Way Out of His League? Sarah Huckabee Sanders Has Delusions of Trump’s Grandeur

While Donald Trump cowers in the safety of his White House residence (or his Palm Beach resort), his press secretary shows up on State-TV (aka Fox News) for a pity party with Sean Hannity. They spend much of their segment whining about how Trump is a victim of the press that just doesn’t like him no matter how awesome he is.

Fox News, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has the unique distinction of turning the daily White House press briefings into an extended presentation of lies and propaganda that surpasses any of her predecessors. The media participants in these charades, from across the political spectrum, openly lament that they can’t believe what comes out of her mouth. That absence of confidence is a real threat to the American system of democracy that relies on a free press. But since she represents a president who has repeatedly referred to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” it would be naive to expect anything resembling honesty or integrity from her or this administration.

And so it was on Friday as Sanders canoodled with Hannity to malign the media in general and CNN’s Jim Acosta in particular (video below). “it’s unreal,” she grumbled, “the amount of negative coverage that comes from the media covering this White House.” Continuing, she said:

“Not just because it’s so one-sided, but because there’s so many good things they could be talking about. The economy is booming. ISIS is on the run. Remaking of the judiciary. Getting rid of the individual mandate. The foreign policy and the relationships that this president has built. Every single day there’s a good news story to tell. And yet ninety percent of the coverage is negative.”

For the record, the economy was booming for seven of the eight years Obama was president, after he guided it to recovery from the Bush recession. Trump stumbled into this expansion and immediately took credit for it. However, now that he has been at the helm for a year, the economy has rapidly cooled. It’s almost six months into 2018 and the Dow Jones is laying flat year-to date.

As for the other items that Sanders regards as “good news,” remaking the judiciary is a euphemism for packing it with ultra-conservatives who will favor corporations over people; getting rid of the ObamaCare individual mandate is already resulting in higher premiums and fewer people being covered; and Trump’s foreign policy is a perverse shift from alignment with our allies to cuddling up to totalitarian foes like Vladimir Putin and Xi Xiaoping. His biggest so-called accomplishments are a scheduled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (which may never happen, or produce the results he’s promised), and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (which has already cost more than sixty lives).

Still, Sanders insists that there’s “a good news story to tell” every day, even as reports pile up about Trump’s collusion with Russia and corruption connected to his business and personal affairs. There has never been an administration so mired in political malfeasance as the Trump Crime Family. And yet, Sanders and Hannity place all the blame on the media for doing their job. Sanders even addresses a direct challenge to CNN’s Acosta who expressed an interest in interviewing Trump:

“Just a little note to Jim. I think he should stick to going one-on-one with me because President Trump is way out of his league. And I don’t think he wants to take on that challenge cause he’s definitely not gonna win.”

First of all, Sanders has never gone one-on-one with Acosta, and she likely never will. She only encounters him in the daily briefings where she usually cuts him off without answering his questions. As for Trump being out of Acosta’s league, if that were true Trump would jump at the chance to be interviewed by someone he believes he could shred. The fact is that Trump has not had allowed an interview with anyone outside of the friendly media bunker he’s sheltered in for over a year. And he hasn’t had a solo press conference since the one he gave just after his inauguration.

Trump is quite obviously afraid to face someone who might ask questions relevant to his conduct as president. It’s Trump who’s afraid to take on the challenge of an interview with Acosta or anybody else other than bootlickers like Hannity and Jeanine Pirro and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. It’s the same reason that Trump is scared to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. He and his handlers are afraid – with good reason – that Trump will get himself in deeper trouble by lying. Because when it comes down to it, Sanders is right when she says that Trump is out of their league. He’s way below them in every way imaginable.

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

Bigger Than Watergate? Trump Whines Incoherently About Non-Existent Spies in His Campaign

The President of the United States continues to exhibit clear signs of consciousness of guilt and a festering fear of exposure. Donald Trump’s Twitter feed would make a fascinating psychiatric study exploring acute paranoia in political leaders. And on Thursday morning he posted some more of the evidence of his growing mental instability.

