Trump Blatantly Lies About Russian ‘Witch Hunt’ According to the Journalist He Misquoted

With each new day Donald Trump demonstrates evermore fear and desperation due to the mounting evidence of his collusion and conspiracy with Russia to undermine an American election. He behaves precisely the way one would expect a guilty man to behave, by distorting facts, distracting from the issues, and maligning his critics. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so troubling and dangerous.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday morning Trump went to new extremes to absolve himself of any liability for his felonious actions. In a series of frantic tweets, Trump presented what he said was a case for his innocence made by journalist Michael Isikoff, co-author with David Corn of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Isikoff was interviewed by John Ziegler, however, Trump got his analysis of Isikoff’s remarks from Fox News, as usual. But what Trump tweeted (here, here, and here) was far removed from reality:

“Russia Dossier reporter now doubts dopey Christopher Steele’s claims! “When you get into the details of the Steele Dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them. There’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations…..”

“….WILL NEVER BE PROVEN AND ARE LIKELY FALSE.” Thank you to Michael Isikoff, Yahoo, for honesty. What this means is that the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC!”

“Michael Isikoff was the first to report Dossier allegations and now seriously doubts the Dossier claims. The whole Russian Collusion thing was a HOAX, but who is going to restore the good name of so many people whose reputations have been destroyed?”

There is a whole lot of wrongness in there to unwrap, starting with Trump’s typically childish insult of Steele as “dopey.” More to the point. Trump falsely asserts that the FISA warrants are a fraud even though none of this addresses them. What’s more, the Steele dossier was not a primary source of evidence for granting the warrants. Also, Hillary Clinton didn’t pay for the dossier. Her campaign paid Fusion GPS to do research and they hired Steele.

So Trump is attempting to use Isikoff’s comments as absolution for his crimes. But Trump left out the most critical parts of the interview. Those omissions were pointed out by the interviewer, the interviewee, and his co-author. Isikoff had plenty to say about Trump’s adventures with Russia that the President failed to mention. For instance:

“In broad strokes, Christopher Steele was clearly onto something. That there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere with our elections. That they were trying to help Trump’s campaign. And that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign. That much, I think, has been established by the public records.”

And also that:

“The Trump campaign and its campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, were active in ways that was clearly inappropriate and that they shouldn’t have done. And that they concealed this from the voters.

“And the Moscow Tower project going on in June of 2016, with direct conversations between Michael Cohen and an assistant to Dmitri Peskov, a press secretary to Vladimir Putin, was incredibly significant, concealed from the voters, and gives the lie to Donald Trump’s repeated statements during the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia. That nobody connected to his campaign had any contacts with anybody in Russia.

“I mean, the President during the campaign, as a candidate, seriously mislead the American public about what was a very important issue. And that was the questions about what the Russians were up to and his own dealing with the Russians. So all of that is true.”

What more needs to be said? Isikoff clearly stated that Trump was deeply involved with Russian figures and that he lied about it repeatedly. But Trump ignored all of that and distorted Isikoff’s words to say the opposite, and ironically, thanked him for his honesty. That tells you all you need to know about Trump’s aversion to honesty and his determined intent to mislead and spread falsehoods at every opportunity. It’s in his nature, and we can expect it to continue until he is removed from office. Hopefully in handcuffs.

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

Trump Says Comey Set Record for Lies at 245, So He’s Only 6,000 Short of Trump’s Record

The latest display of Donald Trump’s frantic fear and desperation appeared Sunday morning on Twitter (as usual). He is getting more unhinged with every passing day. Especially when those days include filings from special counsel Robert Mueller and the New York Attorney’s office sentencing Trump’s former close associates. The walls closing in on the President have driven him to make delusional assertions as to his innocence, and infantile, vulgar references about his critics.

