Dispatch From Bizarro World: Donald Trump’s incoming Chief of Staff appeared on Fox News Sunday and demonstrated just how far from reality these people have strayed. In an interview with Chris Wallace, Reince Priebus dodged and weaved for twelve minutes, avoiding direct answers to simple questions. For instance, he wavered on whether Trump still doesn’t accept that Russia hacked the election to benefit his campaign. In fact, Priebus implied that the CIA and the FBI might be lying in their assessments. Apparently, like his boss, he puts more trust in Vladimir Putin than in the American intelligence community.
However, there was an enlightening exchange toward the end that perfectly epitomizes the alternate reality that Trumpsters inhabit. Wallace wondered whether there was any talk within the Trump camp about “damping down [his] provocative remarks.” Priebus first denied that he says anything provocative. Then he made this stunning declaration:
“I think every single thing he’s done has been factual and has been in line with where 80 percent of the American people are at.”
Seriously? Donald Trump may be the most flagrantly dishonest politician in history. His prodigious lying is well documented (see the Trump Bullshitopedia) In 2015, PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year was “The campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.” They couldn’t even settle on a single lie, they had to designate his entire collection of falsehoods. And Trump’s PolitiFact report card reveals that he lies far more frequently than anyone else they have ever reviewed. He currently has a record 62 “Pants-on-Fire” lies contributing to 69 percent “Mostly False” or worse.
As for being in line with 80 percent of the American people, that’s a number Priebus pulled from – let’s say thin air. Trump didn’t even get 50 percent of the American people to vote for him. And Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin is nearing 3,000,000. Trump now has the lowest favorability of any president-elect.
To say that everything Trump’s done has been factual dumps a new whopper on top of the pile that Trump has already built. But it does reinforce the Trump Doctrine of doubling down on whatever they say, no matter how ludicrous. Trump has still never admitted that there weren’t thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. He still clings to the the nonsense that millions of Clinton votes were illegal. And he continues to insist that America’s corporate taxes are the highest in the world, there are more murders now than in the past 45 years, and that climate change is a hoax. None of those things are true.
Despite his atrocious record on truth-telling, Trump regards himself as a paragon of veracity. Last year he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News that “I don’t lie. In fact, if anything, I’m so truthful that it gets me in trouble. They say I’m too truthful.” Yeah, right. Obviously everything above negates that delusional self-appraisal.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.