SRSLY? Corey Lewandowski Tells Fox News That the ‘Situation with Assad’ is Obama’s Fault

It didn’t take long for Fox News to broadcast their official response to the Syrian chemical weapons crisis – or any problem that rankles Donald Trump’s administration: Obama did it! That’s right. And the reason that Trump had to renege on his campaign promises to refrain from getting America mired in any more foreign conflicts, like the one in Syria, is the same as as his excuses for all of his other lies and blunders.

Barack Obama, Donald Trump

In a segment on Fox News, Trump shill Corey Lewandowski disseminated the pre-approved White House doctrine regarding any and all scenarios that negatively impact the administration (video below). It was a prime example of the robo-speak that is emblematic of the Trump regime. It was also the very same position that Trump himself tweeted years before. Lewandowski said that:

“The reason we’re in this situation with Assad is because Barack Obama drew a line in the sand which meant nothing. There were no teeth behind it. The chemical weapons that were supposed to be a red line in the previous administration meant nothing. And we’re here today, and people lost their lives in Syria, because the previous administration did nothing to prevent it from happening.”

For starters, Lewandowski must have forgotten that Trump already executed a military response to a prior use of chemical weapons by Assad last year. He insisted that it would send an unmistakable message to Assad that continuing such atrocities would not be tolerated. Apparently the message was not as clear as Trump thought. Especially after he announced that he would be pulling U.S. troops out of Syria shortly.

The question that no one on Fox News is asking is: How would Obama’s actions years earlier have changed any of the outcomes following Trump’s more recent actions? If Trump’s bombing raid last year didn’t deter Assad, why would Obama’s raid five years ago have done it? Are they just admitting that Obama would have done it better?

Now let’s take a look at whether Obama did anything after Assad’s use of chemical weapons during his term. The fact is that Obama forcefully denounced Assad and advocated for a military response. However, unlike Trump, he sought congressional approval (as the Constitution requires) in order to ensure that the action had the full support of a united nation. He beseeched the GOP-controlled legislature to come together in this effort saying:

“Here’s my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What’s the purpose of the international system that we’ve built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the worlds’ people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?”

The response by Congress was worse than voting down an authorizing resolution. The Republicans in charge would not even permit the measure to come up for a vote. And it was clear that if they had, a majority of Republicans would have voted against it. Which is especially interesting considering what Trump was saying at the time:

So according to Trump, Obama needed congressional approval to bomb Syria (which he tried to get), but Trump can do whatever the hell he wants? That’s the mindset of a flaming hypocrite, and a wannabe dictator.

None of these facts are likely to persuade Fox News, or their glassy-eyed viewers, to change their minds about Obama being the source of everything bad in the world. He will continue to be the excuse they cling to for any of the failings by Trump and the Republican Party of (avoiding) personal responsibility. This is just the way that the right-wing has their propaganda wired. And it’s convenient that they have a “news” network that is amenable to serving as their State-run TV outlet.

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

Lying Trump confidant inadvertently makes case for Trump’s impeachment on Fox News

Republicans are known to be fond of making brash and false accusations about Democrats. In fact, it’s an obsession. They generally deploy this tactic when they are desperate to create a distraction from something horrible they did or said. And lucky for them, they have Fox News to broadcast their diversions and lies to millions of their glassy-eyed disciples.

Fox News

A perfect example of this took place Saturday morning on Fox and Friends. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and devoted bootlicker, Corey Lewandowski to talk about a variety of current events (video below). Among them were the allegations against Trump for sexual harassment and abuse. The segment featured a graphic that said “HRC Falsely Claims Trump is “Sexual Assaulter.” But the claim is factual based on Trump’s own words. They played video of Hillary Clinton’s BBC interview pointing out the similarities of Trump’s behavior to that of Harvey Weinstein. She correctly noted that:

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere. Whether it’s in entertainment, politics… After all we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.”

Indeed. No one should be excused from committing these atrocious acts, Democrat or Republican. But that’s not how Fox News sees it. Not only did Trump admit to his abuse, at least a dozen women have come forward with credible allegations. But Clinton’s remarks set Lewandowski off on a tangent that hardly exonerates Trump:

“There was a sexual assaulter in the White House and he was called Bill Clinton. He had to pay a $750,000 fine for abuses that he perpetrated while he was President of the United States. He was disbarred. He lost his law license. He lied under oath and he was impeached.”

