Unprecedented Chaos in the Trump White House: 6 Key Posts Turnover in Only 6 Months

The first term of Donald Trump’s administration is only six months old, But it’s such an unmitigated disaster that it’s effectively already over. Many of the top positions in the White House have failed spectacularly. Trump’s campaign assertion that he “has the best people” begs the question: best at what? Obviously they aren’t the best at governing or performing the jobs for which they were hired.

Donald Trump

In only six months Trump has already replaced several of his key staffers. And others are anxiously waiting for the ax to fall on their own precariously exposed necks. This is a historically catastrophic degree of turnover by officials tasked with essential civic duties. There is simply no way any administration can be functional with so much perilous volatility.

The departments that have seen their leaders repealed and replaced are not trivial figureheads. They are mission critical managers upon whom rest competent governance and national security. What follows are some of the posts that are already starting over after a disastrous half year of Trump’s failure of leadership.

National Security Advisor
Within a mere three weeks of his appointment, Gen. Michael Flynn was dismissed under a cloud of scandal. He was closely associated with Russian operatives during Trump’s campaign. What’s more, he failed to disclose those relationships as required by law. Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to him and Vice-President Pence about his meetings with Russians. However, Trump denied that there was anything improper about the meetings.

Press Secretary
The most visible person in any presidential administration is the press secretary. Trump’s first choice for that post was Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice). In the few months that he managed to hold onto the job he was castigated for being overtly dishonest. His first public appearance was spent lying about the crowd estimates at Trump’s inaugural address. It was all downhill from there. Spicer often claimed not to have spoken with the President on key questions raised by reporters. And in an attempt to avoid further bad publicity, he shut down the daily press briefings or prohibited cameras. During his tenure far-right fringe outfits like Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars were granted press credentials. And all of this took place under the president who declared the media “the enemy of the American people.”

Communications Director
The first person appointed to this post was not especially noteworthy. Michael Dubke’s short tenure went almost completely unnoticed. He was replaced briefly by Sean Spicer in an acting capacity. Then Trump named Anthony Scaramucci to the post permanently. Scaramucci came screaming out of the gate with wild accusations and insults directed at Spicer and others in the administration. His profanity-laced diatribes against Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon made headlines for the worst possible reasons. But he did represent the President in the vulgar fashion to which is accustomed.

[UPDATE:] Scaramucci has been fired. Sources say that the new White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, wanted to select his own team. Translation: Get that vulgar piece af crap out of my White House.

Chief of Staff
And speaking of Reince Priebus, shortly after Scaramucci’s unhinged tirade, Priebus was ousted from his job. But like a good little sycophant, he praised both Trump and Scaramucci on his way out the door. Entering the Oval Office to replace Priebus was Gen. John Kelly, currently Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Trump announced Kelly’s appointment in glowing terms that highlighted the “spectacular” job Kelly did at DHS. It is, therefore, curious that Trump would take this star performer from his job protecting America, and selfishly limit his role to one of protecting just the President.

Secretary of Homeland Security
Of course, Kelly’s transfer leaves the vital post of DHS secretary vacant. It remains to be seen who Trump will offer as a replacement. Some Washington insiders have speculated that he might move Attorney General Jeff Sessions into the job. But you have to wonder why Trump would give such an important job to someone he has publicly said has disappointed him? The answer may be that Trump wants an excuse to remove Sessions as AG so that he can replace him as well. It’s no secret that Trump wants to fire special counselor Robert Mueller. Sessions can’t do that because of his recusal on matters related to that investigation.

FBI Director
Last May Trump shocked the nation by firing FBI Director James Comey. That impetuous and self-serving action set in motion many of Trump’s current problems. It’s why Sessions had to recuse himself. And it’s why there is a special counselor investigating Trump, his campaign, and his finances. In particular, Trump has exposed himself to impeachable charges of obstruction of justice. Comey’s department was investigating Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Trump even admitted that his reason for firing Comey was because of “this Russia thing.”

