Trump’s Bizarre Reasons for Accusing His White House Counsel McGahn of Lying Under Oath

One of the unique characteristics of Donald Trump’s criminal behavior is that, unlike most other criminals, he actually ends up admitting his wrongdoing in public and insisting that there’s nothing wrong with it. That was surprisingly well demonstrated on Thursday when he told George Stephanopoulos that he would happily accept and disseminate dirt on his political opponents, which is against the law.

Donald Trump

And one of the reasons that Trump is so comfortable making such public confessions is that he knows he has Fox News (aka State TV) to clean up after him. That’s what took place on Friday morning when the President did another call-in interview with the devoted Trump-fluffers on Fox and Friends. It was easily predictable that Trump would book this segment following a gaffe that was essentially an admission of treason.

However, even that brownnosing do-over was stepped on by Trump himself with the release of another clip from the Stephanopoulos interview. In this discussion Trump launched into a familiar and tedious denial that he ever sought to have special counsel Robert Mueller fired. That’s a claim that has been refuted by several of his close aides, including his White House Counsel, Don McGahn. Stephanopoulos noted that McGahn had testified to Mueller that Trump did ask him to talk to the Justice Department and make it clear to them that Mueller “had to go.” Which led to this incriminating exchange (video below):

Trump: I don’t care what he said. It doesn’t matter. That was to show everyone what a good counsel he was.
Stephanopoulos: But why would he lie under oath to Robert Mueller?
Trump: Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer. Or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen, including you, including the media, that Robert Mueller was conflicted.

First of all, when Stephanopoulos asked why McGahn would lie under oath, Trump didn’t reject that premise. In fact, he attempted to justify it. So Trump is accusing his White House counsel of committing criminal perjury. It will interesting to see if Attorney General William Barr will now open an investigation into that and issue an indictment for McGahn. (Don’t hold your breath). Because either McGahn is guilty of perjury, or Trump is lying about it.

Secondly, Trump’s first explanation for McGahn’s alleged perjury is that McGahn was seeking to “make himself look like a good lawyer.” How? By lying under oath? How does it burnish his credibility to implicate Trump in a scheme to fire Mueller? Trump is apparently conceding that testimony linking Trump to obstruction of justice is the honorable thing to do. Of course it is. Telling the truth would surely cast a positive glow on McGahn or any other witness. But accusing McGahn of doing the right thing is an odd defense from Trump’s perspective.

Finally, Trump’s other explanation for McGahn’s testimony is that McGahn, and “anybody that would listen,” were deluged with complaints by Trump that Mueller was conflicted. That assertion has always been a deliberate lie on Trump’s part. But his admission here that he has been inundating everyone around him with that allegation could itself be construed as obstruction of justice. He’s trying to materially harm the investigation by falsely impugning the integrity of the special counsel.

So Trump is providing a perverse set of arguments in his defense. On one hand, Trump thinks that his White House counsel is a perjurer for having told the truth about him. On the other, Trump is obstructing justice by lying about Mueller. And if you’re having trouble figuring that out, or why Trump would be asserting such a preposterous defense, it just means that you’re a normal, logical person. Unlike the sociopathic narcissist currently residing in the White House.

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

COLLUSION: Trump is Committing Treason in Order to Resuscitate His Floundering 2020 Campaign

It is impossible to understate the profoundly evil nature of what Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday. In an extended interview, Trump not only justified his prior collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, he also placed an open call for hostile foreign governments to do the same thing in 2020. It’s an unambiguous attempt to seek assistance from America’s enemies. This is Trump’s reelection campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The interview was an astonishing performance by an unabashed traitor to American laws and principles. What follows are a few of the most egregious segments that are profoundly disturbing and utterly inexcusable.

Stephanopoulos: But should [Don Jr] have gone to the FBI when he got that email?
Trump: Okay, let’s put yourself in a position: you’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, “Hey I have information on your opponent.” Do you call the FBI? You don’t– I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. I don’t–you don’t call the FBI.

Actually, Trump has called the FBI at least twice according to FOIA documents, but only when it’s to his personal benefit.

Stephanopoulos: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.
Trump: Well, that’s different. A stolen briefing book. This isn’t– this is somebody who said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break, life doesn’t work that way.