First of all, let’s address the cluster of outright lies in Lewandowski’s comment. Nearly everything he said was demonstrably false. Politico covered these claims last year and debunked all of them:

“[Paula] Jones sued Clinton for allegedly exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991. The Jones suit, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, was ultimately dismissed by a judge on the grounds Jones could not show damages. While it was on appeal, Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to settle the suit without admitting liability.” […]

“An earlier version of this piece falsely stated that Bill Clinton was disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in Arkansas and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, Clinton’s law license was suspended in Arkansas and he resigned from the Supreme Court bar; he was not disbarred.”

So the incident Lewandowski referred to did not happen while Clinton was president. The payment was a settlement, not a fine. There was no judicial finding against him. He was never disbarred. The House of Representatives did impeach Clinton, but that’s a political action, not a legal one. And the Senate declined to convict or remove him from office.

Lewandowski unleashed a tortured stream of lies to divert attention away from Trump’s gross and illegal behavior. But his argument wasn’t that Trump was innocent. Only that Clinton was guilty. What’s more, he seemed to agree with the punishment he wrongly asserted was carried out against Clinton. Therefore, he is essentially advocating that punishment for anyone guilty of these crimes. Presumably that includes his buddy in the White House. In other words, he’s in favor of fining and impeaching Trump. A plurality of Americans agree.

Of course, to expect an ultra-partisan hack like Lewandowski to grasp the logical extensions of his own argument may be too much to ask. And even if he did, he would likely struggle to find an exception for his right-wing confederates. Democrats weren’t shy about denouncing the behavior of Clinton or Weinstein. It’s too bad that Republicans can’t do the same about Trump. After all, as Fox’s Abby Huntsman said at the end of this segment: “It’s so important to point out the hypocrisy.” Of course, she was referring only to Democrats.

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

[The Clinton discussion begins at about 3:50]

Wingnuts Spin Trump’s Sexual Assault As OK Because – Oh Look, It’s The Clintons

By now everybody has heard Donald Trump describe how easy it was for him to sexually assault women. His comments were a grotesque and candid display of his real character, or more correctly, lack of it. Following the release of the recordings, Trump attempted to dismiss them with a typical non-apology apology that shifted the blame to others. He released the following statement:

Donald Trump

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

So Trump is apologizing only “IF” someone happened to be offended, but not “FOR” his offensive remarks. It’s an old method of placing responsibility on the poor sap who was foolish enough to listen to him. What’s more, this is not anything like the locker room banter that I’ve ever witnessed. This a confession to criminally aberrant behavior.

However, perhaps the worst part of his dodgy apology is that he couldn’t refrain from using it as an opportunity to smear his political foes. Bill Clinton had nothing to do with this, and Trump’s accusation was arbitrary and utterly unprovable. But that didn’t stop him or his surrogates from leaping feet first into politicizing his boorishness. And most of them employed the same faulty defense. For instance:

Sean Hannity sought to whitewash Trump’s ugliness by first saying that “Nobody’s gonna defend this. You can’t defend – it is wrong, it is inappropriate, it is outrageous. I don’t think anyone’s gonna argue with that.” After which Hannity argued with it for the remainder of his show. Along with his guests, Monica Crowley and Jeanine Pirro, he waived off Trump’s tales of sexual assault and weaved in the affairs of Bill Clinton that have already been worked over in the media for years.

Then there was CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes who said that “The words of Donald Trump are bad. But they’re not near as bad as the actions of Hillary Clinton since she’s been in office. There are four soldiers in Benghazi right now, that are not with us right now because of Hillary Clinton’s actions.” Aside from that having been proven untrue by at least four Republican led congressional committees, it has no bearing on Donald Trump.

But no one came close to Trump’s ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who now works for CNN. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer he made the insanely audacious claim that “What we don’t know, and I’m not trying to change the subject here, we don’t have any understanding of what Hillary Clinton has said in those meetings with Wall Street where she was paid for these speeches. She’s never released those transcripts. For all we know, the same things are being said in that regard.”

Let that sink in. Lewandowski is actually implying that Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street executives might have been about how she sexually assaulted people. No wonder they paid her so much. You can’t get porn like that from a former Secretary of State on the cheap. And note also that Lewandowski wasn’t trying to change the subject. It makes you wonder what he thought the subject was. And while your wondering, WTF was Blitzer doing when Lewandowski made that disgusting accusation? He thanked him and went to commercial.

