…

As usual, Trump is speculating about imaginary world that would be a utopia were not for his political foes conspiring against him – and America – at every turn. That is the textbook reaction of a malignant narcissist who has convinced himself of his indisputable supremacy. What it is not, however, is anything recognizable as the truth.

Many studies have been published that prove that the economy almost always does better during Democratic administrations than Republican. Nine of the last 10 recessions have been under Republicans. And since World War II, 24.4 million more jobs created under Democratic presidents. Also, real GDP growth was 44% higher under Democratic presidents. Meanwhile, unemployment has been 18% higher under GOP presidents.

That said, perhaps one of the most relevant voices in this debate is that of Donald Trump who, in 2004, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Here he is in his own words:

So Trump may have correctly labeled the economic hard times our country has endured as a “horror show,” but he has forgotten who the real monsters are. It isn’t really surprising that Democrats have performed better economically. The Republican agenda is tightly focused on corporations and the wealthy who horde their prosperity. Only when the middle class prospers doers does the broader economy succeed. The Republican economy is currently running record deficits and running on fumes that will eventually choke the nation into recession. And if the country wants to return to its past healthy economic environment, it had better reject the Republican facade of growth and embrace the real world results of the Democrats.

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

Fox News Legal Analyst: Trump Will Testify at Senate Impeachment Trial

On Thursday morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it official that the House would draft Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump. It isn’t known yet what specific charges will be included, but it’s fairly certain that they will focus on Trump’s extortion of the President of Ukraine and obstruction of justice. However, the possibilities for additional charges are numerous, including perjury, campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, and self-dealing.

Donald Trump, Impeach

It is almost a bygone conclusion that the House will vote to impeach Trump. His fate in the Senate is more difficult to predict. While most Republican senators have been marching lock-step with Trump, his flagrant breaches of law and obstruction could produce a public backlash that makes them think twice about supporting him.

How the Senate trial unfolds will have a significant impact on the final vote. But there is one particular potential event that could be groundbreaking. While Trump has done everything imaginable to throw obstacles in front of the impeachment inquiry, there is some speculation that he might show up to testify on his own behalf.

One of those predicting that is Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News Senior Legal Analyst. Napolitano, who said last month that the evidence of his impeachable behavior is overwhelming,” also recently said that if he were a member of Congress he would vote to impeach Trump. His is virtually alone at Fox taking that position. And now he is predicting that Trump will testify under oath at his Senate impeachment trial. Napolitano was asked by Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer “If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Napolitano replied…

“Himself … I think it will be the most dramatic legal political event in the history of our era. With the president of the United States testifying under oath in front of the chief justice, and the full Senate and 200 million people watching on television.”

Is Napolitano right? It’s hard to tell. There two distinct paths for Trump going forward.

PATH #1: Trump will testify because he believes that he is his own best spokesperson. He is a malignant narcissist who is convinced that everything does is “perfect” and that it is impossible for him to fail at anything he attempts. He believes he is better than all of his critics and could outsmart them on the Senate debate field. So of course he’ll testify.

PATH #2: Trump will never testify because he’s scared witless of being cross-examined by the aggressive and hostile Democratic lawyers prosecuting his impeachment. He knows that he is prone to lying in order to achieve his goals, but that in this forum that would only subject him to additional charges of perjury. And he can’t remember his past lies well enough to be consistent. What’s more, he knows the truth. He knows what he’s done and that he will be asked about his activities in detail. How could he respond? If he tells the truth he’s incriminating himself. But if he lies he’s perjuring himself.