It’s not different. The information that Trump was seeking (Clinton’s and DNC emails) was also stolen information on his opponent. And calling the FBI is precisely the way it works, even according to Trump’s own FBI director, Christopher Wray. So Trump responded that…

Trump: The FBI Director is wrong. Because, frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life.

Trump: If somebody comes into your office with oppo research– they call it oppo research–with information that might be good or bad or something, but good for you, bad for your opponent, you don’t call the FBI. I would guarantee you that 90 percent, could be 100 percent, of the congressmen or the senators over there, have had meetings–if they didn’t they probably wouldn’t be elected.

Here Trump is trying to conflate normal opposition research with his collusion with foreign governments, which is illegal. Then he cites some statistics that he’s pulled from his – assumptions and justifies the criminality because, as he says, everybody does it. So therefore it’s okay?

Stephanopoulos: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?
Trump: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, “we have information on your opponent.” Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.

Norway? It’s funny how Trump can’t bring himself to mention Russia. But more to the point, what he’s describing here is collusion, plain and simple. He goes on to say that he wouldn’t report it to the FBI because “the FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it.” Sure, because there are only 13,412 special agents and 20,420 support professionals.

Trump may have point. 33,000 FBI agents might not be enough to investigate all of the crimes that he has committed. In this interview he said once that he might alert the FBI to unlawful communications with foreign governments. But he said four times that he wouldn’t. And he said it again in a series of tweets on Thursday morning:

Notice that the examples he uses are our allies. Once again, he refuses to implicate Vladimir Putin and his pals in the Kremlin. He also fails to mention whether these talks included getting dirt on his opponents. He is deliberately trying to deflect from the real issue. And unfortunately, that will work on his Deplorable followers and his shills at Fox News.

The bottom line is that Trump’s remarks are a direct invitation to our enemies to engage in hacking or other illegal activities and pass along what they steal to Trump. He has already told them that he’d listen. So why wouldn’t they do it? He is unambiguously soliciting a criminal act. And for that alone Trump should be impeached and imprisoned.

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

Trump Confesses Collusion with Russia While His Lawyer Jay Sekulow Lies About Trump Tower Meeting

On Sunday morning’s edition of This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow about his prior statements concerning the infamous meeting in Trump Tower. That was where Don Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and other Trump associates conspired with Russian operatives to acquire emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Donald Trump

As a refresher, what Sekulow said at the time was that the meeting was an innocent gathering to discuss adoption issues. He further said that Donald Trump knew nothing about it and had no role in the false explanations that were disseminated to the press.

Of course, we now know that Trump dictated those phony excuses. And we know it because Sekulow admitted it in a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller. What’s more, Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is said to be ready to testify that Trump was aware of the meeting before they took place, and approved of it. At this point that’s almost academic since the evidence shows that Trump was talking about the ill-gotten fruits of the meeting in public in advance of it.

Remember, this was a meeting in his own building, with his son, his son-in-law, and his campaign manager, to discuss Russian dirt on his opponent, during his campaign. Gee, why would anyone think he knew anything about it? Nevertheless, that was the position of Sekulow and the whole Trump regime. But on This Week Sekulow said this (video below):

“I was in the case at that point a couple of weeks and there was a lot of information that was gathering, and as my colleague Rudy Giuliani said, I had bad information at that time. I made a mistake in my statement. I talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this.”

Actually, that is most definitely not what happens in cases like this. In cases like this it is imperative that attorneys collect and disseminate only well researched and documented information. Anything less is a flagrant disservice to their client, as is evident by what’s going on now. But that isn’t the worst thing about Sekulow’s remarks.

The worst part is that the entire statement is riddled with lies. If Sekulow had “bad information” at the time, then why didn’t he correct the record after he was able to get good information. He had over a year to do that. He had access to the people who attended the meeting. Why didn’t he get statements from them to set the record straight? In fact, why didn’t they offer corrections themselves without being prodded by Sekulow? They knew what he said on TV and they knew is was false. Every one of them let the lies fester for a year. And, of course, Trump himself knew that what his lawyer said wasn’t true, but he didn’t bother to correct him either.