There was one thing that Lewandowski said that actually made sense. In defending Trump he asserted that America isn’t electing a Sunday school teacher, they’re electing a leader. And Trump’s remarks show the nation that “You’ve got a leader who talks tough. He’s been very bold. He speaks from the heart. People understand that. They know Donald Trump.” Indeed, he speaks from the heart. And apparently his heart is poisoned with perversion and hate. And yes, that is the Donald Trump that we know all too well unfortunately.

Finally, Trump himself made a video to take another crack at expressing remorse. This time he admitted that he was wrong and apologized. However, he continued his effort to minimize his grossness and redirect the outrage to his mortal enemies, the Clintons:

“This is nothing but a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today. […] I’ve said some foolish things. But there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.”

Once again, the Clintons have nothing to do with his bad behavior. Additionally, the problem with all of this is not his words. It is, in fact, his actions as he himself describes them. He was not simply spewing profanities, he was talking about things he actually did. His video apologia also contained his “pledge to be a better man tomorrow.” That’s all well and good, but it’s something he should do on his own time, not while residing in the White House.

These are just a few examples of the coordinated spin from Trump and his allies. Clearly they have decided that the way to approach this is to pretend it doesn’t matter and besides the Clintons did it too. That’s a defense worthy of nine year old, which may be the emotional age of Trump.

The video itself was embarrassing. And the proof of that is that after it was aired on Fox News, anchors Gregg Jarrett and Arthel Neville noted that Trump was awkwardly reading the statement and said that it was “almost painful” to watch. They observed that he was clearly reading something that his speechwriters had written for him. And when you’ve lost Fox News…

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

See for yourself:

Stephen Colbert Gets Anderson Cooper Tied Up In Knots Defending CNN’s Trump Coverage

Last night CNN anchor Anderson Cooper appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He may not have been expecting the good-natured grilling he was in for. What took place was another example of a comedy show producing better journalism than the “serious” media.

Stephen Colbert

Early in the interview Colbert bit into the meaty subject of CNN’s disgraceful relationship with Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. A few days after leaving the Trump team, Corey Lewandowski signed on with CNN. In the following exchange Cooper sheepishly admits that CNN is employing a commentator who is also a campaign operative.

Colbert: So, he works for you guys. Does he still get any money from the Trump people at the same time?

Cooper: I believe I read he gets a severance, continuing severance from the Trump campaign.

Colbert: So ya’ll are paying him, and Trump is paying him, but he’s on your show doing analysis for a man he still gets cash from?

Cooper: Pretty much. Yeah, I guess that’s one way to look at it. I mean, yes.

That’s pretty much the only way of looking at it. Even worse, Lewandowski has a non-disparagement contract with Trump. So CNN hired a commentator who is contractually prohibited from saying anything negative. Cooper’s only response to this was that “We have people from all the campaigns.” Which is not actually true. While they will invite campaign staff to appear on the network, there are none who are employees while still on the payroll of the candidate. Other than Lewandowski, that is.

As the interview continued, Colbert asked whether Trump is still doing interviews with CNN. Cooper confirmed that he is not, noting that he’s only been doing interviews with Fox News. He elaborated saying that “He does a lot of interviews with Hannity.” “Who evidently advises his campaign at the same time,” Colbert replied. This is all accurate, but for some reason Cooper only talks about it on The Late Show. CNN’s viewers would benefit from this information.

The best moment came when the discussion got to Trump’s wavering positions on immigration. Colbert observed that Trump has been less than forthcoming about his stance, which has been shifting wildly in the past couple of days. Then Colbert offered this homey perspective from Trump’s point of view:

“There’s a little bit of “Elect me, see what happens. I’m a present. Christmas morning is Election Day. Open me up. Maybe I’m full of toys. Maybe I’m full of turds.”

Anyone who has been paying attention already knows what’s in that package. And it isn’t a new X-Box. Colbert managed to illustrate the deceitfulness of Trump’s vacillating rhetoric in a short and humorous comment that says more than most news programs say in an hour. And Cooper was reduced to grinning timidly when faced with the truth about his network. It’s just sad that news organizations are so bad at this sort of reporting that we have to rely on comedy shows.