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

These high-level staff turnovers are unique for a presidency that’s only six months old. It speaks to the incompetence and erratic nature of this president. The rest of his cabinet is just as conflicted, corrupt, and unqualified as those that have been cast out. They just haven’t had their public meltdowns yet. And if anyone is surprised by the turmoil in Washington, they haven’t been paying attention. Donald Trump is the most conflicted, corrupt, and unqualified of the bunch. And his day will come as well. Hopefully before he has had a chance to do much more damage.

It’s Not Just Comey: Trump’s Scorched Earth Policy Toward Those Investigating Him

The legal concept of “consciousness of guilt” is when a suspect behaves in a manner that an innocent person would not. For example, engaging in actions to hide evidence or cover up participation in unlawful events. Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is the best evidence to date that he is aware of his culpability in a crime. It’s hard not to recognize that he knows that the law is circling around him and he is running scared.

Donald Trump

News reports are filling in some of the blanks since the bombshell announcement about Comey. One report notes that subpoenas have been issued by a Grand Jury investigating Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia. Another reveals that Comey had recently requested additional funds for the FBI’s probe. Sensing the noose tightening, Trump tweeted:

The next day Trump fired Comey. No matter what opinions one has of Comey, it is undeniable that Trump’s abrupt dismissal of him is troubling. Terminating an FBI Director who is leading an active investigation is a wholly inappropriate interference with the administration of justice. And the explanation provided by the administration couldn’t be more absurd. Does anyone believe that Trump fired Comey because Comey was too tough on Hillary Clinton?

The Comey debacle would be bad enough on its own. However, it is just the latest in a string of personnel moves that form a disturbing pattern.

In January Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates is a career prosecutor who spent 27 years with the Justice Department serving presidents of both parties. The publicly stated reason for her termination was that she refused to defend Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban in court. However, it later became known that Yates personally warned Trump about Flynn’s Russian connections. She provided documentation of the possibility that he had been compromised and advised Trump to act. It took Trump eighteen days to do so. Meanwhile, Yates had already been handed her pink slip.

In March Trump fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Well respected by his colleagues, Bharara also had the bipartisan support of Congress. Even Trump supported him at first and personally asked him to stay on. That didn’t last long. Trump’s support began to unravel after his unhinged tweet that President Obama had wiretapped him. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the investigation into that claim fell into his jurisdiction. Bharara was also in charge of the probe into allegations of securities violations by Fox News. All of that put Bharara on Trump’s hit list. And it’s more than a little peculiar that a leading candidate to replace Bharara is Marc Mukasey. Mukasey is the personal lawyer of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

So Trump has fired Yates, Bharara, and now Comey, without any defensible reasons for doing so. The one thing they have in common is that they were all investigating Trump or his associates. It’s indicative of a tyrannical obsession to eliminate one’s perceived enemies. At the very least it’s vindictive. And we know that Trump is often motivated by retribution.

Take for instance his treatment of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who presided over the Trump University fraud case. Trump repeatedly denigrated the judge and accused him of being unfit to rule in the case. Trump’s reasoning was that the judge is Mexican and “I’m building a wall.” For the record, Curiel was born in Indiana. Trump also went after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Perhaps that had something to do with Schneiderman’s probe into Trump’s business dealings and conflicts of interest. Trump lashed at Schneiderman, calling him a “lightweight” and “the worst attorney general in the US.” He even implied that Schneiderman was a “cokehead.”

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

Of course, Trump’s knee-jerk, juvenile, attacks on anyone who criticizes him is well documented. He blasted an entire court system (the 9th district) when they stayed his Muslim ban. And his political foes all get silly nicknames (Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, etc.). It’s a psychological symptom of inferiority, narcissism, and paranoia. And it’s playing out daily on a very public stage. The consequences are dire for those who challenge his authority. But they are even worse for the nation – and the world – as Trump’s fear of being held to account drives him deeper into madness.

Trump’s New National Security Advisor Rejects His ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Hogwash

For most of the Obama administration, conservative pundits and politicians sang a common refrain to castigate his anti-terrorism efforts. They offered little of substance to alter or improve the situation, but they were convinced of one thing. Just saying “radical Islamic terrorism” would send the enemy scurrying away forever. They regarded it as a magic incantation that would result in a glorious victory. {See The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine). Never mind that most experts rejected such rhetoric as counterproductive. They knew that it would alienate the Muslims who are critical to any successful fight against terrorism.