What’s more, you have to ask why Team Trump told so many lies about the meeting in the first place. If they all considered it to be innocent and legal there should be no reason to invent fictional scenarios that were sure to be uncovered eventually. That’s not the way innocent people behave. And they allowed those lies to gather mold for months, purposefully deceiving the American people as well as the investigating authorities.

And, for the first time, Trump himself has acknowledged that the subject of the Trump Tower meeting was to obtain dirt about Clinton from Russia. That’s a bombshell admission that also reveals that he lied when he told the press that it was about adoptions, and also when he dictated the lies that Don Jr told.

This tweet is confession that Trump colluded with Russia to get dirt on Clinton. It’s as simple as that. Furthermore, it isn’t legal and it isn’t done all the time. To the contrary, this has never been done, that anyone knows of. And it is strictly against the law to conspire with a foreign government to interfere with an election. It’s also illegal to accept cash, or anything of value (like stolen emails), without disclosing it in campaign finance reports.

Since we know that Trump and company have lied about whether there ever was a meeting with Russians, and then lied about the subject of the meeting, and then lied about the participants, and then lied about why they told the previous lies, then it’s a good bet that the lies Trump just told will also be exposed in short order. That being his claim that he didn’t know about the meeting. Anyone who believes that is terminally naive. It’s just a matter of time before the truth about this comes out, just like the truth about the meeting did. And when it does you can expect Trump start tweeting about illegal MS-13 immigrant children on a nationwide killing spree who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

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

Fox News Buries Bombshell on Trump’s Fixer Michael Cohen – Posts Fake Obama/Iran Story Instead

On Monday morning there was one big story that was dominating the news. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s attorney – and self-described fixer – was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC News. In the interview Cohen pretty clearly indicated that he was no longer willing to “take a bullet” for Trump. He told Stephanopoulos that “My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will.”

Fox News, Michael Cohen, Obama

This development is properly being handled like the bombshell that it is by most of the media. Cohen’s additional announcement that he will no longer participate in a joint defense agreement with Trump is generally regarded as a prelude to flipping on the President and cooperating with prosecutors. Even Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News said Trump should have some “sleepless nights” over this.

However, if you were to visit the Fox News website Monday morning you would have had a hard time finding anything related to this blockbuster story. A long scroll down the front page would have eventually brought you to a single line on the subject that linked to a two minute video clip. Later in the day that was replaced by the Napolitano quote. And on the air, Fox News covered the story on Outnumbered in a segment that cast Cohen as “not credible” because he was “going against” the President. Apparently on Fox News that’s all you need to know to be considered not credible.

Meanwhile, the Fox News website chose to put a story at the top of their page that was somewhat less timely. The headline: “Path to Citizenship? Powerful cleric claims Obama naturalized thousands of Iranian VIPs during nuke talks.” Fox had to reach back three years to pull this story out of the woodwork. And it was still just a jumble of fiercely spinning jabs at President Obama. None of them hit their mark because they were so far fetched and thinly argued. The article said that:

“The Obama administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians, including family members of government officials, while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, a senior cleric and member of parliament has claimed.

“Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, who is chairman of Iran’s parliamentary nuclear committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs committee, made the allegations during an interview with the country’s Etemad newspaper, cited by the country’s Fars News agency.

“He claimed it was done as a favor to senior Iranian officials linked to President Hassan Rouhani, and he alleged the move sparked a competition among Iranian officials over whose children would benefit from the scheme.”

First of all, everything being reported here is coming from Iran’s state news operation and a hardliner within the Iranian government. For some reason Fox News is granting them the journalistic legitimacy that they would never give to the New York Times, or CNN. But more to the point, the article actually outlines a story wherein Obama allowed Iranian dissidents to emigrate to the United States where they are reportedly working against the national interests of the theocratic, totalitarians in Iran. But that isn’t revealed until much further down in the article:

“[Zolnour] estimated that between 30 and 60 were studying in the U.S. while the rest of them were working in the country ‘against our national interests.'”