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

Ex-Spokesman For Trump’s New Campaign Chair Endorses Hillary Clinton

There are very few opportunities to watch a presidential campaign implode in full view of the public. However, that’s what is happening right now to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s crusade of vitriol and petulance. In the past few days his campaign morphed into a white nationalist movement lead by a radical ultra-rightist.

Donald Trump

Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon has taken the reins of the campaign (for now) as Trump’s polls sink to historic lows. Bannon’s contribution is expected to be an embrace of Trump’s worst traits and most extreme positions. Which is good news for Hillary Clinton because no one benefits more from the “let-Trump-be-Trump” strategy than Democrats.

Confirming the impending meltdown of TeamTrump, the former spokesman for Brietbart News, Kurt Bardella, has been making the media rounds to supply some insight into Trump’s suicide squad. He appeared on Fox News Friday asked by host Heather Nauert if they are “now on track with their campaign?” Bardella’s response was that:

“I think at the end of the day one speech on message doesn’t make an entire campaign, and certainly doesn’t erase an entire year’s worth body of work.”

Perhaps that’s a bit too complex for a press corps that seems to think a candidate-hyped pivot represents real change. They have spent the last 48 hours swooning over Trump’s wishy-washy regrets that were written by hired hacks. Bardella went on to discuss how Trump’s “regrets” were quickly shoved out of the media spotlight by his clumsy announcement that his skeevy campaign manager Paul Manafort had resigned:

“That’s just another example of the Trump team not really having their act together. […] They stepped on their own news cycle needlessly.”

More importantly, Bardella provided his unique insights into Bannon garnered from their two year working relationship at Breitbart News. As spokesman for the website he had unparalleled exposure to its inner workings. He resigned following the infamous episode when Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, manhandled Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Bannon’s failure to support his own reporter against an abusive jerk repulsed Bardella and other Breitbrats who also bailed out. He held nothing back when the subject came up on Fox:

Nauert: What can you tell us in a fair fashion about what it was like working for [Bannon] and what we can expect from his leadership of the Trump campaign?

Bardella: Steve is someone who governs very much by fear. He’s a bit of a dictator of a character. He’s known for making latenight, profanity-laced tirade phone calls at his staff when things aren’t going the way he wants them to go.

Sounds like a perfect match for Donald Trump. The picture Bardella paints of Bannon as an authoritarian bully may jibe with Trump’s personality, but it can’t possibly help him to broaden support among voters. Trump already has the white supremacist and neo-fascist vote locked up. In fact, rational Republicans are more likely to be alienated by Bannon’s ideas and methods. Including Bardella who just wrote an op-ed for The Hill where he announced that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton:

“What eventually caused me to terminate my relationship with Breitbart was Steve’s guidance of Breitbart to become the de facto propaganda machine for Donald Trump. […] It is glaringly obvious that Donald Trump does not have the temperament or the judgment to occupy the Oval Office. This is one of those times where the best interests of the whole outweigh any partisan allegiances or any specific issue. It’s why I’ve made the personal choice to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Donald Trump is dangerous for America.”

When you’ve lost the spokesman for Breitbart News, who served in the same role for wingnut Republican Darrell Issa, it may be time for an intervention. There’s a reason that former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and other racial hate group leaders have endorsed Trump. Maybe the rest of his supporters would like to reconsider the measure of the man they are backing for president. Or more sickening, maybe they have and they’re cool with it.

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

In Desperate Move Trump Taps Breitbart Exec To Lead His Floundering Campaign

From the very start, Donald Trump has made “winning” a key part of his political branding. Early in his campaign he promised his supporters that “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” Now that Trump has been falling behind Hillary Clinton in most polls, it’s safe to say that his fans are indeed sick and tired, but winning surely isn’t the reason.

Trump/Bannon

The latest evidence of Trump’s waning electoral fate is yet another campaign shake up. It was just a few weeks ago that Trump sent his long-time campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, packing (he has since taken up residence at CNN) and brought in Paul Manafort to turn things around. Not only has Manafort presided over a continued and worsening slump, he has managed to find himself making news with his unsavory ties to foreign dictators and Russian-affiliated oligarchs.