Donald Trump

Trump’s latest Twitter tantrum was likely inspired by his senior strategic advisor, Sean Hannity. As the top Trump-fluffer on Fox News Hannity has already initiated a campaign to smear special prosecutor Robert Mueller with an new emphasis on this being the one year anniversary of his appointment (as if that had any relevance to anything). Hannity and Trump are so cognitively aligned that they are now – as Stephen Colbert said – finishing each other’s prison sentences. And the familiar rhetoric of “fake news” and “witch hunt” flow from both of them as if in harmony. So early Thursday morning Trump posts this tedious gripe:

So now Trump is blaming America for investigating his unsavory connections to Russia and his unlawful attempts to cover it up. And he continues to bleat out impotent declarations that there has been no collusion despite all of the evidence that is known, and even more that Mueller surely has but is not yet ready to disclose. And if that weren’t enough, Trump has also adopted the wingnut conspiracy theory that Obama planted a spy in his presidential campaign.

The “word” to which Trump is referring is a badly misinterpreted analysis by ultra-rightist Andrew McCarthy of the conservative National Review. McCarthy took a segment of testimony from Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, who said that Christopher Steele (of the Steele Dossier fame) believed the FBI had a source within the Trump campaign. To McCarthy, and much of the Trump mediaverse, that got magnified in their imaginations as a spy scandal.

But there is a big difference between a spy and a source. There is absolutely no hint of evidence that the FBI planted an agent (i.e. spy) in the Trump campaign. But there very well might have been a Trump associate (i.e. source) who was disgusted by his activities and informed law enforcement, as any patriotic American would do.

The fact that Trump keeps posting tweets that only exacerbate the appearance of his guilt is proof that he’s consumed with fear and is frantically trying to convince his deplorable disciples that it’s all a big frame-up. That may work on his cult followers, but the rest of the country – and world – only sees a pathetic wretch who seems to know deep inside that he’s going down hard.

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

Trump has his surrogates fanning out across the airwaves to insist that the investigation be halted. Chief among them is his TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who is the best thing that ever happened in this affair – for the Democrats. The relentless demands that Mueller quit ignores the fact that that his investigation has already produced dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas. Trump and Company want it stopped because they know that his time is coming soon. And he’s right.

Giuliani Lies to Fox News: The Mueller Probe ‘Is Essentially Over, They’re Just in Denial’

The legal rope that Donald Trump’s defenders in the media cling to might be more accurately described as a thread. They repeatedly claim that that there is no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia and, therefore, the whole investigation should be immediately halted. That’s a fairy tale resolution that might make the Trump Team feel better, but it has no basis in reality.

Rudy Giuliani

First of all, there have already been dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas. That’s hardly the track record of an investigation that isn’t going anywhere. Additionally, whatever evidence there is incriminating Trump directly in unlawful conduct with Russian operatives is tightly held by the special counsel and won’t be revealed until Robert Mueller is ready to take it to the next level. That doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t exist, as the Trumpoids would like to believe.

Now Trump’s TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is making some more of the ignorant statements that have gotten him in so much trouble in the few short weeks he’s been on the case. John Roberts of Fox News is reporting that Giuliani told him that:

“Two weeks ago the special counsel Robert Mueller assured the President’s outside legal team that he would follow DOJ guidelines that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Giuliani says that Mueller doesn’t really have any choice. That he has to follow the findings of a 1999 Clinton era DOJ memo.

“Now that’s not to say that Mueller couldn’t still find some evidence of wrongdoing that Congress could act on. But the President’s legal team doesn’t appear concerned. Giuliani telling Fox News a short time ago, “This case is essentially over. They’re just in denial.”

It’s curious that Giuliani is running to Fox News with this alleged statement by Mueller that is now two weeks old. Whatever the relevance of it, Giuliani is clearly using it now to argue that the probe ought to be shut down. And that’s what the Trump-fluffing, right-wing media is parroting with badly misinterpreted analyses that claim that if the special counsel is saying he can’t indict, that means he doesn’t have any evidence of wrongdoing.