Donald Trump

However, it’s the substance of his own analyses of his legal status that really stretch the boundaries of credulity. He simply blurts out nonsense in his defense that is steeped in panic and only serves to make him look even more guilty. That’s what occurred when Trump took to his Twitter machine and blasted out these messages:

First of all, it’s important to note that Trump’s information came from his usual unreliable source: Fox News. He was watching when ultra-rightist GOP congressman (and alleged pedophile enabler) Jim Jordan made the allegations of lying against former FBI director James Comey. How Jordan came up with the number “245” is unclear, but Trump repeated it blindly.

A search of the transcript of Comey’s testimony finds a total of 218 instances of “don’t know,” “recall,” and “remember.” But many of those were uttered by the Republican questioners (i.e. “Do you remember…”). Many others were Comey using the words positively (i.e. “Yes, I do remember that.”). Still others were Comey repeating his answer to identical questions. And of course, many were responses to immaterial questions like what job title someone held on a particular date or what a document said that he had never seen. There nearly 800 questions asked.

Trump can’t cite a single instance of an actual lie by Comey. He’s just making blanket statements with no basis in reality. For instance, it is not disputed by anyone that Comey and Christopher Steele did not know each other. Steele had limited dealings with the FBI, and always at levels below the Director. This is similar to Trump’s frequently stated falsehood that Comey and Mueller are best friends. Trump has even said that “there are hundreds of pictures” of them “hugging and kissing” (actually, there aren’t any). Comey did address that in his testimony, pointedly noting that, while he admires him, they are not friends. He elaborated saying that “I don’t know his phone number, I’ve never been to his house, I don’t know his children’s names. I think I had a meal once alone with him in a restaurant.”

Trump is also violating the tenets of Due Process that he previously whined was nonexistent. But the most hypocritical part of Trump’s tweets was his claim that Comey “set a record for who lied the most.” But even if you agree to use the 245 number that Jordan and Trump are falsely asserting, Comey is still far short of Trump’s 6,000+ lies that he’s told just since his inauguration.

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

For Trump to even criticize anyone else for alleged falsehoods is laughable. His pathological compulsion to deceive in all things great or small is well documented. And considering his utterly untrustworthy reputation, you would think he would avoid any such comparisons. But that’s just another of Trump’s psychoses. He really thinks he can do say anything – no matter how absurd or provably false – and get away with it. And at least with regard to his glassy-eyed cult followers – he may be right. Unfortunately for him, that’s a tiny (although still too large) minority of the country.

Worse Than Omarosa: Trump Quotes Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro’s Insane Rant on Russia and Mueller

This Sunday will likely be remembered as the Omarosa Media Blitzkrieg, with its flurry of newsmaking interviews of the disgraced former Assistant to the President. While Donald Trump has already labeled her a “low life,” he has yet to explain why he gave her such a senior post in his Administration of Dunces in the first place, given how well he knew her.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

Among Omarosa’s criticisms of Trump are her assertions that he is flagrantly racist and misogynistic, and is suffering from a severe mental decline. Both of those are hardly breaking stories considering Trump’s history as a serial sexual predator and his very public display of dementia. And while the press is eating up Omarosa’s allegations, they are simultaneously casting doubt on her credibility.

However, there are many more players in the Era of Trump with far less credibility than Omarosa, starting with The Donald himself, a well-documented and unrepentant liar. And many of those credibility-challenged losers have their own shows on Fox News. Prominent among them is “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, who recently said that special counsel Robert Mueller is a greater threat to America than Vladimir Putin. And on the latest episode of her program she goes even further into the realm of deranged conspiracy crackpot. Her nine minute opening tirade sets the tone with this goofy introduction (video below):

“I’ve had a change of heart. Unlike everyone on the right, I don’t want the Mueller investigation to end so soon. I want it to keep going on and one and on. Because everyday it gets closer to proving Russian collusion. The collusion, however, with Russia and team Obama. Not Trump.”

