North Korea? NFL? Oh Wait – Russia Probes Are ‘Closing In’ on Donald Trump

For much of the past week Donald Trump has been tweeting in a frenzy over subjects not previously in the news. He has escalated the debate over professional athletes expressing themselves on matters of significant social importance. And he has also created a crisis situation with North Korea that wasn’t an issue until he starting mouthing off.

Carl Bernstein

Both of those issues are newsworthy on their own now. Certainly the message behind the movement that quarterback Colin Kaepernick started needs to be addressed. Systemic racism in America continues to cause real harm. And Trump’s overtly bigoted contribution has had the unintended effect of getting the issue more positive attention. As for North Korea, Trump’s childish feuding with Kim Jung Un has thrust the world into a rhetorical firestorm. And this one has frightening, nuclear overtones. The media can hardly ignore that.

And that may be the point. Trump is trying to control the news cycle to keep it clear of something that he’s truly afraid of. By injecting new and melodramatic subjects into the media, he hopes to prevent further revelations about his own scandals. To some degree it’s working. But in a segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein were not fooled. (Video below):

Stelter: It was reported this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s actions as president. Not just pre-campaign or pre-election day, but issues recently. That request includes at least thirteen areas in which investigators are seeking information. Including statements made about former FBI Director James Comey made in the presence of Russian officials. Also the firing of Michael Flynn. And the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr. As you recall, he sought to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian individual.

That introduction covered a broad swath of the potential criminal behaviors emanating from the White House. And Carl Bernstein’s response closed the circle with a concise summary of the President’s unsavory avtivities:

Bernstein: Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is looking at the conduct of President Donald Trump and members of his family, especially Jared Kushner. Also his closest campaign aides in terms of their dealings with Russia, ethno-Russians, during the campaign and before. And in business. But there’s a much larger context that now informs the whole investigation. And that is the conclusion of the American intelligence community – under Donald Trump, not under Obama – that now is certain that the Russians were very, very, effective at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton and specifically helping Donald Trump.

And we keep hearing the word collusion, which is not a legal term. What Mueller is focused on is quite different than the simple idea of collusion. It’s whether or not Donald Trump, and perhaps his family and business associates, knew that the Russians were trying to help his campaign. And if they knew that, why didn’t they blow the whistle on the Russians? Did they try to cover it up? Are they continuing to try and cover up that knowledge? That’s the real question. Not the word “collusion,” which Trump and the White House keep trying to focus on.

Finally, Bernstein proposed what might be the motivations driving Trump and his more recent scandal mongering:

Bernstein: But the reason is these investigations are closing in on him, his family, and his aides. And if indeed there’s nothing there and it’s a hoax, then why has Donald Trump tried to undermine, demean and obstruct – not necessarily in terms of the legal obstruction of justice – these investigations for six months at every turn? He’s done everything that he can, as have those around him, to keep these investigations from succeeding.

That pretty much says it all. Trump is engaging in a fierce effort to divert attention from himself and his possible prosecution and/or impeachment. And he’s using other news events, some serious, some fabricated, to achieve that goal. Hopefully more journalists like Bernstein and Stelter will demonstrate that they cannot be tricked into serving as his propaganda merchants.

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

Eric Bolling is the Latest Fox News Perve to Be Given the Boot

The culture of misogyny has tarnished Fox News in recent years with a string of heinous exposures of sexual misconduct. Many of their top executives and stars have been fired, suspended, or otherwise separated from the network after accusations by dozens of female victims.

Fox News Eric Bolling

Eric Bolling was the host of the new afternoon program “The Specialists.” He also anchored a weekend business themed show called Cashin In. But a few weeks ago he was accused of sending inappropriate texts, including male genitalia, to women colleagues. He was temporarily suspended pending an investigation. But now Yashir Ali of the Huffington Post reports the latest development:

“Fox News has parted ways with host Eric Bolling, the network confirmed Friday, just over a month after an exclusive HuffPost report revealed Bolling sent inappropriate text messages to current and former female colleagues.

“News of the departure comes after two HuffPost reports revealed a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Bolling, who co-hosts “Fox News Specialists.” Fox News will cancel the program, it said in a statement.”