For the record, there is Department of Justice memo that says that “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” However, that is merely a legal opinion written at the time and has never been tested in court. What’s more, while this memo may apply to Mueller’s operation, it does not apply to Grand Juries, who could still file indictments. And even Fox’s Roberts correctly noted that Mueller’s investigation could yield evidence of criminal activity that could be taken up by Congress in an impeachment proceeding.

So the giggling wingnuts who think this means the investigation of their Dear Leader is over and he’s been proven to be as pure as the snowflakes who flutter around him are just fooling themselves. They still don’t know what Mueller knows, and they have no idea where this will end. And if they are putting their faith in anything that Giuliani has told Fox News, then seriously – who’s in denial?

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

UPDATE: Now Giuliani is saying that Mueller didn’t tell him that the President can’t be indicted. He now says that an assistant to Mueller said something to that effect to another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, but he’d have to check. Sounds like the story is falling apart.

Married to the Mob: Bill Maher Tells America What they Really Got with Donald Trump

The presidency of Donald Trump has been likened to some of the most horrible episodes of America’s past. Most frequently it is compared to Nixon’s Watergate scandal that saw the White House intimately involved in burglary, bribery, and election tampering. The lies told by members of the Nixon administration are what got most of the criminal convictions and, eventually, the resignation of the President. Sound familiar?

Bill Maher, Donald Trump

However, Bill Maher has hit on a much more accurate analogy for the Trump crime family. With particular emphasis on the “Family” part. In a segment on his “Real Time” program on HBO Friday night he painted a picture of Trump and Company as typical of the common thugs associated with the Mafia. It was an insightful – and hilarious – six and half minutes of bruising truth. He came out swinging with this depiction of the genesis of Trump (video below):

“New York City has to stop exporting its garbage to the rest of America […] The city’s most toxic trash has been carted off to Washington, D.C.” (with picture of Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, and Rudy Giuliani).

Maher goes on to describe these wondering New Yorkers as “What the heartland used to call ‘assholes.'” He wonders why the people from “real America” likes these guys now. Then he asks:

“How did the salt of the Earth people get hooked up with the salt in the wound people? […] You’re the ‘my word is my bond’ people. These guys lie just to stay in practice. You’re all about an honest day’s work. Trump watches TV until noon. You’re frugal. They spend like identity thieves who got a hold of your pin number. You’re stoic. Trump’s a whiny little bitch.”

Maher breaks it to the Trump cult that “Now you’re married to the mob. Cause that’s what this administration is: a protection racket.” Maher’s colorful comparison of the Trump Family to the Godfather was stinging in its precision. The corollaries are way to accurate to be ignored:

“Everything Trump does is modeled on the mob. When he was accused of sexual harassment, he brought in Bill Clinton’s accusers to sit in the gallery at the debate. Just like Michael Corleone brought Fat Pentangeli’s brother into court. Who does Trump surround himself with? Disposable lawyers and idiot members of his own family. Who’s his worst enemy? The FBI. Where does his money come from? He’s in construction. […] “What part of this isn’t mob-like? They’re using a front business – in this case the White House – to enrich the family.”

There’s someone else who has made the same link between Trump and the mob. Special counsel Robert Mueller has structured his investigative team much like the ones that went after prominent Mafia bosses. They are probing his relationships with unsavory characters (including Russians). They are digging into his bank records and phone calls. They have been successful in getting insiders to turn states evidence and may even have worn a wire into meetings with the Donald. Mueller’s inquiry follows the same strategies that he has actually used on crime bosses in the past.

Consequently, Trump should be worried. And judging by his frightened reaction to every new revelation, he is. All those tweets screaming little more than “Witch Hunt” and “Fake News” are the best evidence that he is fracturing from the inside out. And while it is a serious unfolding of a dreadful period in America’s history, at least we have a brilliant bit of comic relief by people like Bill Maher to help us get through it.