Remember that claim that Pirro is supporting the ongoing Mueller probe. It will come into play in her closing. In between she hits on a bevy of previously debunked nonsense that even her colleagues at Fox News have renounced. Notably, the Uranium One story that was so expertly unraveled by Shepard Smith. She also railed against the entirety of the investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. She falsely claimed that the basis for the probe was the Christopher Steele dossier. She repeatedly called the dossier “discredited” despite the fact that much of it has been affirmed and none of it has been proven untrue. Smith laid these facts out as well.

However, revisiting lies that have already been exposed wasn’t enough for Pirro. She had to create a brand new scandalous allegation to smear the otherwise golden reputation of Bob Mueller. So Pirro goes off on some peculiar and wholly unsubstantiated allegations about a preposterous charge that Mueller took money from a Russian oligarch to finance FBI operations. She never bothered to cite a source for that charge of criminal behavior. But she did have a question for Mueller:

“Bob, my question to you is ‘How could you possibly be investigating Donald Trump when there is no credible basis for your investigation?’ And ‘What the hell have you and your Trump-hating, conflicted team of prosecutors come up with in the last nineteen months other than a tax evasion case that doesn’t involve Trump, Russia or collusion of any sort.'”

Seriously? Of all the question’s that Pirro could ask Mueller she chose one that is patently absurd and answerable by public records? She doesn’t know that Mueller has already indicted dozens of people for election related offenses, and that five have pleaded guilty? And she isn’t aware that Mueller has much more information about Trump and company than he’s disclosed to date? Yet Omarosa is being pilloried (deservedly so) for her credibility, but Pirro has a show on Fox News.

Pirro’s credibility isn’t all that needs to be questioned. We also have to wonder about her cognitive faculties. Because she closed this televised tantrum with a particularly pointed accusation aimed at Mueller:

“Bob, I really thinks it’s time for you to give up your phony investigation and get yourself your own criminal defense attorney.”

Let’s just set aside the reckless and unsupported charges that Mueller is guilty of some unspecified crimes. We know those exist only in the imaginations of wingnuts like Pirro. But recall how she began her monologue saying that she wants the Mueller probe to go on and on and on. And by the end of her rhetorical seizure she’s calling for him to “give up your phony investigation.” Make up your mind Judge. You sound as demented as the president whose – let’s say boots – you’re licking. But at least it got you a mention from the Commander-in-Tweets:

Pirro must be so proud that Trump picked the most easily recognized bullcrap from her interminably boring assault on Mueller and the truth. They really are a cute couple – of liars and traitors.

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

Here are 8 Other Lucky People, Besides Omarosa, that Donald Trump has Called a ‘Low Life’

One of the most embarrassing things about having an emotionally stunted, narcissistic bully serving as president is having to endure his infantile outbursts whenever he feels he has been slighted. Donald Trump has absolutely no tolerance criticism, and his reaction will always be the one that most fully displays the pettiness of his alleged character.

Donald Trump

At his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort on Saturday, Trump hung out with some of his biker pals instead of doing any of the work that might be expected of a president. Also at the event were some reporters who had the audacity to ask him questions. One of those reporters was Maggie Haberman of the “failing” New York Times (which just reported $24 million in profits). Referencing the new tell-all book by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, she asked Trump “Do you feel betrayed by Omarosa?” He responded “Lowlife. She’s a lowlife.”

That’s a typical response from the childish Trump, who has made it a hallmark of his presidency to throw around dumb insults that lack any originality or creativity. In fact, this particular insult he had just used the same morning to attack Christopher Steele of the Steele Dossier fame:

Setting aside the numerous falsehoods and conspiracy theories embedded in that tweet, his pathetic attempt at trash talking was, sadly, the best he was capable of. As evidence of that there are his frequent other uses of the same language. He is simply too stupid to come up with any new thoughts.