Now Trump has brought in two familiar associates in an attempt to repair his sagging fortunes. The campaign’s new chief executive will be Stephen Bannon, currently the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. Bannon has been an ardent advocate for Trump who turned the Breitbart organization into a virtual Trump PR machine. However, he has not been a unanimous favorite among his peers. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, complained that Bannon had “shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda.” Glenn Beck joined in to compare Bannon to Joseph Goebbels.

Bannon will also be remembered (or not) as the the writer/director of the pathetic cinematic flop “The Undefeated,” a documentary about Sarah Palin that went straight to video despite heavy promotion from Fox News. With any luck he’ll bring that same ability and skill to Donald Trump’s campaign.

The other new campaign hire is Kellyanne Conway, who will become Trump’s campaign manager. Conway is the president and CEO of The Polling Company, a Republican outfit that conducts surveys and advises GOP candidates on strategy. She is also a commentator on CNN where she fiercely defends everything Trump does and says no matter how ridiculous or offensive. This puts CNN in the unique position of employing both Trump’s former campaign manager (Lewandowski) and his new one. If they have any journalistic integrity at all, Conway will be suspended immediately. But having hired Lewandowski when he is still being paid by Trump, and is contractually prohibited from criticizing him, CNN’s integrity is already suspect.

These additions to the Trump team follow by one day the news that ex-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes will be coaching Trump to prepare him for his debates with Clinton and providing other campaign advice. Ailes, you will recall, was forced into early retirement after numerous accusations of sexual harassment at Fox. It is not known whether Ailes played any role in the remaking of Trump’s campaign, but he does have history with Bannon. More recently, Bannon penned two defenses of Ailes for Breitbart News. One alleged that Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit was meritless. The other that it is part of a broader liberal conspiracy against Ailes.

Significantly, two of Trump’s top campaign operatives are now former media executives. That paints a picture of a campaign that is more interested in propaganda than politics. Expect Trump’s campaign to venture even further into attacks on the mainstream media and their plot to destroy Trump and, therefore, America. Simultaneously, they can be expected to exploit the media to amplify Trump’s voice and nationalistic fervor.

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

The value of these personnel moves seems underwhelming. Manafort, with all his baggage, will remain as the chairman of the campaign. And along with Bannon and Kelly they will continue to face the challenge of getting Trump to listen to anyone other than himself. However, their first duty will be to spin this latest campaign reinvention as further proof that Trump is winning.

WATCH: CNN’s Trump Fluffer Brazenly Lies About The FBI’s Clinton Inquiry – And CNN Lets Him

On today’s broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, fill-in host Brianna Keilar interviewed Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Last month Lewandowski was fired by Trump and then hired by CNN within a few days despite the fact that he has a contract that prohibits him from saying anything critical about his ex-boss.

CNN

Well, Lewandowski is surely in the clear after today’s performance. He not only refrained from any criticism of Trump, he delivered eight minutes of non-stop adulation and shameless up-sucking. He even defended Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image in a tweet attacking Hillary Clinton even though Trump himself wouldn’t defend it (he deleted it without comment or apology).

Much of the interview, however, involved the meeting between Hillary Clinton and the FBI to discuss the matter of her emails and the private server she used. There was no new information reported following the meeting except for multiple sources telling CNN and MSNBC that the FBI has concluded that no laws were violated and no charges will be brought. On this subject Keilar asked Lewandowski…

“Corey, the big news this weekend, Hillary Clinton meeting with the FBI – three and a half hours she was meeting with them – and sources tell CNN that this investigation could wrap up before the convention. And if she is cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department as we expect, short of her making some sort of mistake in her interview yesterday is what is going to happen, will that deprive Donald Trump of a key political weapon?”

Without even waiting for Lewandowski to respond the answer was obvious. Trump, and every other Republican, have already tipped their hands to reveal a strategy wherein Clinton will continue to be vilified as guilty regardless of the outcome of the investigation. They intend to go on using this weapon even if it is shooting blanks. If Clinton is cleared they will just insist that the Justice Department is corrupt and that the White House is threatening to dispatch killer drones to deal with anyone who goes after Clinton. So Lewandowski did deny that Trump will be deprived of a weapon, but it’s what he said immediately after that that is truly disturbing.

“I think what you have is the American public is so frustrated right now that Hillary Clinton has been under investigation from the FBI from as many as 150 agents for a long time.”