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

Giuliani’s Mouth Erupts Again, Says Trump Lied About Not Interfering with AT&T/TimeWarner Merger

It really says something when your brand new attorney can’t stop making incriminating statements about you. Rudy Giuliani recently made the news when he publicly announced to the world that Donald Trump reimbursed his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 hush money payout to Stormy Daniels. That was something that Trump had been denying for months.

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Following that gargantuan gaffe, Giuliani went on a whirlwind tour of the media with clarifications that only made matters worse. If we didn’t know better, we’d think that he’s working for Robert Mueller and giving the special counsel more evidence of Trump’s guilt. What else could explain his relentless trashing of his own client?

Well, he’s done it again. On Friday Giuliani gave an interview to the Huffington Post wherein he sought to defend Trump from allegations arising out of Cohen’s suspicious financial dealings with a variety of corporations that have obvious interests in Trump’s decision making. Cohen took in millions from the likes of Novartis, Korean Aerospace, AT&T, and even a Russian oligarch connected to Vladimir Putin. All of these funds were funneled through the same account Cohen used to payoff Stormy Daniels.

The AT&T payola holds special significance to Trump considering their still pending merger with TimeWarner (parent of CNN). Trump’s Justice Department is currently suing to block the deal. So any involvement by Trump would violate both legal ethics and his statement that he would not interfere. Giuliani’s latest verbal misfire was launched while attempting to clear Trump of the perception that he was being influenced by Cohen and the money received from AT&T. Giuliani said that:

“Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president. He did drain the swamp … The president denied the merger. They didn’t get the result they wanted.”

OK then. So Giuliani is now contradicting Trump’s assertion that he wouldn’t get involved. Giuliani is explicitly saying that Trump did step in to deny the merger. In effect, Giuliani is calling the President a liar. And as if to confirm Giuliani’s assessment of Trump as less than honest, Trump himself joined in with a tweet saying:

Of course, the media has reported that repeatedly. But more to the point, Trump is agreeing with Giuliani that the opposition to the merger is proof that Trump wasn’t improperly influenced by Cohen and AT&T. Which would only be true if the premise that Trump had something to do with it holds. Therefore Trump is now calling himself a liar for saying that he had not interfered.

Saturday morning Giuliani was once again walking back something he said that hurt his client in the White House. He told CNN’s Dana Bash that Trump didn’t interfere after all. So the merger is still being contested by Trump’s Justice Department, which Trump proudly boasted about in his tweet. It’s just not because of anything that Trump said, allegedly, despite Giuliani’s previous statement and Trump’s months of bashing the merger on the campaign trail.

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

If this is confusing you, you’re not alone. There has to be a reason that AT&T would pay Cohen $600,000 after Trump’s inauguration. Cohen has no discernible skills or knowledge relating to the communications industry or mergers and acquisitions. What he had to sell was access to the President. AT&T now says that their contract with Cohen was a mistake. Obviously, since the DOJ is still suing them. But the fact that the merger is still being contested in court doesn’t exonerate Trump. It just reveals that Trump hates CNN even more than he loves money. And he doesn’t care who he has to screw over to achieve his goals.

UPDATE: Giuliani is now telling CBS News that he’s standing by his Friday comments that Trump denied the merger. So we’re back to Trump interfered. Is anyone else getting nauseous?

Rudy Giuliani Gives Fox News a Flagrantly Incoherent ‘Clarification’ of His Previous Incoherence

The past week in Trump Land has been a roller coaster of bizarre tales and absurd explanations. Most of which were provided by Donald Trump’s newly minted lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In a whirlwind tour of Fox News programs, Giuliani tried to offer justifications for Trump’s web of lies related to his affair with Stormy Daniels and the subsequent hush money payoff to suppress news of the incident. But he only made things worse by blurting out admissions to potential criminal activity that hadn’t been raised before.

Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, Jeanine Pirro

On Saturday night Giuliani resumed stumping for Trump with a visit to “Judge” Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. And true to form, he only succeeded in stirring up more trouble for his client who is already in a fairly deep legal bog. Giuliani’s wild-eyed raving made little sense and his grasp of the law was laughably off kilter. And if he thought he was advancing the interests of Trump, he was insane as well.

One of the first things out of his mouth was speculation that a case before the Virginia grand jury involving Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, might just be an attempt to “flip” him into providing testimony against Trump. Of course there would nothing to worry about on that account unless there was something to flip. So Giuliani introduced that notion on his own. He followed that up with the false claim that the judge in that case called it a “witch hunt.” He didn’t.

Giuliani went on for awhile about how “Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step up and dismiss this entire investigation.” He asserted that “There is no evidence of collusion with the Russians. Gone. There is no evidence of obstruction of justice.” But there have already been dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas that suggest that the investigation has merit and should continue. And then he launched into a full blown manic episode (video below):

“The President of the United States did not in any way violate the campaign finance law. Every campaign finance expert, Republican and Democrat, will tell that if it was for another purpose, other than just for campaigns, even if it was for campaign purposes, if it was to save his family, to save embarrassment, it’s not a campaign donation.

“And second, even if it was a campaign donation, the President reimbursed it fully with a payment of $35,000 a month that paid for that and other expenses. No need to go beyond that. Case over. That case should be dismissed by the Southern district of New York. At least with regard to President Trump.”

First of all, it is preposterous to say that every campaign finance expert would say that there was no campaign finance violation. Lots of them are saying that there is. Just turn on the TV like your boss does all day long. More to the point, Giuliani asserts that there is no violation even if the funds were used for campaign purposes if it was to “save his family, to save embarrassment.” Is he listening to himself? If it was for campaign purposes it was unambiguously a violation. And Giuliani’s next point asserts that even a campaign donation would have been legal because Trump paid it back. But if it was paid back without disclosing it in his campaign finance reporting, that’s illegal. And as Giuliani says, “No need to go beyond that. Case over.”

It also isn’t especially good lawyering when your counsel says on national TV that “I’m not an expert on the facts.” And repeating a previous slander of the FBI as Nazi Storm Troopers hardly seems like positive messaging. Even if he falsely claims that “the judge basically said that.” He didn’t. And asking for the case in New York to be dismissed, “At least with regard to President Trump,” makes no sense at all. That case is against Michael Cohen, not Trump.

Giuliani appears intent on proving that he’s utterly incapable of handling a parking ticket, much less a case as complex and legally hazardous as this. But one of the most peculiar comments in this interview came when Giuliani attempted to belittle testimony given by Hillary Clinton (who was interviewed by both the FBI and Congress for eleven hours). He stroked his own hand and said:

“Nice nice nice. Poor little Hillary. We gotta be nice to her. No under oath. We’ll take that now.”

Setting aside Giuliani’s embarrassing playacting, if he’s willing to agree to an FBI interview without being under oath, no doubt Robert Mueller would be as well. After all, you don’t have to be under oath to be required to tell the truth. And lying to either the FBI or Congress is crime even without taking an oath. So shut up already and present your client (who says no one wants to talk more than he does) for the interview, and we can get this thing over with. What are you all afraid of?

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

Fox and Friends Guest Blasts Adam Schiff in a Painfully Stupid Rant About Impeaching Trump

There is only way place to go these days if you’re looking for unrelenting, mind-numbing idiocy on television. The Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends, isn’t Donald Trump’s favorite for nothing. It features a cast of “Curvy Couch” potatoes who seem to enjoy presenting themselves as unabashed morons. And naturally, their guest line up is just as feeble-minded as they (and their audience) are.