For example, in the recent past Trump has called FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe low lifes:

And Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

And Sen. Ted Cruz:

And Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter:

And conservative pundit Erick Erickson:

And New York Magazine editor and Daily Show head writer Dan Amira:

And comedian Bill Maher:

Let’s give him credit for at least one being right about Ted Cruz. But in general Trump is just lashing out like a toddler throwing a tantrum. It’s a display of puerile bluster that brings nothing but shame to the American people. But there’s nothing that he can do about it. After all, he said himself that:

It’s his nature. Let that sink in. And them remember that he’s our president. And when you’re finished retching, be sure to recommit yourself to doing everything that you possibly can to end this humiliating episode in the low life of America.

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

Why Trump’s Loony Charges of Russian Collusion By Hillary Clinton Will Blow Up in His Lying Face

In the process of his rapid descension into panic and fear, Donald Trump is becoming ever more frenzied and detached from reality. He knows that the law is closing in on him and his family (who he just threw under the bus) and he’s grasping for any lifeline to keep from sinking into the abyss of his treasonous criminality.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

Among the tactics Trump has settled on is an effort to snare Hillary Clinton in a Russian collusion story of her own. This fictional construction has already been hammered to death by Trump’s pals at Fox News, so his cult followers are primed to buy into it. But there are a couple of significant problems with this desperation ploy.

The gist of Trump’s scheme asserts that Clinton is the one who has conspired with the Kremlin to bring down the candidacy of Trump. Never mind that Vladimir Putin admitted at a joint press conference in Helsinki that he wanted Trump to win. The President’s angle is that Clinton and/or her campaign paid Russians for dirt on Trump that they would use to his detriment in the election. And that is his basis for claiming that Clinton is the real colluder. He’s addressed it many times on Twitter, including this past weekend. For instance:

However, that fairy tale is just plain ludicrous. What Trump is referring to is the now famous Steele Dossier. It was researched and complied by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who was regarded as credible by his American counterparts. He did have Russian sources from whom he extracted information. That’s called investigating, but it’s not colluding. And he didn’t pay for the information. He was paid by a firm, Fusion GPS, that was originally contracted for opposition research on Trump by a conservative website, but he was not paid by Clinton or her campaign.

In addition to that, the data in the dossier was never used by the Clinton campaign. So the allegation that she engaged in this alleged collusion to harm Trump doesn’t make any sense. Contrast that with the evidence that Trump was colluding. He personally promoted the information that was obtained by his son and his campaign manager in meetings that they lied about later. He even asked the Russians to do more hacking to steal even more data from Clinton. Which they did.

But the real problem for Trump is that he keeps hedging his claim that there was no collusion with the false assertion that collusion isn’t a crime. That’s like a murderer saying “I didn’t shoot the guy, and was nowhere near the scene. But anyway, it was a self defense.” While “collusion” is not a word in the criminal statutes, the crime does exist as a combination of related offenses such as conspiracy. And it is illegal to interfere with an election and to solicit or accept money or other things of value from foreign governments.

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

So every time that Trump pretends that collusion is not a crime, he is outright lying. But worse, when he demands that Clinton be investigated for collusion, he is conceding that it actually is a crime. So which is it? Trump wants everyone accept his premise that “Crooked Hillary” should be investigated and prosecuted (lock her up) for colluding with Russia. Therefore, the same standard would have to be applied to Trump. By casting blame on Clinton, Trump is actually making the best argument for bringing himself to justice. And the good news is that that is exactly what special counsel Robert Mueller is doing.

Shepard Smith of Fox News Untangles the ‘Patently False’ Lies of Trump re: the Russia Probe

It’s getting harder and harder to figure out why Fox News is allowing Shepard Smith to remain on the air. In the recent past he has made a some startlingly harsh condemnations of Donald Trump that were rooted in actual facts. You know, the sort of information that Fox News struggles to suppress for the other twenty-three hours of the day. It’s the sort of honest reporting that is contradicted by Fox’s primetime shills Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

On Wednesday Smith launched into an explanation for Trump’s latest tweetstorm that railed against Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion hoax rigged scam witch hunt (did I get them all in?). Aside from exposing his palpable fear and desperation, Trump is piling up more lies that now even Fox News is finding it hard to excuse. Smith began his take-down of Trump (video below) with an introduction that summed things up nicely saying that:

“The White House today echoed President Trump’s false tweet claiming that the [Steele] dossier was the foundation of the special counsel, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.”