A Fox News statement characterized the separation as an agreement “to part ways amicably.” Then they wished him “the best of luck.” That hardly seems like a suitable tone for an employee being jettisoned for sexual improprieties. Except,of course, for Fox News where such behavior seems to have been a prerequisite for employment. And Bolling has not exhibited any remorse. In fact, he’s pursuing a $50 million lawsuit against the HuffPost reporter who wrote the original story.

Bolling’s departure caps a long list of prominent Fox News perverts who have left the hive. It began with the former CEO, Roger Ailes. Then Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, finally succumbed to years of rumored sexual harassment. The president of Fox News, Bill Shine, was also dismissed under a cloud. As were Fox Business host Charles Payne, Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz, and the Vice-President of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes. That many high-level abusers is not a coincidence, it’s a guideline.

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

In addition to the loss of those sleazeballs, Fox News also said farewell to some of the female talent who resigned after being victimized. They include Gretchen Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Laurie Dhue, Andrea Tantaros, Rudi Bakhtiar, and Julie Roginsky. That has exacerbated Fox’s struggle to maintain its status as the top cable news network. In recent months it has been losing to both MSNBC and CNN in the critical advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. That’s partly due to the unpopularity of its primary benefactor, Donald Trump. American news consumers are switching to networks where they can get more honest accounts of Trump’s corruption and incompetence. And perhaps they aren’t so thrilled with a network that is teeming with degenerate dirtbags either.

LOCK ‘EM UP: Fox News Leaks Classified Info Based on Anonymous Sources – Trump Retweets

The White House recently embarked on a campaign to flush out the throngs of leakers in their midst. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press briefing to announce that anyone caught leaking would face stiff consequences. So it’s interesting that this warning is already being ignored by a surprising offender.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy interviewed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. In the course of their conversion Doocy let slip some information he obtained from a story on Fox News. The story revealed that U.S. satellites had detected North Korea loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. That, apparently, was not information approved for public dissemination. And Haley let Doocy know that in no uncertain terms (video below):

DOOCY: Ambassador, on the front page of foxnews.com right now there is a story that apparently the intel community has picked up anti-ship cruise missiles were being loaded onto a patrol boat or patrol boats in North Korea. What can you tell us about that?
HALEY: I can’t.
DOOCY: Why?
HALEY: I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. But –
DOOCY: You have no reason to believe that’s not accurate though?
HALEY: I have no reason to comment on it.
DOOCY: (Laughing) OK.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: That shouldn’t be in the newspaper? Is that another leak I guess?
HALEY: You know, it’s one of these things, I don’t know what’s going on. But, I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that. You are not only just getting a scoop on something, you are playing with people’s lives. And this has got to stop. Whatever the leaks are coming from, if somebody thinks they are getting power or fame from it, all you are doing is putting Americans in danger.

Haley was adamant in her first response that she could not answer Doocy’s questions. But that didn’t stop him from pressing her further. She reiterated her intention to refrain from commenting. Doocy thought that was funny. Haley had to school him on the serious nature of the data he was pushing her to reveal.

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox News was disclosing classified information, there was another culprit with loose fingertips. Trump, as usual, was watching Fox and Friends this morning. He retweeted three separate stories that he had seen on the broadcast. One of them was the story about North Korea with the classified data. So Trump was participating in the leaking of information that his own U.N. ambassador warned was “incredibly dangerous,” and “playing with people’s lives.” What’s more, he was propagating info obtained from anonymous sources. Recall, Trump’s position on the use of sources who are not identified in news reports:

It is endlessly perplexing that Trump still gets his intelligence data from Fox News. Apparently he is unaware of the resources he has at his disposal within the government he allegedly manages. Had he contacted his National Security Advisor or the CIA, he might have been cautioned as to the sensitive nature of the data he was about to publish. But that’s too much to ask this notoriously ignorant and reckless so-called president.

The only question now is whether the Department of Justice will follow through on their threat to prosecute anyone found to be leaking. This past weekend, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared on Fox News Sunday. He told Chris Wallace that he would prosecute whoever was discovered to be violating the law. He specifically that included members of Congress and the White House. In this case, Donald Trump is unambiguously guilty. And this is not the first time that Trump has breached this legal directive. If the DoJ expects to be taken seriously they need to investigate Trump’s leaks and prosecute if warranted. Otherwise, they will have no credibility to prosecute any other alleged leakers.