McMaster Trump

Among the chorus of wingnuts was our now-President, Donald Trump. Throughout his campaign he employed the mindless chant. He used it this week in his speech to CPAC. “We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he ranted. True to form, he never explained how he would do that.

One of Trump’s first appointees was Gen. Michael Flynn as the National Security Advisor. Flynn lasted all of 24 days in the job. He was fired by Trump after news broke that he had inappropriate discussions with Russian agents during the campaign. Making matters worse is that reports reveal that Trump knew about Flynn’s activities but still made him the fall guy.

After a couple of respected national security experts declined Trump’s offer to replace Flynn, Trump got Gen. H.R. McMaster to accept the position. McMaster is considered to be a warrior-scholar with an independent streak. And he’s already displaying a profound measure of independence. According to the New York Times:

“President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.”

McMaster, reportedly told his new staff that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” That’s a direct repudiation of the position of Trump and senior aides such as Stephen Bannon. Not to mention virtually every Republican in Congress. The only question is whether Trump will respect the advice of a bona fide expert, or rely on partisan political hacks and propagandists. If the past is any indication, Trump is not going to be easily persuaded. Last year he tweeted:

Hopefully someone in the “fake news” will ask Trump to reconcile that statement with the views of his new National Security Advisor. McMaster’s position is one that has broad agreement in the security community. They recognize that saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” or otherwise associating the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists, is unwise and dangerous. We need to preserve our ability to form coalitions with Muslim nations in the Middle-East. Their cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. And broadly demeaning their faith works against that objective. But it’s more than that. Accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists is tantamount to acting as their PR department. They desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. So why would Trump and his GOP cohorts insist on granting the terrorists that victory?

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

It remains to be seen how Trump will respond to McMaster’s comments. It is also notable the McMaster doesn’t share Trump’s opinion of Russia. He is unequivocal about Russia being an unfriendly adversary. Trump, on the other hand, is eager to cozy up to Putin. Under the circumstances, McMaster’s tenure as NSA might not last much longer than Flynn’s, but for entirely different reasons.

Trump’s CPAC Speech: Narcissistic Blather And Incoherent Attacks On The Media

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for 2017 is currently in progress. And on Friday it featured its star attraction, President Donald Trump. Trump could have stayed home and just delivered a video from any of his campaign stump speeches. His speech (transcript) was entirely devoid of any new thoughts he might have had after being president for a month. Of course, that’s presuming he ever has any new thoughts.

Donald Trump CPAC

Trump began with a familiar topic: himself. He rambled aimlessly for several minutes about whether he had just received a standing ovation. And of course he rattled off false statistics about his allegedly record setting electoral achievements. Then, after a few minutes of right-wing boot-licking, he bragged about how much he is loved by the CPAC crowd. One of his boasts concerned how well he did in polling after his previous CPAC speeches. The truth, however, is that he lost most of the CPAC straw polls bigly. In 2015 he registered a pathetic eigth place finish with only 3.5 percent of the vote. Last year, with the presidential campaign in full swing, he finished a distant third with 15 percent.

Trump did manage to stuff in the usual conservative issues and wingnut applause lines. He promised to fight terrorism, repeal ObamaCare, deport Mexicans, cut taxes, and build a wall. And he would preside over the biggest military buildup ever, and spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, while eliminating the national debt. As usual, he provided no details as to how he would accomplish any of those fantastical goals.

Much of the speech was focused on his infamous hatred for the free press, or as he calls it, the “fake news.” He opened this part of his address with a manic declaration. “I want you all to know,” he ranted, “that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake. Phony. Fake.” Then he elaborated:

“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There’re no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said, ‘Give me a break.’ Because I know the people, I know who they talk to. There were no nine people. But they say ‘nine people.’ And somebody reads it and they think, ‘Oh, nine people. They have nine sources.’ They make up sources.”