Then Smith played a clip of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at today’s press briefing saying that “the entire investigation is based off of a dirty, discredited dossier.” Notice that Sanders has adopted Trump’s speaking patterns. Smith followed that by displaying Trump’s tweet saying that the “rigged witch hunt” by “17 angry Democrats” and “started by a “fraudulent dossier” was “an illegal scam.” You have to give him credit for stuffing so many inane cliches into a single tweet. But it’s Smith who really gets credit for having the courage to tell the truth on Fox News to their audience of glassy-eyed Deplorables:

“in the main, and in its part, that statement is patently false. According to the Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee, the feds started the Russia investigation in July of 2016, after then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The diplomat then gave that information over to the FBI.

“And while the U.S. intelligence community has not confirmed parts of the dossier, there are elements of it that are confirmed true. No part of it, to Fox News’ knowledge, has been confirmed false. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, is a registered Republican. The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, is also a Republican. The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who swore in Rosenstein, is also a Republican. President Trump, a Republican, appointed Sessions [and Rosenstein too].

“The dossier is 35 pages of research memos Christopher Steele wrote during the 2016 campaign. He’s a former British intelligence agent. A research firm called Fusion GPS compiled the memos. They alleged conspiracies between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Mr. Trump win the election over Hillary Clinton.”

If just a small bit of this actually got through to Fox News viewers it might have a discernible impact on the nation’s collective ability to recognize the truth. But most of this won’t even get through to Hannity or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. It’s a sad commentary on the depth of the delusion that the Trump Cult has spread across Republican America. These cretins are actually supportive of Russia’s interference in our democracy. So why would they be bothered by Trump issuing tweet commands to his A.G. to stop the Mueller probe?

In response to that tweet Sanders told the press corps this afternoon that Trump was just expressing his “opinion,” and that it wasn’t an order directed at Sessions. She had to downplay it in this way because otherwise it would be unambiguously obstruction of justice. In fact, it still is. If your boss said that you should stop working on some terrible project right now, would you consider that only his opinion and that you could ignore it? If Trump succeeds in coercing Sessions to stop the Mueller probe it’s just more evidence of his intent to illegally interfere with the administration of justice. And, by the way, there are way more than 17 angry Democrats. There’s at least 65 million (more than voted for Trump), plus a few sane Republicans who can’t stomach his treason.

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

Icky Facto? Fox News Defends Getting Campaign Dirt on Hillary Clinton from Hostile Foreign Countries

On Laura Ingraham’s Thursday night Fox News program she hosted former federal prosecutor and Fox contributor, Andrew McCarthy. The segment was focused on the recent bombshell disclosure about Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The report alleges that Cohen is prepared to testify that Trump knew in advance about the meeting his son and senior campaign staff had with Russian operatives pitching negative information from Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails.

Fox News Commies

Cohen’s testimony would make Trump’s repeated prior claims of having no knowledge of the meeting a lie (Trump lied? Shocking, isn’t it?). On Friday morning Trump reiterated his ignorance of the meeting in a tweet that also disparaged Cohen. But all of that was of little concern to Ingraham and her guests. For the most part the conversation was typically defensive of Trump and sought to malign Cohen’s credibility. Ingraham even offered the long-ago debunked excuse that the meeting was only about Russian adoptions and was an attempt to lobby Trump’s people to support repealing the Magnitsky Act that imposed sanctions on Russia. Don Jr’s own emails refuted that red herring with a subject line that read “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”

In addition to trying to dismiss and trivialize the significance of the Cohen revelations, Ingraham and company likewise argued that there wasn’t anything wrong with the apparent collusion by Trump with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election. She actually defended the practice of getting campaign dirt from hostile foreign countries. Although she did manage to criticize Clinton in a bizarre rant (video below):

“Hillary Clinton paid for dirt that was assembled by the Russians in the form of the Steele dossier. She actually went further than meeting with someone. Her people actually paid for it. They got dirt and then it ended up making its way all the way through the U.S. government.”