Certainly the American public is frustrated by the seemingly endless parade of bogus Clinton-bashing scandals, not one of which has produced any evidence of wrongdoing despite spending hundreds of hours and millions of dollars on partisan efforts to tarnish her reputation. However, the allegation that there were hundreds of agents investigating this matter was proven to be false long ago. Originally there were anonymous reports from the Washington Post and Fox News that as many as 150 agents were involved, but that was quickly debunked with subsequent reports saying that talk of 150 agents was “ridiculous” and that “the number is closer to 12.”

The fact that Lewandowski would propagate this dishonest argument after it was already know to be untrue is typical of the Trump campaign’s deliberately deceitful modus operandi. While most candidates would cease to use information that they knew was false, that little detail doesn’t seem to bother Trump or his cronies. This is also further evidence that Lewandowski is still working for Trump while he’s getting paid by CNN. And worst of all, it shows that CNN is unable or unwilling to correct the record when a Trump shill dispenses flagrant lies on their air.

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

Donald Trump Eavesdropped On Staff And Guests At His Florida Resort, Sources Say

The multitude of ethical lapses exposed during Donald Trump’s campaign for president could fill the Mariana Trench. From his fraudulent Trump University, to his charity scams, to his bankruptcies, to his pathological lying, Donald Trump has repeatedly proven that he has little use for the morality that guides most decent people, much less what would be required of a national leader.

Donald Trump

Now Buzzfeed is reporting that Trump may have engaged in a deplorable act of privacy invasion at his exclusive Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. The report details the accounts of former Mar-A-Lago employees who witnessed Trump listening in on the phone calls of his staff and guests:

“At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.”

Four of the former staffers who revealed Trump’s bedroom phone follies spoke to Buzzfeed on the condition of anonymity due to their having signed non-disclosure agreements. Trump is famously obsessed with binding his associates with such gag orders. His recently fired campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was similarly restrained from commenting about Trump (which, for some inexplicable reason, didn’t stop CNN from hiring him as a commentator). One source said he had “direct knowledge that Trump ‘could pick up the phone in the bedroom and listen to any conversation that was going on.'”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s spokesperson, Hope Hicks, denied that he had ever eavesdropped on anyone saying simply that “This is totally and completely untrue.” Another Trump supporter who rejected these charges was his former butler, Anthony Senecal, who may be better known for a Facebook posting calling for President Obama to be shot, and adding that he would personally participate in a hanging.

For anyone who may be reluctant to accept that Trump would behave this atrociously, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that Trump has been suspected of tapping the phones of his staff. Just last month, following the dismissal of his national political director, the New York Times reported that…

“A sense of paranoia is growing among his campaign staff members, including some who have told associates they believe that their Trump Tower offices in New York may be bugged, according to three people briefed on the conversations.”

There appears to be a disturbing pattern forming. Trump is displaying the combination of authoritarianism and paranoia that was emblematic of the Richard Nixon White House. Nixon, of course, was notorious for recording his conversations with White House staff and guests, a breach of ethics that eventually led to his downfall. And if past is prologue, this an ominous portent of the future should Trump manage to emerge victorious in November.

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

WTF Are They Thinking? CNN’s New Hire Is Trump’s Ex-Manager And Press Abuser

Donald Trump has been boasting about his ability to create jobs despite never having explained exactly how he would do so. Well, now it appears he may have created one at CNN for the campaign manager that he fired just a few days ago.

CNN

Corey Lewandowski was escorted out of Trump Tower by security guards when the campaign decided that his services were no longer needed. He was criticized for the campaign’s negative and hostile tone, for failing to raise money, for not building a campaign infrastructure, and for infighting between various factions within the Trump camp. Recent polls showing Trump losing to Hillary Clinton also weighed on Lewandowski’s shoulders as he battled with the Trump kids and strategist Paul Manafort for control of the campaign.

Now CNN has rewarded Lewandowski with a job and a paycheck as a political commentator for the network. It’s not as if CNN didn’t already have a stable of partisan Trump sycophants on the air every day. Jeffery Lord, Scottie Nell Hughes, Kayleigh McEnany, among others have been shilling for Trump on CNN for months. And that’s in addition to the frequent appearances by Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson and Trump himself.

There are few, if any, examples of a news network scooping up a high-level campaign operative in the midst of an election, particularly one with the resume of Lewandowski. This is the first campaign that Lewandowski has ever managed, if you want to call it that. None of the traditional trappings of a campaign were evident in his work. He maintained a tiny staff of insiders and relied on free media for attention. He presided over a candidate who avoided substantive debate while resorting to childish insults and name-calling to bring down his opponents.