So Fox News is deliberately trying to cast Obama in a negative light as having done favors for the offspring of Iranian dictators. But the truth is that he was securing the freedom of Iranian dissidents who oppose the current regime. And this fake news story was elevated to the top of the page, even while the much more consequential (and truthful) story about Michael Cohen was virtually eliminated. It’s kind of ironic that Fox is offering this lesson in how State TV works in an article about Iran’s state TV. Fox News can teach Iran so much about propaganda.

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

UPDATE: By Monday afternoon Fox News had replaced their Obama/Iran feature story with one about California splitting into three states. That may be even less newsworthy (and extremely unlikely to happen) than the Iran story. And still just one small link to Cohen, this one linking to a video clip with Shepard Smith.

Giuliani Says the Reason Trump Can’t Testify is Because He’s Either a Liar or a Mental Defective

Rudy Giuliani continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Every time he appears on television he manages to dig his only client, Donald Trump, into a deeper, more vermin-infested swamp hole. If we didn’t know better, we might be inclined to believe that Giuliani is a part of the “Deep State” that is conspiring to destroy Trump and replace him with a Hillary Clinton lizard clone.

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week, Giuliani was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. Among the subjects discussed was the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. Despite Trump’s repeated, panicky tweetstorms insisting that he’s innocent, this inquiry has already produced dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas. Trump’s painfully obvious consciousness of guilt was on display this week when he accused the Justice Department of leaking a letter to Robert Mueller that Trump or his lawyers most likely leaked themselves.

During the interview Giuliani was asked about the prospects of Trump being questioned by Mueller. For months the Trump team has been wavering on this matter with contradictory assertions that he would love to sit down with the special counsel or that he would foolish to do so. Stephanopoulos eventually asked specifically about the recent discovery that Trump’s lawyers outright lied about whether the President dictated Don, Jr.’s response to his meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. And Giuliani took that as cue to put Trump in a distinctly negative light (video below):

Stephanopoulos: It’s not a complicated thing. The President was there. He was dealing with the letter. First it was all denied. And now you’re saying he dictated it.
Giuliani: Jay [Sekolow] would have to answer that. I think Jay was wrong. This is the reason you don’t let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing, or we’re not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption.

Well, that clears things up. Giuliani is saying that Trump must not be allowed to testify because he is likely to commit perjury. Either that or he is too mentally impaired to remember critical details of his own behavior. But it’s even worse than having a poor memory. Giuliani is saying that Trump’s recollections of specific events might actually be different depending on when you ask him. That’s an admission that Trump is, in effect, unfit to hold office.

On an interesting side note, Giuliani didn’t say what he thought Sekulow was wrong about: His first statement that Trump had nothing to do with Don, Jr.’s response, or the one in the letter to Mueller saying that Trump dictated it. Either way, the fact that Giuliani also threw his colleague, Jay Sekulow, under the bus is just icing on the psychotic meltdown that Rudy was having on the air. So far Sekulow has not commented on Giuliani’s assertion that he was wrong about – something.

The bottom line here is that Giuliani is actually right. Trump is very likely to either lie or reveal his decaying grasp of reality if he testifies for Mueller. That’s obviously a dangerous course of action for the President. But more troubling is the fact that if Trump is too impaired to meet with Mueller, then he’s also too impaired to meet with Kim Jong Un, or Vladimir Putin, or even members of Congress. How can Republicans – or America – tolerate a president who, by his own attorney’s account, can’t consistently inhabit the real world?

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

Trump Told Fox News that the U.S. is Just as Bad as Russia and Tried to Make Comey Agree

The ABC interview of James Comey Sunday night had some juicy quotables. The interview precedes the release of his book, A Higher Loyalty, which is currently number one on Amazon. Comey’s opinion that Donald Trump is “morally unfit to be president” seems to be getting the most play in the morning-after media. But Comey also introduced several “possibilities” that are hard to ignore. He said that it’s possible that Trump is “compromised by the Russians.” He said that there is possible evidence of Trump obstructing justice. And he said that it is possible that Trump “was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow.”