Ingraham is to truth what Donald Trump is to, well, truth. Clinton did not pay for “dirt that was assembled by the Russians.” Her campaign paid an opposition research firm whose activities were first funded by a conservative Republican website. That firm hired a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, to gather information about Trump and his associates. It was Steele, an American ally who the FBI regarded as credible and trustworthy, who assembled information that he obtained from his sources. The Russians had nothing to do with “assembling” the data, and Clinton had no interactions with Russians or Steele. And while portions of the dossier were cited in FISA warrant applications, they were merely a part of the evidence that the government presented.

So Ingraham was just mouthing off with a flurry of false, right-wing, Trump-sponsored talking points. And if that wasn’t bad enough, her guest, McCarthy, concurred with the opinion that there was nothing to see here:

“I don’t think that it’s bad if campaigns are turning to foreign governments for dirt. It’s not collusion. It’s not something that’s impeachable. It’s icky. But that’s what this is.”

Actually, when campaigns turn to foreign governments for dirt, that absolutely is collusion by definition. It is also conspiracy to aid and abet a foreign government’s interference with an election. And that’s both illegal and impeachable. But I’ll give McCarthy credit for at least admitting that “It’s icky.” I guess that’s a legal term that Fox News contributors use to sound smart.

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

Fox News Fetishes Over Their False Claim that CNN Fetishes Over Trump’s Fetishes

Last year an opposition research document compiled by a respected British intelligence operative surfaced that is still generating news. Known now as the “Steele Dossier,” it contained a wealth of information about Donald Trump that was both substantive and disturbing. And a small bit of it that was rather salacious. So guess which part drove Trump to distraction?

Fox News/Playboy

The findings that Christopher Steele included in his dossier placing Trump in a Moscow hotel with prostitutes have assumed an undue prominence in much of the press. No one should be surprised by that in a society that made Kim Kardashian a pop culture phenomenon. Fox News is no exception, as they frequently hyped up reports of hookers urinating on the bed in Trump’s hotel room as he watched from safe distance. Especially Sean Hannity, who can’t seem to keep his mind off of it (see video below).

Despite their own perverse complicity, Fox News is boldly calling out CNN for reporting on the very same subject. In effect, they are whining that their own salacious reporting isn’t doing as well as the salacious reporting by their competitors. Their media reporter, Brian Flood, is asserting that this “puts CNN coverage in the toilet.” He doesn’t say where it puts Fox’s coverage.

His arguments are strained, to say the least. He leads off by swinging at CNN boss Jeff Zucker, who he says “continues to focus on adult film stars and lurid claims about President Trump’s alleged activities in a Moscow hotel room.” In the same opening paragraph Flood baselessly claims that the “pornographic video probably does not exist.”

Flood disgorges the familiar Fox News talking points that the dossier is unverified (that’s not true) and that it was the basis for warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign (also untrue). Then he goes on to cite the number of times that the “pee tape” was mentioned on CNN over a finite period of time. Those stats came from the ultra-rightist media bashers at the Media Research Center.

The conclusion that Flood draws from his overtly biased sources and analysis is that CNN’s ratings have been severely damaged by their attention to this undeniable newsworthy story. He says that:

“The result of Zucker’s strategy has been a president of the United States who often refers to CNN as ‘fake news’ on a regular basis, while the network regularly loses to MSNBC when it comes to ratings.”

Of course, Trump called CNN, and the rest of the media that is appropriately critical, fake news long before this story broke. It has been a part of his public diatribe dating back to his campaign and his assertions that the media is the “enemy of the American people.” And CNN’s ratings, while trailing MSNBC and Fox, have never been better. So that doesn’t square with Flood’s claim that this story has hurt CNN.