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

MIC.COM: The 5 Most Damning Quotes from Trump’s Calls to Mexico and Australia

The Washington Post has published some astonishing telephone transcripts from Donald Trump’s first week as President. They document conversations he had with the leaders of Mexico and Australia. Some of his remarks affirm his incompetence and how utterly unprepared he was to become president. Others just show him to be dishonest and vain.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Mic.com scoured the transcripts and came up with what they regard as 5 of the most damning quotes from Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico, Australia.” I must say I agree with thier assessment. So here is what they selected with some of their analysis. Be sure to read the whole article. It’s totally worth it.

  1. “You cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall.”
    Trump effectively acknowledged in his call with Peña Nieto that he knew Mexico wasn’t going to pay for the border wall he promised on the campaign trail. But he begged Peña Nieto to stop saying that publicly.
  2. “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
    During a conversation about drugs coming across the border into the U.S., Trump took a swipe at New Hampshire.
  3. “I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country.”
    [Australia’s] Turnbull was trying to ensure that Trump would uphold a deal to accept 1,250 refugees from Australia — assuming they passed U.S. vetting standards. And Trump was furious.
  4. “Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years?”
    Trump went on to ask for assurances that the refugees would not become the Boston bombers, to which Turnbull reminded Trump that the two men who bombed the Boston Marathon were from Russia.
  5. “Putin was a pleasant call.”
    Trump spat at Turnbull: “I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”

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

From day one Trump was embarrassing America and alienating our allies. And as that last quote shows, he was openly favoring Vladimir Putin, a staunchly hostile leader who had just engaged in criminal interference with our presidential election. It’s hard to characterize Trump’s behavior as anything short of treasonous. That’s been affirmed more recently by the discovery of his participation in the cover up of his son’s meetings with Russian operatives. And these transcripts further illustrate just how damaging his ignorance and ego are to the interests of the country.

Unprecedented Chaos in the Trump White House: 6 Key Posts Turnover in Only 6 Months

The first term of Donald Trump’s administration is only six months old, But it’s such an unmitigated disaster that it’s effectively already over. Many of the top positions in the White House have failed spectacularly. Trump’s campaign assertion that he “has the best people” begs the question: best at what? Obviously they aren’t the best at governing or performing the jobs for which they were hired.

Donald Trump

In only six months Trump has already replaced several of his key staffers. And others are anxiously waiting for the ax to fall on their own precariously exposed necks. This is a historically catastrophic degree of turnover by officials tasked with essential civic duties. There is simply no way any administration can be functional with so much perilous volatility.

The departments that have seen their leaders repealed and replaced are not trivial figureheads. They are mission critical managers upon whom rest competent governance and national security. What follows are some of the posts that are already starting over after a disastrous half year of Trump’s failure of leadership.

National Security Advisor
Within a mere three weeks of his appointment, Gen. Michael Flynn was dismissed under a cloud of scandal. He was closely associated with Russian operatives during Trump’s campaign. What’s more, he failed to disclose those relationships as required by law. Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to him and Vice-President Pence about his meetings with Russians. However, Trump denied that there was anything improper about the meetings.

Press Secretary
The most visible person in any presidential administration is the press secretary. Trump’s first choice for that post was Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice). In the few months that he managed to hold onto the job he was castigated for being overtly dishonest. His first public appearance was spent lying about the crowd estimates at Trump’s inaugural address. It was all downhill from there. Spicer often claimed not to have spoken with the President on key questions raised by reporters. And in an attempt to avoid further bad publicity, he shut down the daily press briefings or prohibited cameras. During his tenure far-right fringe outfits like Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars were granted press credentials. And all of this took place under the president who declared the media “the enemy of the American people.”