Indeed, Trump railed about the media as the enemy of the American people. That’s a phrase that maligns the First Amendment, and has its roots in Mao’s China. But his mad ravings about the “nine sources” is especially puzzling. That’s because he’s referring to a story in the Washington Post about his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. The Post reported that they had nine sources affirming that Flynn had inappropriate discussions with Russian agents during the campaign. As a result of that story, Trump fired Flynn. Is he now contending that he fired his top national security aide because of a fake story with no sources? Who knows? And it doesn’t get any more comprehensible from there:

“They’re very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out. And now I’m saying, ‘Oh no, this is no good.’ But that’s the way they are.” […]

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. ‘A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being.’ Let ’em say it to my face. Let there be no more sources.”

Huh? First of all, without any sources there wouldn’t be any stories. And anonymity is necessary at times when the source is threatened professionally, financially, or physically. And, of course, Trump’s administration has its own anonymous sources that pass information to the press. Will he identify them all now? The only part of that that made any sense was the part about him being a “horrible human being.”

As for Trump’s assertion that he specified only fake news as the enemy of the people, he’s right. But his assertion that reports left that word out is nonsense. In most cases cases they quoted his tweet verbatim and showed it on screen or in print. Furthermore, his tweet accusing the media of fakery was pretty broadly stated. He explicitly cited the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN. Apparently, Trump regards only Fox News, Infowars, the National Enquirer, and Breitbart News as non-fake. And he still isn’t through:

“They say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. You know, they always bring up the First Amendment. And I love the First Amendment; nobody loves it better than me. Nobody. I mean, who use it more than I do? […] So just in finishing, I say it doesn’t represent the people. It doesn’t tell the – never will represent the people. And we’re going to do something about it because we have to go out and have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.”

Who ever said that he can’t criticize the media? Are the voices in his head shouting louder than the Fox News blowhards on his TV? And for someone who claims to appreciate the First Amendment, he has a funny way of showing it. Friday afternoon his press secretary explicitly banned several news organizations from an informal briefing. After admitting right-wing propaganda outfits like Breitbart and the One America News Network, Sean Spicer shut the door. He refused entry to CNN, the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News. This is in direct contradiction of a promise he made last December that he would “absolutely not” ban any credentialed journalists. So much for fairness and transparency in the Trump press office.

So just in finishing, WTF does Trump mean when he says that the media “doesn’t represent the people” and that he’s “going to do something about it?” What exactly does he have in mind? And does he think it’s the job of the president to make the media represent the people, as he defines it?

This CPAC speech was another in long line of embarrassingly maniacal orations that have come to epitomize the Trumpian sermonizing. They are filled with lies, exaggerations, boasting, and malice toward many. And to the extent that they can be comprehended, they are almost entirely lacking in substance. Yet somehow, his glassy-eyed followers cheer wildly as if he said something that wasn’t gibberish. That may be the saddest – and scariest – part of the Era of Trump.

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

FOX NEWS (!?!) Reveals What Trump Knew About Flynn’s Talks With The Russians

What may be the most scandalous saga to date from the nascent Trump administration continues to unfold in shocking ways. The latest revelation comes from Fox News. That’s right, Fox News! Correspondent John Roberts reported that his investigation of fired National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, has uncovered an account of events that contradicts President Donald Trump (video below).

Trump Flynn

Roberts reports that:

“The president was, in fact, fully briefed on the content of those conversations that Gen. Michael Flynn had with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, by people who would know what the content of those phone conversations was.”

Trump began by denying that he knew about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. When that story failed he denied having any details of the substance of those talks. This report reveals that Trump not only knew that the talks took place, but what they talked about.

In Thursday’s press conference Trump addressed the Flynn firing specifically. He said that he didn’t think Flynn had done anything wrong by talking to the Russians. In fact, he said he would have directed Flynn to do so. That’s an odd statement because it begs the question: Why didn’t he give that direction?

However, Trump also clarified the reason he fired Flynn saying that “I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence.” So Trump fired Flynn because Flynn had not told Pence that he discussed sanctions with the Russians. But Fox’s report reveals that Trump also knew about Flynn’s conversations, including the sanctions, but Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So both Trump and Flynn withheld the same information from Pence, but Trump fired Flynn for it.