Comey Trump

All of those are harrowing thoughts when applied to the President of the United States. And particularly so when they come from one of the highest law enforcement officials in the American federal government. The harmful prospects implied by those remarks cannot be overstated. And they will surely play a part in the unfolding investigation being conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

In addition, there was a surprising allusion to Trump’s favorite cable news network, Fox News. It reveals the extent to which he is preoccupied with everything he sees and hears from his shadow policy advisors on the network, who too often become his actual White House advisors. The exchange occurred when George Stephanopoulos asked Trump about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, a unambiguously brutal dictator who Trump has never been able to say a single bad word about. This is what ensued (transcript here, video below):

“The Super Bowl pre-game show where– and I hadn’t asked any questions about this, but the president was just talking about it, he had given an answer to Bill O’Reilly that had been much criticized across the political spectrum when he had said, in response to a question, that he respected Vladimir Putin and said, ‘That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.’

“And then O’Reilly responded, ‘But he’s a killer.” And the president responded, in substance, “But we’re killers, too. You think our country’s so innocent.’ I forget the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. And that moral equivalence, between the people of our government and Putin’s thugs, had generated a lot of controversy. […]

“He was telling me it was a good answer and then said – gave me an opening by saying, ‘You think it was a great answer. You think it was a good answer.’ And then he was starting to move on. And I jumped in and I said, ‘Mr. President, the first part of the answer was fine, not the second part. We’re not the kind of killers that Putin is.’

And when I said that, the weather changed in the room. And like a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look. And I thought in that moment, ‘I’ve just done something unusual maybe.’ And then (SNAP) it passed and the meeting was over. And, ‘Thanks for coming in,’ and – and Priebus walked me out.”

Comey regarded that exchange as having an unintended positive result. He said that “by interrupting him and also criticizing him to his face,” it ended any personal relationship between him and Trump. It allowed him to “keep a distance that we need to keep from him.” But it also showed that Trump has an unhealthy obsession with whatever he says on Fox News being validated by everyone with whom he comes into contact. Trump desperately wanted Comey to agree that what he told O’Reilly was brilliant.

Of course, what he told O’Reilly was an insult to America and blatantly unpatriotic. Even O’Reilly thought so. Putin is guilty of murdering his political opponents and critical journalists. He is a cold-blooded tyrant who thirsts for world domination. Whatever flaws the U.S. has, they are not on that level of evil. But Comey’s refusal to suck up to Trump caused the President to freeze up. And it may have been at that moment that he decided that Comey had to go.

The cumulative effect of the Russia investigation and Comey’s lack of adoring fealty to Trump sealed his fate. So ironically, Fox News, the PR division of the Trump White House, may have inadvertently played a role in proving that Trump obstructed justice. Who’da thunk it?

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

BENGHAZI? Watch Kellyanne Conway Resort to Classic Dodge to Avoid Defending Trump’s Lies

The guardians of Donald Trump’s floundering presidency are finding it ever more difficult carry out their task. They now have to deal with a special prosecutor ramping up investigations of the President. Grand juries are being impaneled in Washington, Virginia, and New York. And a flurry of new lies erupt from the White House every day. What’s a dedicated Trump shill supposed to do?

Kellyanne Conway

Well, Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” we may have found out. Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos about the blatant contradictions by Trump and company about their interactions with Russia. He summarized the situation and asked Conway for her explanation for the various accounts (video below):

“The White House and the President’s surrogates have told conflicting stories. First they said there no contacts with Russians. Then it turned out there were at least eighteen contacts. The story broke in the New York Times saying the President was involved in the drafting of his son Don, Jr.’s misleading response to that meeting he had with Russians during the campaign. And Jay Sekulow, the President’s attorney, came on GMA and told me the President was not involved.”

Stephanopoulos noted that the original statement and the one offered after the Times story were “very different answers in the space of two weeks.” But Conway’s response evaded the question to say that the meeting was of no consequence. She continues to deny the consequences of just agreeing to meet with Russian operatives to obtain campaign information. Even if nothing was obtained, the effort itself was an attempt at collusion. Conway added that Trump’s involvement in drafting Junior’s response was merely “weighing in as a father.” Of course. Every father has had that experience where they help their adult son to lie about meetings with America’s enemies.

Stephanopoulos persisted to challenge her on the shifting facts. He noted that the first statement was totally false and that the President and his lawyers “didn’t tell the truth.” To which Conway replied with a series of alleged falsehoods from the distant past. She raised the matter of whether or not people could keep their doctors under ObamaCare. And then she actually brought up Benghazi and tried to make that relevant to this discussion.