Communications Director
The first person appointed to this post was not especially noteworthy. Michael Dubke’s short tenure went almost completely unnoticed. He was replaced briefly by Sean Spicer in an acting capacity. Then Trump named Anthony Scaramucci to the post permanently. Scaramucci came screaming out of the gate with wild accusations and insults directed at Spicer and others in the administration. His profanity-laced diatribes against Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon made headlines for the worst possible reasons. But he did represent the President in the vulgar fashion to which is accustomed.

[UPDATE:] Scaramucci has been fired. Sources say that the new White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, wanted to select his own team. Translation: Get that vulgar piece af crap out of my White House.

Chief of Staff
And speaking of Reince Priebus, shortly after Scaramucci’s unhinged tirade, Priebus was ousted from his job. But like a good little sycophant, he praised both Trump and Scaramucci on his way out the door. Entering the Oval Office to replace Priebus was Gen. John Kelly, currently Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Trump announced Kelly’s appointment in glowing terms that highlighted the “spectacular” job Kelly did at DHS. It is, therefore, curious that Trump would take this star performer from his job protecting America, and selfishly limit his role to one of protecting just the President.

Secretary of Homeland Security
Of course, Kelly’s transfer leaves the vital post of DHS secretary vacant. It remains to be seen who Trump will offer as a replacement. Some Washington insiders have speculated that he might move Attorney General Jeff Sessions into the job. But you have to wonder why Trump would give such an important job to someone he has publicly said has disappointed him? The answer may be that Trump wants an excuse to remove Sessions as AG so that he can replace him as well. It’s no secret that Trump wants to fire special counselor Robert Mueller. Sessions can’t do that because of his recusal on matters related to that investigation.

FBI Director
Last May Trump shocked the nation by firing FBI Director James Comey. That impetuous and self-serving action set in motion many of Trump’s current problems. It’s why Sessions had to recuse himself. And it’s why there is a special counselor investigating Trump, his campaign, and his finances. In particular, Trump has exposed himself to impeachable charges of obstruction of justice. Comey’s department was investigating Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Trump even admitted that his reason for firing Comey was because of “this Russia thing.”

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

These high-level staff turnovers are unique for a presidency that’s only six months old. It speaks to the incompetence and erratic nature of this president. The rest of his cabinet is just as conflicted, corrupt, and unqualified as those that have been cast out. They just haven’t had their public meltdowns yet. And if anyone is surprised by the turmoil in Washington, they haven’t been paying attention. Donald Trump is the most conflicted, corrupt, and unqualified of the bunch. And his day will come as well. Hopefully before he has had a chance to do much more damage.

REPORT: Trump Considering Replacing ‘Beleaguered’ Attorney General Sessions With Rudy Giuliani

The past couple of weeks has seen Donald Trump becoming ever more buried in scandal and controversy. Much of it is related to the ongoing questions about his unsavory connections to Russia. However, lately there have been new concerns emanating from a floundering White House that increasingly sees itself as under siege. The anxiety is getting so intense that Trump tweeted a plea for Republicans in Congress to protect him.

Rudy Giuliani

Setting aside the fact that it is not the job of Congress to protect the President (they are a co-equal check and balance on the executive branch), Trump’s worries extend to his his cabinet, with which is he decidedly unsatisfied.

That is especially true of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Recently Trump castigated his former favorite shill in what appears to be an attempt to force his resignation. He told the New York Times that Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe caused him to regret the appointment. That was followed by a leaked report revealing Sessions meetings with Russians. There is speculation that the White House was the source of that leak. And on Monday morning Trump referred to Sessions as his “beleaguered” attorney general. Ironically, it is Trump who is “beleaguering” him.

A report just published by Axios is stirring the waters even more. They are hearing talk of Sessions being replaced by Rudy Giuliani. That would be an astonishing development. Giuliani is one of Trump’s most strident supporters. It would be suspicious if he should be put in that position as Trump’s legal woes expand. His fierce loyalty to Trump make it impossible to imagine that he’d run the Justice Department with the necessary independence.