None of this makes any sense. Trump doesn’t think Flynn’s conversations with the Russians were wrong. The only thing that was wrong, according to Trump, was not telling Pence. But Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So was Trump wrong? And if not, then why was Flynn fired?

Are you confused yet? Then you’re normal. Clearly this entire affair was a disaster. There should never have been any talks during the campaign between Trump’s people and a hostile foreign government. We have just one president at a time. Consequently, Trump’s scrambling to find excuses for all of this just churns out more bullshit as he goes along.

The new revelations from Fox News prove that Trump’s story is an ever-changing fiction. And the fact that the proof is coming from Fox is significant in and of itself. When the nation finally learns what has been going on between Trump and Russia, there is certain to be more shocking details revealed. Perhaps they will explain Trump’s constant defense of Vladimir Putin and his reluctance to ever criticize the Russian dictator. And maybe we’ll also find out just how intertwined Putin was with Trump’s campaign.

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

Fibby Spice: Sean Spicer Is Congenitally Incapable Of Telling The Truth

The Trump administration is crumbling at a rate unheard of in modern times. The latest brick to fall is the “resignation” of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after only 24 days on the job. Flynn’s downfall was the result of his covert discussions with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions. He later failed to disclose these talks to Vice-President Mike Pence and other Trump officials.

This is a blatant violation of both protocol and national security. Flynn may have violated several laws in addition to demonstrating a complete lack of ethics. Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, rambled aimlessly at Tuesday morning’s daily briefing. He sought to downplay and divert from the serious issues at hand while exalting the dangerously lazy response by Trump.

Fibby Spice Sean Spicer

Spicer insisted that Trump was “unbelievably decisive” despite waiting nearly a month after he was first advised of the breach. That remark might have been the most ludicrous of the whole briefing until he later said that “The irony of all this has been the president has been incredibly tough on Russia.” WTF? Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump has been tougher on Meryl Streep and Nordstrom’s than he has on his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Among the brazen lies uttered throughout the briefing was that Trump fired Flynn by asking for his resignation. However, the day before Flynn’s hurried exit the administration insisted the opposite was the case. Both CNN and Fox News reported that Trump did not fire Flynn, and that he voluntarily resigned.

Furthermore, Spicer’s explanation was wholly illogical. His contention that Flynn had done nothing illegal or inappropriate begs the question: Then why did he lie to Pence and his other colleagues? For practice? Spicer’s account suggests that Flynn risked his reputation and career for no reason whatsoever.

Spicer also laid out a timeline that put Trump in front of the whole affair with full knowledge and managerial control. But Friday Trump told reporters that he was unaware of the allegations and said he would look into it. If that’s accurate he could not have known weeks ago as Spicer indicated. Nor could he be portrayed as being on top of it and decisive. Spicer tried to explain this away as Trump merely saying that he was unaware of the allegations as reported in the Washington Post. But that wasn’t the question that he was asked, and the Post wasn’t brought into it until later.

So both Trump and Spicer are weaving dubious tales of how the Flynn affair unfolded. The most likely scenario would be that Trump knew about Flynn weeks ago, but can’t admit it. It would make him appear weak and even compromised with regard to the illegal discussions with Russia. Consequently, Spicer had to bobble his responses to keep from admitting Trump’s failures. If Trump actually was ignorant of Flynn’s dealings, that would be equally as troubling. It would mean that his staff had kept him out of the loop for weeks while a possible national security breach had occurred.

There is simply no good way to spin this. But Spicer is giving it the old college try. Unfortunately, he’s way short of the mark. Even Trump has had to intercede with a distraction via Twitter He tweeted that the real story isn’t the security breach, but the leaks that made the public aware of it. Because we certainly can’t have the American people finding out that the President is conspiring with hostile foreign countries.

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

Trump Floats Yet Another Crackpot Conspiracy Theory: Bernie Sanders/Fake News Edition

Sunday morning Donald Trump was once again up early playing with his Twitter machine. Despite the best efforts of his handlers, they have failed to wrest his phone away and prevent these embarrassing episodes. The problem is that they are not just embarrassing for Trump, but for America.