So it remains to be seen which of Trump’s psychoses will prevail. Will it be his narcissistic confidence and delusions of grandeur? Or will it be his fear and consciousness of guilt. Either way it’s clear that Trump doesn’t have any good options. In the meantime he’s assuming a brave face on Twitter and asking that congress move quickly to the Senate trial:

This is the typical childish name-calling strategy that Trump employs when under pressure. He can’t respond substantively to the charges against him, so he calls his critics “crazy.” That wouldn’t cut it in a court of law, or in the Senate. But if he’s so keen on compelling the testimony of Adam Schiff and the Bidens, maybe he should be patronized, so long as he also agrees to allow the testimony of Mick Mulvaney, and Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, and Dan McGahn,, and Rudy Giuliani. Then he might actually be right about the Senate trial “reveal[ing], for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”

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

SRSLY? Trump Cites Fox News Shills as ‘Legal Scholars’ to Dismiss Impeachment Report

The impeachment of Donald Trump has now moved from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee. And with that the legal arguments for the constitutional grounds for impeachment are coming to the forefront of the public discourse. A panel of law professors are the first witnesses to appear before this committee. But Trump has his own laughably obtuse ideas on the matter.

Donald Trump, Constitution

Trump held several press avails with foreign leaders during his trip to London for the NATO summit. In each of them he managed to deliver blatantly political screeds that exalted himself and maligned his critics. But on one occasion he offered his opinion of the report written at the conclusion of the House impeachment hearings. Not surprising, he was less than impressed. He had the following exchange with a reporter (video below):

REPORTER: Do you want to comment on the House Democrats impeachment report that came out last night and the hearing today?

TRUMP: Well, I saw it and it’s a joke. Everybody is saying it. I watched reviews. I watched Sean Hannity. I watched Laura Ingraham. I watched Tucker Carlson. I watched a lot of other legal scholars.

REALLY? So now Trump is passing off right-wing hacks on Fox News as the “legal scholars” he relies on to shape his views of impeachment. That’s even worse than his actual lawyers (i.e. Rudy Giuliani) and the other TV attorneys that he depends on for advice. And he’s admitting to watching an awful lot of TV while he’s at this international summit. He went on to site his longtime friend Alan Dershowitz and the Bill Clinton special prosecutor, Ken Starr, as additional sources of his legal opinions.

For some reason Trump failed to note that Fox News’ Senior Legal Analyst, Andrew Napolitano, concluded that the evidence of Trump’s impeachable behavior is overwhelming. He also left out the commentaries by Napolitano and staunch pro-Trump sycophant Andrew McCarthy, who both disputed the anti-impeachment arguments of committee witness Jonathan Turley. However, Trump did go on to repeat some of his recent lies relating to his popularity:

“I will tell you it’s a uniform statement pretty much right down the road. What they’re doing is a bad thing for the country. It’s of no merit. And the Republican Party has never been more unified, ever. They have never been as unified as they are right now.

“I’ve never seen anything like it where you have 197-0 where the Senate is very angry about it. I think the Senate I can say is angry. The Republican Party is angry. A recent poll came out 95% approval rating for me in the Republican Party which is a record. “

Nevermind that it is entirely irrelevant whether the Republican Party is unified. They are expected to be united in defense of their president. That doesn’t have any bearing on his guilt. And more to the point, Trump’s assertions as to the unity of the GOP being uniformly in favor of Trump is simply false. He has never been able to provide a source for 95% approval, but a recent poll put the number at 74%. And majorities of the American people are solidly in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

Trump is living in a fantasy world where he is beloved by all and everyone agrees with him on everything. The truth is that he is the most unpopular president in modern times who has never even hit 50% approval. And it’s downright pathetic that he has to resort to partisan hacks like Hannity to justify his delusions on the legality of impeachment. He might as well be citing Lionel Hutz.

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

Snowflake Giuliani Lashes Out at Fox News with Bizarre Lawsuit Threat

While the nation is focused intensely on the impeachment of Donald Trump, his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is struggling with issues of his own. And it isn’t just that he’s the subject of three criminal investigations that have the potential to put in prison for the rest of his life. Giuliani is now at war with one of his primary client’s staunchest defenders – Fox News.

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Steve hilton is a weekend host on Fox News and one of the most eager Trump-fluffers on a network crawling them. Trump frequently posts video clips of Hilton’s drooling homages to Trump on Twitter. He’s done so twenty-two times this year. And each one of them show Hilton delivering glassy-eyed, pro-Trump monologues and discussions with equally adoring Trump sycophants. (Posted below is an example of a recent one, if you have the stomach for it).