But there are other reasons to be concerned about Giuliani running the Justice Department. His background is rife with controversy in both his political and personal lives. And he has much in common with the darkest side of Donald Trump. For instance:

  • Giuliani is a confirmed Birther.
  • Giuliani is a serial adulterer.
  • Giuliani asserts that he would prosecute Hillary Clinton.
  • Giuliani is frequently on Fox News and officiated at the wedding of Roger Ailes.
  • Giuliani implemented the racist stop-and-frisk policy for New York policing.
  • Giuliani eliminated New York’s control and command center for emergency response. This hampered rescue efforts after 9/11.
  • Giuliani business clients include the Canadian company that is building the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
  • Giuliani gave a speech to the Iranian organization Mujahedeen Khalq, which was on a State Department list designating it a terrorist organization.
  • Giuliani has a personal reverence for Vladimir Putin, who he said, “makes a decision and he executes it quickly. And then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader.”

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

Should Sessions be forced out as many insiders expect, Trump may lean on his pal Giuliani to do his dirty work at the Justice Department. The degree of sycophancy that Giuliani has displayed would make it likely he would willingly fire special counselor Robert Mueller. And stifling the investigations into his Russian affairs and finances is a top priority of Trump’s since he fired former FBI director James Comey. However, if any of this transpires there’s still a question as to whether Giuliani could be confirmed by the Senate. Even some Republicans might be wary of installing Trump’s consigliere as Attorney General.

LATE BREAKING: The Washington Post is reporting that Ted Cruz is also being considered as a replacement for Sessions. That would be a remarkable political turnaround for Lyin’ Ted whose father collaborated with JFK’s assassins. However, known as the most hated man in the Senate, he may find it even harder to get confirmation from his Senate colleagues.

What Did Fox News Know About Trump, Jr.’s Russia Collusion, and When Did They Join It?

Much to the chagrin of Donald Trump, the media is still tightly focused on the question of his unsavory connections to Russia. The latest news centers around the activities of his son, Don, Jr. The younger Trump’s ill-advised meeting with a Russian lawyer in an attempt to score dirt on Hillary Clinton has created a tsunami of controversy.

Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump

While many observers ponder the legal jeopardy that Trump faces, others are consumed by the stark foolishness of the affair. Capping the series of unfortunate events was the release of the emails detailing the meeting’s agenda. They explicitly state the purpose as an exchange of information from the Russian government to the Trump campaign.

Some of the reporting has noticed the timeline that sheds light on certain activities that previously seemed unrelated. For instance, Donald Trump’s June 7, 2016 announcement that he would soon give a “major” speech about Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminality. That announcement came just four days after his son’s email exchange with the contact that set up the meeting. It was also just two days prior to the meeting itself. Did Trump get a head’s up about some detrimental data on Clinton that was about be acquired?

The meeting took place on June 9. That was also the day that Trump first tweeted about Clinton’s 33,000 emails that were allegedly deleted? He subsequently returned to that talking point frequently, even soliciting the Russians to hack and reveal the emails.

The promised speech took place on June 13, but not on the promised subject. That could be because no useful information was received at Don Jr.’s meeting. That would jibe with his assertion that his source failed to come through. However, it could also be because the information was so highly charged that they decided to roll it out strategically. Which would square with what occurred a few weeks later. It was on July 24 that the first emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee were made public. That release via Wikileaks was closely tied to Russian hackers.

However, there is a another event in the same timeline that hasn’t gotten any attention. On July 25, the day after the DNC hacks came out, Donald Trump himself had a significant meeting. On a golf course in Scotland, the then-candidate met privately with Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News. Up until that time, Trump and Murdoch had a rocky relationship. Trump was bashing Fox News and its star host, Megyn Kelly. But Trump had just virtually secured the nomination and the time for a reconciliation between the two Republicans seemed ripe.

This opens up an entirely new avenue of investigation. Did this meeting include any discussion of the DNC hacks? Did it cover any data that might have been acquired from Don, Jr.’s tryst with the Russian lawyer? Was there any coordination between Trump and Murdoch on the strategy for rolling out damaging info on Clinton? It is clear that Fox News worked feverishly for Trump’s election. They gave him more airtime and positive commentary than any other media organization. But just how closely were they integrated into this scandal? And should we even mention that Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendy Deng, is Vladimir Putin’s current girlfriend?

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

These and other questions still need to be answered. But the proximity of these events is a little more than curious. They could all be coincidental, like all of the connections to Russians by multiple Trump associates. But, seriously, what are the odds?