Let’s not get into a debate as to whether those were actually examples of untrue statements. The main point here is that Conway was utterly incapable of defending the lies from Trump’s White House. So reached into the past hoping to grasp a rhetorical lifeline. Stephanopoulos’ complaint that Conway was just changing the subject fell on deaf ears. When he asked if Trump could be truthful about the Russia investigations, Conway swerved to repeat Trump’s baseless assertion that the whole thing was fabricated.

By the end of the interview, Conway didn’t once respond directly to the charge that Trump and his surrogates lied. There are obvious differences between their initial accounts of the meetings and the facts that they later conceded. Plus, the false claim that Trump had nothing to do with Junior’s first statement remains unexplained. And Conway’s flagrant evasions only serve to highlight how overwhelmed she and her associates are.

They are quite simply out of answers. The tsunami of lies that flow from Trump have exhausted his defenders. And since they have emptied their arsenal of arguments, be prepared to hear more from yesteryear’s classics like Benghazi. And if they get desperate enough they might even revive Obama’s birth certificate and Monica Lewinski.

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

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Says Trump’s Medicaid Cuts Are Not Medicaid Cuts

Sunday morning the inventor of “alternative facts” was at it again. Donald Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway made an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. TrumpCare, as it is known, has been widely criticized by a bipartisan array of politicians and pundits. Even Trump tagged the House version of the bill as “mean.”

Kellyanne Conway

Among the complaints are that it would result in higher deductibles and premiums, eliminate protection for preexisting conditions, and throw more than twenty million people off of their health insurance plans. What’s more, it would be paid for by giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy.

It’s issues like those that have caused at least five GOP senators to announce their opposition to the bill. If those numbers hold the bill cannot pass. Republicans have a two-vote margin and can expect no help from Democrats. Adding to its problems is that TrumpCare would impose severe cuts to Medicaid. Despite repeatedly promising to never cut the program, Trump is nevertheless enthusiastically supporting the bill. This support comes even though the senate version is even meaner than the one the House passed:

“The much more drastic changes in the Senate bill as compared to the House bill come in the realm of Medicaid. The House bill immediately ended enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion to able-bodied low-income adults under the ACA, while the Senate bill would slowly phase that funding out. This, in theory, would put millions fewer people immediately in the ranks of the uninsured and increase government spending over the House plan.”

Undeterred by reality, Conway addressed the issue in her interview with Stephanopoulos. She was asked directly about the how the bill cuts 800 billion dollars from Medicaid and asked why Trump is going back on his promise. Her lie-riddled, word salad reply was that:

“These are not cuts to Medicaid. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars because they’re closer to the people in need. […] If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We’re talking about in the future.

“You know, ObamaCare took Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick, the disabled. Also children and pregnant women. It took it and went way above the poverty line. Opened it up to many able-bodied Americans who should probably see if there are other options for them.”

Stephanopoulos deserves some credit for not allowing Conway to advance the falsehood that the bill doesn’t cut Medicaid. He also challenged her baseless assertion that no one on Medicaid now would be affected. He pressed Conway to address the matter of the 800 billion dollars in cuts, to which she replied, “You keep calling them cuts. But we don’t see them as cuts.”

And therein lies the heart of the problem. Trump and his shills have created their own language that ignores the reality of any situation. They will feverishly spin until the rhetoric is hopelessly removed from anything resembling the truth. It’s a strategy that is ultimately aimed at creating confusion and muddying the waters so that a coherent dialog is impossible. And no one is better at that than Conway.

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

Trump’s Campaign Of Lies Is Portrayed As ‘Refreshing’ By His VP Mike Pence

A couple of weeks ago the Oxford Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its Word of the Year for 2016. They define it as the preference for emotion and personal belief over objective facts. That’s been the operative model for Donald Trump’s campaign from the very start. Now his top staff are cementing the strategy into his developing presidency.

Trump/Pence

Trump recently tweeted that he would have won the popular vote but for the “millions of people who voted illegally.” That nonsense won him his 61st Pants-On-Fire lie from PolitiFact. He never bothered to provide any evidence to support the claim. And the evidence provided by his spokespersons didn’t even address the subject.