Fox News, Dan Bongino

Fox contributor and NRA shill Dan Bongino visited Fox and Friends to whimper about an op-ed published by Rep. Adam Schiff in the New York Times. The headline reads “Democrats: Don’t Take the Bait on Impeachment.” Schiff’s position is that impeachment should not be a political goal in and of itself, independent of legal basis supported by facts. He’s concerned that Democrats might get too far in front of the issue and create a backlash:

“…if impeachment is seen by a substantial part of the country as merely an effort to nullify an election by other means, there will be no impeachment, no matter how high the crime or serious the misdemeanor.”

And he continues…

“Given the evidence that is already public, I can well understand why the president fears impeachment [but] Democrats should not take the bait.”

So Schiff unequivocally calls for a tempered approach that doesn’t politicize the very real legal matters that are being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. However, this reasonable attitude became a target of derision by Bongino. In a feverish tirade Bongino lashed out at Schiff for being fair-minded and rational – and for agreeing with him (video below):

“Adam Schiff is a fraud. I’m sorry, he’s a fraud. And I say it and I mean it. I know those are harsh words, but Adam Schiff is not a stupid man. This is a smart guy. Adam Schiff has access to information on his Intel Committee that you and I don’t. He has known for at least a year now, if not longer, that this collusion story with the Russians is a hoax.”

Apparently Bongino has the gift of clairvoyance since he is able to discern from Schiff’s thoughts that he has knowledge that he is withholding. However, another explanation might be that Schiff does indeed have access to information that supports his position regarding Trump and Russian collusion. As he pointed out in the op-ed, the evidence that is already public is pretty damn incriminating. But Bongino prefers to rely on what he picks up telepathically while watching Schiff on TV:

“He has gone on every media channel he can – puts his make up on, does his thing – and has said that Trump has colluded with the Russians. The only reason he’s writing this op-ed now, I believe, is because he’s starting to see that the American public, based on polling data, is catching on that this is a hoax and it’s getting frustrating. Schiff is a fraud. He’s not doing the right thing. He’s doing the easy thing.”

For the record, every poll on the subject shows that the American people believe that Trump worked with Russia to help him get elected. They also overwhelmingly support Mueller’s investigation and want it to continue. These survey results were even affirmed by a poll conducted by Fox News. Bongino doesn’t bother to disclose the polling data he allegedly has, but it’s ironic that he’s making these ridiculous claims on the network whose own poll contradicts him.

Finally, Bongino is obviously too dense to grasp that his bitching about Schiff is an assault on logic. He’s complaining that Schiff wrote an article that argues against focusing on impeaching Trump, which is an opinion that Bongino shares. So does Bongino think that Schiff should have written an article advocating impeachment instead? Perhaps then Bongino would not be calling Schiff a fraud, but he would certainly be condemning him for advocating impeachment.

Bongino really needs to make up his mind. But you would need to have one that’s functioning to do so. On the plus side, by lacking critical thinking skills and having a rabid animosity toward all things Democratic, Bongino has secured himself a safe spot on Fox News for many years to come. And he’ll fit right in with Fox’s hosts and guests who share similar mental defects and biases.

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

Staunchly Pro-Trump Fox News Host Calls Him Out on His Lies: Mr. President, That’s Your Stink

It seems like every week is one that can arguably be described as Donald Trump’s worst week ever. And that surely applies to this week wherein the President had his lawyer go on Fox News and tell Sean Hannity that he reimbursed his personal attorney for the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. And his pals at the National Enquirer went after Michael Cohen. And reports reveal the Cohen’s phone calls have been monitored by the Feds.

Fox News, Neil Cavuto, Stormy Daniels

Add to these setbacks a surprisingly critical monologue from Fox News host Neil Cavuto (video below). Cavuto has been one of the most reliable Trump supporters on the network. However, something must have clicked because this segment is bitingly harsh as he firmly renounces a cornucopia of Trump’s lies. The lecture addressed directly to Trump begins with Cavuto saying that:

“President Trump is fond of calling out the media on “fake” news. But is he the one giving them very real ammunition? Maybe not intentionally. I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt, Mr. President, and say maybe not deliberately. But consistently. Way too consistently. So let me be clear Mr. President, how can you claim to be draining the swamp if you’re the one that keeps muddying the waters?”