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

The latest tweet-bleat from The Donald concerned an interview on CNN with Sen. Bernie Sanders (video below). The subject was Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, and his recently disclosed communications with Russia. In particular, Flynn’s having allegedly told Russia not to worry about the sanctions imposed for interfering with U.S. elections. Erin Burnett asked Sanders about Trump’s dubious claim to not know anything about the matter. That led to this amusing exchange:

BURNETT: He says says he doesn’t know anything about it. Hasn’t seen any of the reports. Is that a problem?

SANDERS: Well, I don’t know. Maybe he was watching CNN’s fake news. What do you think. [adding] That was a joke.

BURNETT: I know it was a joke.

Whereupon, the signal was lost and CNN went to a commercial. On the basis of that, Trump contrived a nefarious plot to silence Sanders and any talk of CNN’s “fakery.” He tweeted:

How Trump concluded that Sanders was “cut off for using the term fake news” is a total mystery. As usual, he provided no evidence of his outlandish accusation. In the Trump mind, all that’s necessary is to spout off random thoughts and pretend they are factual. Of course, his delusions are generally easy to refute. In this case, CNN came back from the commercial break and began by apologizing for the technical difficulties and resuming the conversation with the very words that Trump thinks were censored:

BURNETT: Sen. Sanders is back with me, and I want to apologize to our viewers for that technical issue. And Senator, you had just been talking, joking about CNN’s fake news, but there were reports about … go ahead.

If CNN were trying to scrub any discussion about Trump’s juvenile fake news slur, they surely wouldn’t have led with it upon resumption of the interview. So how could Trump have concocted this nonsense? Well, as Brian Stelter reported, Fox & Friends had made the same phony characterization of the interview just half an hour before Trump tweeted it. As happens frequently, Trump was just regurgitating something he saw on Fox News. And we all know how reliable that is.

For the President of the United States to blindly parrot falsehoods he saw on TV sets a new low for the intellectual honesty of the office. But then Trump does that every day. The one silver lining that may emerge is that the attention Trump brings to this interview may cause a few of his supporters to watch the entire segment. Bernie is absolutely on fire and makes an outstanding presentation of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and hypocrisy. He even defends referring to Trump as delusional and questions his mental health. Watch and enjoy (or shudder).

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

Trump’s National Security Nominee Quits Before She Starts Amid Plagiarism Scandal

Donald Trump has been populating his cabinet with decidedly unsavory figures bent on destroying the agencies they will lead. And while appointing arsonists to run the Fire Departments, he has failed to properly vet his nominees. Case in point is Monica Crowley, tapped as strategic communications director of the National Security Council.

Monica Crowley

Crowley, formerly of Fox News, was discovered to have plagiarized portions of her 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened.” CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski documented more than fifty instances of text that was taken from other sources without attribution. In addition, Politico reported that Crowley also allegedly plagiarized portions of her doctoral dissertation from Columbia University.

The Trump transition team initially dismissed these reports as politically motivated attacks. However, the budding scandal heated up when her publisher, HarperCollins, pulled the book off the market. It would be difficult for the Trump camp to accuse HarperCollins of partisanship given that it’s owned by the same corporate parent as Fox News.

Monday morning Crowley spoke with the Washington Times and revealed she would not be joining the Trump administration after all. As reported by TVNewser, she said that:

“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” Crowley said in a statement, to the Washington Times. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

Trump’s nominee for National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, expressed regrets that Crowley had bowed out. He wished her well saying “The NSC will miss the opportunity to have Monica Crowley as part of our team.” No mention of the plagiarism charges was made by either Crowley or Trump’s people. However, this embarrassing episode could have been avoided with competent vetting. Crowley’s sticky fingers have been part of the public record since at least 1999. At that time the Wall Street Journal caught her plagiarizing an article from Commentary Magazine for a Journal feature.

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

Perhaps this is why Congress is so anxious to barrel through the confirmation hearings before the ethics reviews have been completed. Their unprecedented rush violates the standards that Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had demanded for President Obama’s nominees. Unfortunately, their haste and incompetence could have grave consequences for the country. The Crowley affair is just the tip of the iceberg. We can expect further scandals and untold harm as a result of staffing the government with crooks and amateurs.