Lewandowski also had a terrible relationship with the press. While Trump was calling them sleazy and scum, and fantasizing about killing them them, Lewandowski was herding them into pens like cattle and threatening them if they were disobedient. He revoked the press credentials of people or organizations he didn’t like, including the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Lewandowski was the subject of an unprecedented meeting between the television news networks (including CNN) to address what they considered “harsh and restrictive behavior.” In one case Lewandowski told another campaign staffer “Hey: Tell Noah [Gray of CNN], get back in the pen or he’s f—ing blacklisted.”

And then there was the incident when Lewandowski was alleged to have physically assaulted a reporter from the conservative Breitbart News website. Michelle Fields claimed that Lewandowski had grabbed her by the arm and nearly threw her to the ground. He was briefly under indictment for the assault, but the authorities decided not to prosecute.

This is the caliber of man that CNN has just chosen to provide analysis of the election. He is overtly hostile to the press of which he is now becoming a part. His peers in the business are both stunned and outraged that CNN would grant this cretin one of a very few on-air positions available.

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

What’s worse, it is well known that Donald Trump requires his people to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them from saying anything negative about Trump, his businesses, or his family. So how can CNN justify hiring a commentator who is contractually bound to bite his tongue if anything unflattering to Trump occurs during the campaign? He’s a commentator who can’t comment. What does that say about a free press at CNN?

Update: The backlash is growing as a “near revolt” at CNN is reportedly under way:

“CNN is facing a near internal revolt over the Corey hiring,” said a TV insider, who described many in the newsroom as “livid.” “Female reporters and producers especially .?.?. They are organizing and considering publicly demanding” that Lewandowski be let go.

Crybaby Trump Revokes The Washington Post’s Press Credentials In A Childish Tantrum

Tough-talking Donald Trump has proven again that his macho image is as phony as a diploma from Trump University. Within a couple of hours of his first post-Orlando speech, wherein he ranted about the evils of “radical Islamic terrorism” and the traitors who refuse to say those three magic words, Trump announced that he was too scared to face the bone-chilling visage of reporters from the {shudder} Washington Post. He posted a message on Facebook declaring that…

“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.”

Donald Trump Crybaby

Trump didn’t bother to enumerate any instances of the Post’s alleged dishonesty because he expects his disciples to accept whatever he says as gospel without verification. That’s pretty much the same take he has on matters of policy which he never details because he knows his supporters simply don’t care.

The likely reason for banishing WaPo is related to a Facebook post he made just prior to the credential revocation. He complained about a headline in the Post that correctly reported his implied assertion that “President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.” Again, Trump didn’t bother to elaborate, but his actual commentary said “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind […] There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”

The Post was not the only news organization that noticed Trump’s suggestion that the President might be an accomplice to a terrorist act. Every broadcast news network reported the same story with similar headlines:

Add to that group other similar media reports from The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The New Republic, Salon, Esquire, Vice, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Time, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Reuters, and you have an awfully large chunk of the media who risk losing their press credentials to cover the Trump campaign.

Trump’s campaign has been a hotbed of media discontent for many months. His treatment of the press got so bad at one point that an assembly of media companies got together to discuss what could be done about it. This was after numerous incidents wherein reporters were mistreated by Trump or his staff, including confinement to journalist “pens” and revocation of credentials from reporters the campaign deemed to be unfriendly such as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. Additionally, Trump threw an anchor for Univision, the largest Spanish-language TV network in the country, out of one of his press conferences. He even briefly boycotted Fox News.

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

This is behavior that marks Trump as both cowardly and tyrannical. After all, how can he claim to be able to stand up to Putin or ISIS when he’s running scared from WaPo and Mother Jones? His response to coverage that is less than adoring is to revert to the tactics of a wannabe dictator. He even promised that, as president, he would “open up our libel laws” governing the media so that he “can sue them and win lots of money.” As repugnant as that is coming from a political candidate, it would be far more troubling coming from the White House. Trump is demonstrating an overt hostility to the principles of a free press, and if his narcissistic authoritarianism and ignorance weren’t already enough reason to keep conscientious Americans from voting for him, this should seal the deal.