Then Cavuto rattled off a series of Trump’s most recent and flagrant lies. He cites the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels; his denial of knowledge about MIchael Cohen’s activities on his behalf; his specious claims that there were no campaign finance violations. In each instance Cavuto noted that Trump stuck to his false claims until they could no longer be denied or his own party comrades debunked them.

Cavuto went on to itemize Trump’s catalog of obvious untruths such as claiming that the Russians didn’t interfere with the 2016 elections, and his subsequent denial that he ever made that claim; that his tax plan was the biggest ever; that those tax cuts would cost him a fortune; that his job approval numbers were better than his predecessors; that media reports that senior staffers (Secretary of State, Chief-of-Staff, economic advisor, political strategist, etc) were about to be fired were fake. Cavuto even brought up Trump’s denials that his lawyers (Dowd, Cobb) would be leaving, and that he denied ever considering firing Robert Mueller.

And even after that barrage of friendly fire Cavuto wasn’t done. He called Trump out for falsely saying that he signed more bills than any other president. And that he raised the national debt by over a trillion dollars despite claiming that he reduced it. And that there was massive voter fraud in New Hampshire and Virginia, and millions of illegal voters nationwide. And that his alleged electoral college landslide eclipsed those before him.

It was a brutal damning of Trump’s notorious dishonesty and aversion to the truth. Although Cavuto tried to to insert softening agents every now and then such as “Now I’m not saying you’re a liar,” and “None of this makes me a Never Trumper,” and “None of this makes you evil,” and “None of this makes what you say fake.” Why the heck not? Actually, all of that makes him a liar and what he says fake. But Cavuto can only go so far. And for him this is light years. He closed with an especially pungent censure of the President that would surely sting if his handlers ever let him hear it:

“Your base might not care, but you should. I guess you’re too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you’re creating. That’s your doing. That’s your stink. Mr. President, that’s your swamp.”

You have to wonder what happened in the editorial suites at Fox News that allowed this diatribe to make it onto the air. Perhaps there are people in the executive ranks who see the writing on the wall (which Trump will never build) and don’t want to get sunk along with the President when Mueller’s probe is completed. Fox News may be trying to hedge their bets a little in case the raid of Cohen’s offices turned up incriminating evidence. Whatever the reason, it appears that Trump might not be able to always depend on Fox News to cover his backside. Of course, this may be an anomaly, so it’s too soon to draw any conclusions. Stay tuned.

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

Other Things Giuliani Told Hannity that are as Bad or Worse than Stormy’s Hush Money

Wednesday was another chaotic day in the epically unraveling administration of Donald Trump. His newly unwrapped lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, went on Fox News and told Sean Hannity that Trump lied about not knowing anything about the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels by his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. That revelation has roiled the Trump White House and the media. But that isn’t all that Giuliani spilled in the hour long interview.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani

Sean Hannity hosted Giuliani for the entire program, mostly without commercial interruption. That’s an indication of how important this was to Hannity and Fox News. That they would forgo significant revenue in order to hold their audience enrapt in the unhinged stylings of Giuliani is further evidence that the network is literally state-TV and an arm of the Trump PR machine.

In addition to the shocking confessions about the hush money payoff, Giuliani delved into matters related to Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia and the collusion that he is so tightly associated with. What follows are some of the non-Stormy babblings of Giuliani that should receive some attention when the more salacious disclosures of porn star payments subside:

Giuliani:[Trump] fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he was not a target of the investigation. […] So he fired him and he said ‘I’m free of this guy'”

Giuliani just provide the latest confession of Trump’s obstruction of justice. Firing Comey because he refused to clear the President, and declaring freedom from the pending investigations could not be a clearer admission of guilt.

Giuliani: “Lester Holt asked him why he did it. He said ‘I did because I felt that I had to explain to the American people that their president was not a target of the investigation.'”