Trump Mocked for Partnering with Putin on Cyber Security as ‘Dumbest Idea’ Ever

Donald Trump just returned from his latest Embarrassing America World Tour. And even before deplaning in D.C., he has managed to aggravate his own party for some typically Trumpian idiocy.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

During the highly anticipated meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Trump reportedly raised the issue of election tampering. However, his approach completely failed to hold Putin to account. Trump tiptoed into the subject by phrasing it as something that concerns the American people. He never asserted that it was of concern to him. And, of course, it wasn’t, judging by his public comments on it. Once at home, Trump felt comfortable to post his latest feelings on Twitter:

Well, then. Since he pressed it twice. I’m pretty sure that’s how professionals in law enforcement handle these things. They ask the suspect twice if he committed the murder, and if he denies it, they let him go. As for Trump’s assertion that he has already given his own opinion, that’s true. He did so again a few days ago when he said:

“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows for sure.”

That certainly clears things up, doesn’t it? And now that the whole election hacking scandal is wrapped up, we can move on to other pressing matters. For instance, Trump announced that he and Putin have agreed to set up a cyber security operation to prevent future electronic intrusions. Trump tweeted that:

What a grand idea. Let’s collaborate with the guy who ordered the election hacking in the first place on scheme to keep others from doing it. In other words, let’s give the burglar the keys to the front door and the times we will be out walking the dog. Makes perfect sense. In fact, it’s so brilliant that even Trump’s colleagues in the Republican Party had something to say about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that “Partnering with Putin on a “Cyber Security Unit” is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit.'” Sen. Lindsey Graham said that working with Putin to combat cyber crimes is “pretty close” to “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” And Sen. John McCain snarked that “I’m sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he is doing the hacking.” If that’s how Republicans are responding, needless to say the rest of the nation is at least equally dismayed. For instance, Twitter is afire with sarcastic analogies:

None of this matters to Trump. He’s still obsessed with why Obama allegedly “did nothing” about the Russian hacking that he still thinks is fake news. Trump’s PR offensive is fanning out to the Sunday news programs to spread illogical talking points. His Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, insists that “The President absolutely did not believe the denial of President Putin.” Of course not. Trump asserted the same denial before ever talking to Putin. Then his U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that “Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections” Well, everybody but Trump, who still claims that “Nobody really knows for sure.” Why is his top diplomat contradicting him?

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

This would all be great material for Saturday Night Live if it weren’t so dangerous for America’s future. Trump is now going beyond merely letting Putin off the hook. He’s inviting our enemy into the situation room so he can get a better look at our defenses. It would be generous to say that this only borders on treason. And Trump’s Republican Party appears to be in complete accord with this betrayal. The question is, what will it take for the GOP to stand up for America’s sovereignty? And will they do it before even more serious damage is done?

UPDATE: Trump posted another tweet on this subject:

So Trump spoke with the man who orchestrated the election tampering without making him pay any price for subverting democracy. And now we learn that he wasted much of that time on an idiotic plan to partner with Putin on cyber security that he didn’t even think was possible. This just keeps getting worse.

Trump Ally Alex Jones Endorses Insane Conspiracy About NASA’s Child Slave Colonies on Mars

If you’re seeking further evidence that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency, you don’t have far to look. This week Trump attacked MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in a deranged tweet that was both offensive and false. In a paranoid rant he charged that all of Robert Mueller’s staff are Hillary Clinton supporters. He accused President Obama of colluding with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election. It is increasingly obvious that he is on a mental cliff’s edge and leaning dangerously toward the abyss.

Alex Jones Infowars

That only makes this new revelation all the more troubling. Conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Alex Jones of Infowars is a staunch ally of Trump. While campaigning Trump appeared on his radio program and praised his “amazing” reputation. Jones asserts that he talks to Trump frequently and that Trump takes policy ideas from his broadcasts. A Jones “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass last month. And yesterday this exchange took place between Jones and his guest, Robert David Steele (video below):

Steele: This may strike your listeners as way out but we actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20 year ride. So that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.