Which makes Giuliani’s latest outrage seem all the more preposterous. Rudy lashed out at Hilton for remarks he made that were indeed somewhat less than flattering. The comments came even as Trump himself was gingerly trying to put some distance between himself and his smarmy lawyer whose dealings with Ukraine are being scrutinized by the feds. Hilton said in part that…

“There’s a swamp going on with the commercial interest of Rudy Giuliani… He’s going around trying to make business deals out of the Ukraine situation, at the same time as acting for his client, President Trump. He’s trying to make money off his relationship with President Trump.”

When Trump was asked about these matters, he told reporters that they would have to “talk to Rudy.” Which is a typical dodge that Trump uses when he’s about to shove someone under an oncoming bus. Hilton’s commentary actually contained some pretty tame criticisms for behavior that could possibly make Giuliani a felon. But Giuliani can hardly attack Trump, so went after Hilton instead:

So Rudy is considering suing Fox News? That would be interesting. How would Trump’s State TV network respond to being sued by his personal attorney? Could Trump continue to appear on Fox while his lawyer is suing them? And you have to wonder what lawyers Giuliani was referring to as having advised him that he could sue Fox. After all, he is a lawyer himself who is often on Fox. And his closest legal associates are, like him, TV lawyers who have little litigation experience. They are people like Mark Levin and Gregg Jarrett and Jay Sekulow – all regulars on Fox News, the network that is the target of Giuliani’s litigation threat.

Time will tell where this goes. In all likelihood Giuliani will forget about it before long. Like his easily triggered client, Giuliani is prone to lunatic outbursts in the heat of anger. But they rarely lead to anything, because they rarely have any substance behind them. Still, the circular firing squad formation that forms among these toy soldiers is fun to watch.

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

WRONG! Trump Lies that Ukraine President Said He Did Nothing Wrong

On Monday morning Donald Trump whisked off to London for a summit with NATO, the international alliance that he repeatedly disparages. That is, at least, when he isn’t shilling for Vladimir Putin and Russia to be admitted into the group that was formed to counter the hostile intentions of Russia.

Donald Trump Impeach Fearful

Prior to his departure, Trump felt it was necessary to whine some more about the impeachment proceedings in Congress. These are the proceedings that he said were unfair because they weren’t public. Then he complained when they became public. And he was furious that he wasn’t allowed to participate. But he is now refusing to accept an invitation to participate.

Trump is obviously afraid to appear under oath before the Judiciary Committee because he knows that if he tells the truth he is likely to further incriminate himself. But if he lies he’s committing perjury. So his only recourse is to tweet from the safety of his bedroom. And that’s what he did several times, addressing a new interview by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Trump said exonerates him:

It will not surprise most people that Trump is lying. He simply made up this assertion that Zelensky said he “has done nothing wrong.” In fact, Zelensky said quite the opposite:

“Look, I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelenskiy told Time and a handful of European publications in an interview published Monday. “That’s not my thing. … I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”

Trump zoned in on Zelensky’s comment that he never talked about a quid pro quo. But it’s clear that his meaning was that he didn’t want to portray his dealings with Trump as subservient. His complete statement in context shows that he was plainly concerned about Trump’s threat to “block” critical military aid, and that it doesn’t matter what you call the arrangement, it “goes without saying” that the aid and Ukraine’s concessions to Trump were inextricably intertwined.

However, that didn’t stop Trump from lying about Zelensky’s comments. He has been saying for months that there was no quid pro quo. Which is odd considering that his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said there was. Even more damning, Trump actually admitted that there was indeed a quid pro quo on national television:

REPORTER: Mr. President, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly.

TRUMP: I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.

It is truly mind boggling that there is anyone who still believes anything that Trump says. He lies with the reckless abandon of sociopathic con man. He even lies about the lies he told a few days, or even hours, before. Even one of his staunchest defenders on Fox News, Tucker Carlson, recently called Trump a full-blown BS artist.” And that’s coming from someone who knows Trump well, and whose job relies on intimate knowledge of bullshitting.