What’s more, Flood completely ignores the fact that MSNBNC does similar reports on Trump’s “pee tape” escapades. And MSNBC is regularly beating Fox News in the ratings war. Especially Rachel Maddow who has taken the lead as the number one cable news program, leaving Sean Hannity without a pot to piss in.

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

Donald Trump is Right: ‘People Should Be Ashamed.’ Especially Trump, Nunes, and the GOP

The long-anticipated public unveiling of the highly partisan and corruptly biased “Nunes Memo” is finally out. And it proves nothing but the bad faith and desperation of congressional Republicans and Donald Trump who authorized its release. There is little of substance to arrive at any conclusions that the government abused its power or acted improperly. In fact, it reflects more negatively on its authors than anyone else.

Donald Trump

The entire Nunes Memo was published and is available for anyone to review. Trump has already had his say in a brief media encounter, where he whined that “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that.” He’s actually right, although not in the way he thinks. The embarrassment will fall on Trump himself, and his comrades in the Republican Party. This is a transparently political act intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation of Trump and his treasonous, Russia-loving associates. Shockingly, it’s Trump who is attempting to accuse his own hand-picked FBI and Department of Justice leadership with “unthinkable” politicization. On Friday morning prior to the memo’s release he tweeted:

The Nunes Memo is a logical mess in addition to being patently dishonest. It outlines five points that its authors regard as salient to their argument that America’s top law enforcement institutions are engaged in a “deep state” conspiracy against Trump. It’s hopelessly partisan and bereft of independent affirmation. What follows is a summary, with annotations, of the five points:

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application.

Nunes is aghast that information was allegedly withheld from the FISA Court, but he’s the one leaving out facts. For instance, the fact that the Steele dossier was originally funded by a conservative media outlet, The Free Beacon. Also, Nunes refuses to allow a Democratic response to his memo to be made public.

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow.

Nunes asserts that the FISA application “cited extensively” on an article by Yahoo’s Isikoff. What Nunes is not disclosing is what else the application cited. In fact, the FISA application is still classified. However, in Isikoff’s article he refers to “multiple sources.” So Steele’s dossier was not the sole evidence presented to the FISA court:

“U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue.”

Another thing unaddressed by Nunes et al, is that the FISA court never relies on a single source of evidence. He is insulting this court by implying that they would be fooled by a partisan document and wouldn’t seek further testimony before issuing a warrant. And for the record, the FISA judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – a Republican.

3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. [and that] Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

So what? Does Nunes think that someone conducting opposition research would be a supporter of the target of the research? Steele’s opinions about Trump in no way impact any factual data that he uncovers. That’s also true with regard to FBI employees and other law enforcement personnel.

4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. […] Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

The “infancy” or maturity of the dossier’s verification is utterly irrelevant to the FISA court. They are not finding guilt or innocence, but merely justification for proceeding with an investigation. And it’s interesting that Nunes asserts something that McCabe told Congress in closed hearings, but doesn’t provide a direct quote. It’s just his interpretation without any necessary context. McCabe’s testimony could have been quite different and Nunes is purposefully misrepresenting it, which he has been known to do.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.

This may be the most significant item in the Nunes memo. It’s affirming that the FISA court’s warrant wasn’t even the instigation for the investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia during and after his campaign. Therefore, everything that Nunes is complaining about in all of what precedes this part of the memo is irrelevant. Even if the entire phony controversy over Page’s surveillance was excised from the investigation it would have negligible impact on the outcome.

This whole charade is just another effort by Trump and Republicans to deflect from, and discredit, Robert Mueller and others looking into Trump’s criminal activities. But it’s such a weak attempt it hardly requires a reply. It is brazenly biased and fails to make a single point that it alleges. And it’s further proof that these cretins are more interested in protecting Putin and Russia and those who are colluding with them, than with respect for the law and the welfare of the nation. And the perpetrators of this fraud will surely regret it when the truth comes out. #MuellerTime

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