Last week the Inspector General of the FBI released a comprehensive report on the Bureau’s handling of probes into Hillary Clinton’s email. Donald Trump and his fluffers in the right-wing media immediately set out to convince the American people that the report “totally exonerates” him. It didn’t do anything of the sort.
However, facts have never stopped Trump and Co. from blathering incoherently about his infallible awesomeness. And his obsessive need to constantly exalt himself was exhibited yet again on Tuesday during a speech before the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Although it was difficult to find anything in his address that related to independent businesses.
The speech (which aired in full only on Fox News) was a typical Trumpian stemwinder that caromed wildly between unrelated subjects primarily focused on praising himself and smearing his critics. He once again falsely blamed Democrats for his own policy of traumatizing innocent immigrant children. And, of course, he ranted idiotically about Democrats wanting open borders and welcoming MS-13 gang members. He accused the media of helping child traffickers. He proposed cutting off aid to countries where immigrants come from (which would only result in more people needing to leave those countries). And he actually adopted the crackpot conspiracy that the children in his concentration camps are “crisis actors.”
Included in this televised meltdown was another stab by Trump to pretend that the FBI’s IG report exonerated him from charges being investigated separately by special counsel Robert Mueller. The IG’s report had nothing at all to do with that. Trump’s latest tantrum was triggered by hearing himself saying the name of Hillary Clinton. He segued from that to a conclusion that the IG report had incriminated Clinton. It didn’t. Trump whined:
“Didn’t she already have her chance? I tell you what, when you read that IG report with these really dishonest people – and I was never a ‘Deep State’ guy – lemme tell ya, we got some bad people that are doing bad things. But when you read that IG report about how she got away with what she got away with, it’s a disgrace.”
Back in the real world, the report did not find any wrongdoing by Clinton whatsoever. In fact, it wasn’t even part of the purpose of the inquiry. The IG was looking into the the conduct of the Bureau and it’s employees. It did find that there was some inappropriate activities by the director, James Comey, and a couple of agents. But on the whole it concluded that Clinton was more often the victim of the bad behavior at the Bureau, and that it likely led to disadvantaging her – not Trump – in the election.
This fact was addressed in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee where the IG, Michael Horowitz, and the current FBI Director, Chris Wray, testified. The Republicans on the committee were uniformly focused on trivial aspects of the report that they twisted into impotent attacks on Clinton. However, they ignored the more salient aspects, including the conclusion. The Democratic ranking member of the committee, Elijah Cummings, did not ignore that. Cummings, quoting the IG report, said:
“We found no evidence that the conclusions by the department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. Rather, we determine that they were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past department practice.”
No Evidence of Bias. That should put a big fat period on the debate over whether the FBI acted out on any internal bias. It should, but when you’re dealing with a dishonest crybaby like Trump, and his genuflecting defenders, anything goes. Trump will never stop whining about his delusional “Witch Hunt” because deep down he knows that it is a false narrative.
He knows that he’s guilty and that he’s very likely going to be exposed and held to account. He sees his former lackeys (Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, etc.) flipping on him, or getting ready to. And nothing he does hinders the progress of special counsel Mueller. So he has little else to offer in the way of a coherent defense other than to shout maniacally in all caps. And that is already wearing thin.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.