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

Fox News Affirms Its State TV Status with Slobbering Interview of Trump Campaign Shill

It’s getting more difficult with every passing day to differentiate between Fox News and the Republican Nationalist Party. And even though the network was created to serve as a propaganda vehicle for right-wing politics, the degree to which it has become the communications office of Donald Trump’s cult movement still manages to be surprising.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Sunday morning Fox and Friends co-host Ed Henry “interviewed” Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary for the Trump 2020 campaign. It was another in a frequent series of Trump campaign and administration officials appearing regularly on Fox News. They know they have an open door at Fox where they can deliver their disinformation at any time without interruption or dispute. And this booking was no exception. Henry asked a total of four question, and each one seems like it was written by some Trump PR hack, complete with hostile allusions to Democrats. The first exchange went like this:

Henry: Well, Democrats in the media are not taking time out over Thanksgiving, going after the President over his Thanksgiving visit to see troops in Afghanistan. […] What in the world is going on here when you can’t visit men and women in uniform and thank them for their service?
McEnany: It’s amazing. This is the Trump obsessed media. Anything and everything will always be wrong. They can’t tolerate when he does something good.”

Henry offered no evidence of any plot to “go after” Trump for visiting Afghanistan. It was just a way to frame his question with a built in bias against Democrats. And it was a softball thrown at McEnany who went on to say that whenever the press criticizes Trump they are delegitimizing themselves. For the record, Democrats would have no problem tolerating Trump doing something good, and they’re still waiting for the first time. The next question from Henry was no better:

Henry: What about the fact the House Democrats are now moving forward on impeachment as the President is doing another part of his job as commander-in-chief, which is heading to London to work at a NATO summit and tackle some big national security issues?
McEnany: It’s shameful. As you noted there has been a precedent that we don’t criticize presidents when they are overseas, much less pursue a coup against a sitting president. And that’s what this is. This was never about the facts. […] This is a coup against a sitting president of the United States without evidence, without facts, and that is why the polling is going south on this. It’s despicable that they’re doing this, particularly when the President is overseas.

Once again, Henry’s question was loaded with anti-Democratic bias, portraying them as unpatriotic. Does he think that Democrats should halt the impeachment hearings, which were already in progress before Trump’s junket to London? And holding impeachment hearings isn’t exactly analogous to criticizing the President. It is a constitutional proceeding that members of Congress are obligated to conduct when warranted by the legal and/or ethical misbehavior of the President. It doesn’t cease if the President decides to take a trip.

What’s more, it is certainly not a coup. Republicans have been floating that canard for months, despite the fact that the Founders included impeachment in the Constitution for a reason. And there is an avalanche of facts that affirm that it is warranted in this case. Look no further than the assessment of Andrew Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, who says that the evidence of impeachable behavior is overwhelming.” But still, Henry marches on with his lambasting of Democrats disguised as questions:

Henry: I can’t have you leave without asking you about the “No Malarkey” tour that the former Vice-President is launching. He says there are a lot of lies out there. I don’t know if he’s pointing at his fellow Democrats and/or the President. What’s your reaction to Joe Biden, who’s struggling in Iowa right now, going out on a bus for eight days?”

Really? Henry doesn’t know whether Biden is calling Trump or his fellow Democrats liars? That’s some pretty stark ignorance he’s admitting to if that’s true. McEnany, of course, took the opportunity to disparage Biden’s campaign as “fledgling” and “desperate.” What on Earth did Henry expect to her say? It was a preposterous question to ask the Trump campaign’s press secretary. McEnany further claimed that Biden’s campaign, which is still leading in national polls, is “just about over.” A bizarre assessment that Henry didn’t bother to challenge.

Henry’s final question was a muddle of negativity about the Democratic debates and candidates who are lower in the polls. Which gave McEnany another opening to bash her opponents as “failing” and to brag that the GOP has “only one candidate that we love and have kept at the top.” Indeed, the Cult of Trump is strong within the tiny community of Deplorables. They do love him and regard him as their savior who is infallible. That’s to be expected from a political party that has given up any pretense of integrity or patriotism. But it’s still somewhat jarring to see an alleged “news” network worshiping at the same alter.

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