It’s clear that Trump and his minions have no respect for the truth. One of his most prominent surrogates, Scottie Nell Hughes of CNN, came right out and admitted it. In a recent radio interview she said that “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” We are truly over the rainbow here, folks.

The latest tunnel-blind defense of Trump’s brazen dishonesty goes even further to malign the existence of facts. His Chief of Staff nominee, Reince Priebus, was asked by John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation about Trump’s tweet. Priebus responded saying:

“Here’s the thing, no one really knows. You don’t know. […] I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country. He’s not taking conventional thought on every single issue.”

Indeed. He has caused people to think – that their President-Elect is a pathological liar. What Priebus is calling “pushing the envelope” and “unconventional thought” are better known to most people as bullshitting. This parade of euphemisms continued on the Sunday TV news circuit with VP-Elect Mike Pence. George Stephanopoulos asked him if Trump had “a right to make false statements.” Pence replied that:

“It’s his right to express his opinion. […] And I think the American people find it very refreshing that they have a president who will tell them what’s on his mind.”

Once again, propagating purposeful falsehoods is framed benignly as expressing an opinion. These people don’t think there’s any difference between a politically partisan spin on a personal belief and a demonstrable fact. They are actually seeking to abolish the concept of facts in order to dispense their fabrications without consequences. It’s the same approach they take to disparaging the media. They don’t do it as responsible criticism, but as a means to eliminate any critical judgment of their deliberate distortions of reality. And to that end, Trump tweeted this defense of his obsession with Twitter:

Of course, what he really objects to are those rare occasions when the press does cover him accurately and honorably. Sad.

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

Tax-Dodger Donald: Trump’s Own Documents Prove He Lied About The Value Of His Properties

Is Donald Trump a billionaire or a world-class grifter?

It has been difficult to pin down Trump’s net worth because he refuses to release his taxes until an alleged audit is complete. That excuse has been ridiculed by experts and even the IRS says there is nothing preventing him from making his own tax information public. Nevertheless, he is continuing to hide behind his lawyers and now says that his returns might not be released until after the election.

Donald Trump

Tax returns have been a staple disclosure in politics for nearly half a century. Hillary Clinton has made more than thirty years of returns available to the public. But Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this weekend that his tax rate is “none of your business.” However, there is data available through other tax filings that is shedding some light on Trump’s mysterious empire.

ABC News is reporting (video below) that the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, was valued on Trump’s candidate disclosure statement at “more than $50 million.” The high valuation serves Trump’s political purposes to portray himself as a successful businessman. But when he declared the assessment of the resort for tax purposes he claimed that it was worth only $1.75 million. The difference between his tax declaration and his candidate disclosure amounts to a savings of 90% on his tax bill.

When asked by ABC’s Brian Ross to comment on the discrepancy, he was told that the matter was “decades old and not worthy of a response.” He said much the same thing to reporters asking about the recent discovery of an audio tape of him posing as his own fictional press agent when talking to the media. This is a statute of limitations that only applies to Trump, whose obsession with the Clintons’ marital difficulties from the 1990s he still considers fair game.

The ABC story cited several other instances when Trump was less than honest about paying his taxes. One particularly egregious incident was when he purchased the yacht that became his beloved “Trump Princess.” At the time he pretended to have a patriotic incentive for buying the luxury liner. He said:

“I like to see the great jewels of the country being owned by the people of this country. And it had a big play as to why I bought this boat.”

However, as Ross reported, Trump “used off-shore and out-of-state corporations to buy the yacht and saved him a tax bill of some $1.75 million.” What a patriot. Something that Ross left out is that later, when Trump was undergoing a severe financial crisis, he sold the yacht to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. So much for “the great jewels of the country.”

The Trump National property was purchased in foreclosure for $8 million, and he spent another $45 million developing the golf course and the club house. So either this property suffered a massive decline in value and Trump isn’t worth what he says he is, or he is deliberately undervaluing it to avoid his legal tax bill. Either way, one of his public declarations is a flagrant lie. And with this report by ABC News will the media pick up the story and begin to tell the truth about Trump’s dishonesty?

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