Jones: Look, I know that 90 percent of the NASA missions are secret and I’ve been told by high level NASA engineers that you have no idea. There is so much stuff going on. But then it goes off into all that, that’s the kind of thing media jumps on. But I know this: we see a bunch of mechanical wreckage on Mars and people say, “Oh look, it looks like mechanics.” They go, “Oh, you’re a conspiracy theorist.” Clearly they don’t want us looking into what is happening. Every time probes go over they turn them off.

Let that sink in for a moment. These freaks actually believe that NASA is sending kidnapped children to Mars. Then they are putting them to work on some unspecified projects. What could they be doing? And all of this being covered up by the thousands of scientists and administrators at the space agency. This would an awful science fiction movie.

Steele also alleged that pedophiles are not just sodomizing children. They are also “terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood,” and murdering them for bone marrow and body parts. Jones listened intently to this lunacy and supported his guest’s ravings. It’s exactly the same sort of nonsense that fueled Jones’ “Pizzagate” scandal. In that affair he alleged that Hillary Clinton and others were running a child sex ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. He later had to retract those allegations under threat of a lawsuit.

This is the sort crackpot commentary that is a routine part of the Infowars program. Sadly, NASA had to make a public statement denying the conspiracy. And the fact that Trump admires Jones and gives him unprecedented access to the White House is both absurd and frightening. Prior to the Trump presidency, Jones was regarded as a kook who resided on the lunatic fringe. Now he is a trusted insider with the President’s ear.

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

Lyin’ Trump Now Says He Has ‘No Idea’ If There Are Any Recordings of Him and Comey

Six weeks ago Donald Trump created a controversy that crossed several ethical and legal lines. Of course, that’s something he does with such frequency it’s impossible to know which one it is this time. Hint: It involves Twitter (hmm, that doesn’t narrow it down either). Let’s end the suspense. On May 12, Trump tweeted this:

Donald Trump

The immediate response to that was concern that Trump was emulating Richard Nixon and secretly recording conversations in the Oval Office. That, of course, would be a flagrant breach of privacy and protocol. It would make people reluctant to speak candidly when visiting the White House. And it would open the door to numerous legal vulnerabilities for both Trump and his guests.

Ever since that tweet, the nation has pressed Trump to reveal whether or not he was making such recordings. His response was always a smug dodge and eventual refusal to supply an honest answer. That resulted in an ongoing suspicion as to whether he could be trusted in otherwise private conversations.

In addition, the tweet was a blatant threat aimed at former FBI Director James Comey. Trump intended to throw him off balance with the suggestion that the covert taping might contradict his congressional testimony. It didn’t work. Comey’s cheeky reply was “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” If nothing else, the tweet represented an unambiguous attempt at witness intimidation.

However, on Thursday morning Trump ended the mystery. He posted a couple tweets denying that there was any covert taping going that he was aware of:

Unfortunately, those tweets don’t end the controversy. The first question that has to e asked is: If he has “no idea” whether there are any tapes, then why didn’t he just say that weeks ago? He seems to think that being president is like being a contestant on a reality TV show. He obviously doesn’t believe he has any obligation to be truthful with the public he purportedly serves.

Secondly, with the confession that he didn’t make any recordings, he is affirming that his original comment was in fact witness intimidation. The only purpose of suggesting the existence of such tapes would be to influence Comey’s testimony. It is the behavior of a bully who thinks he can get his way with offhand threats.

Finally, it would be naive to accept Trump’s latest version of events as the gospel truth. His past is littered with so many shameless lies (see the Trump Bullshitopedia) that anyone assuming he’s telling the truth now is too mentally unstable to live outside an institution. It is entirely plausible that he does have tapes, but that they affirm Comey’s testimony and incriminate Trump. Under such circumstances it would behoove him to deny the tapes exist and try to destroy them.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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In any case, Trump’s sudden and dubious confession doesn’t really clear the air. There is still confusion that is entirely the result of his own irresponsible deception and self-serving manipulation. It may still come to pass that recordings are discovered and made public. His own tweet implies that others might have made recordings without his knowledge. That in itself would be evidence of gross negligence for a president. But there is one thing in that regard that is in his favor. Everyone would readily believe that he could be both gross and negligent. Congratulations, Donnie.