That’s not even close to what Trump told Holt. Actually, he told Holt that he did it because “I said to myself, I said ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won’.”

Giuliani: “Comey should be prosecuted for leaking confidential FBI information. When he leaked his report intended to develop a special prosecutor for the President of the United States.”

Of course, Giuliani doesn’t bother to cite what law was broken here, because there wasn’t any.

Giuliani: “Comey is a pathological liar.”

This is typical Trumpian projection. It’s the President who is known for his compulsive lying. Comey may have used some poor judgment in the run up to the election, but it has yet to be shown that he lied.

Giuliani: “I have the indignity of unfortunately having hired [Comey] for his first big job, and I’m embarrassed that I hired him.”

This is about the only act of repentence you’ll ever see from Giuliani or Trump.

Giuliani: “I believe they [Sessions and Rosenstein] should, in the interest of justice, end this investigation. There’s been too much government misconduct. The crimes now have all been committed by the government and their agents.”

Naturally Giuliani would like the investigation to end by the waving of a magic wand. He certainly doesn’t have the legal capability of ending it or succeeding. But he does like to make baseless accusations of crimes.

Giuliani: “I’m sorry Hillary. I know your very disappointed that you didn’t win. But you’re a criminal. Equal justice would mean that you should go to jail.”

Both Trump and Giuliani like to recklessly throw around baseless accusations of guilt. That is irresponsible and unprecedented behavior for a president or his representatives.

Hannity: “He said that [Hillary] Clinton deeply respects the rule of law. Comey said that.”
Giuliani: “Wow. Then this is a very perverted man.”

For heaven’s sake, Rudy. What the heck are you talking about?

Giuliani: “The President of the United States didn’t do anything wrong. We are lucky that we have a president who can focus. In a way it almost hurts him.”

For heaven’s sake, Rudy. What the heck are you … Um, I used this one already. But it still fits.

Giuliani: “Ivanka Trump? I think I would get on my charger and go right into their office with a lancet if they request Ivanka. If they do do Ivanka, which I doubt they will. The whole country will turn out. They’re going after his daughter?”
Hannity: “What his son-in-law [Jared Kushner]? They’re going after him.”
Giuliani: “Jared is a fine man. You know that. But men are, you know, disposable. But a fine woman like Ivanka? Come on.”

Men are disposable? Does that include Trump? And the day when you mount a charger and ride into battle might indeed get the whole country to turn out. Just for the laughs.

Hannity: “This was supposed to be about the Trump campaign, Russia collusion.”
Giuliani: “Gone.”
Hannity: “Gone. Never happened.”
Giuliani: “He’s been cleared of that.”

Cleared? Seriously, what planet are these guys broadcasting from?

Giuliani: “Russia collusion is total fake news. Unfortunately it has become the basis of the investigation. And Mueller owes us a report saying it means nothing, it didn’t happen.”

Relax Rudy. You’ll get your report from Mueller. Although it may not contain exactly the sort of vindication you’re hoping for.

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

For those of you with strong stomachs, here is the video of the whole interview:

Kiss of Death? Another Trump Goon Sleeps With the Fishes After Praise From the White House Don

The big news out of Washington on Wednesday is that Donald Trump’s last remaining original lawyer working on Russia collusion matters is off the case. The President has had a difficult time hiring and maintaining legal defenders to counter the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. A few weeks ago his lead attorney, John Dowd was dismissed. And his personal attorney, Michael Cohen has his own legal problems and might be close to flipping on his former client.

Godfather

Ty Cobb was one of the first lawyers that Trump brought aboard to handle the special counsel matter. And throughout a tumultuous tenure. Trump has fiercely insisted that Cobb was in it for the duration and had his “full confidence.” Trump affirmed that in a tweet as recently as April 12. What’s more, Trump was outraged (as usual) at the the New York Times for reporting last March that there were problems within his legal team and that changes were imminent:

Apparently, the Times’ Maggie Haberman got a lot right despite Trump’s whining that she “knows nothing” and was “not given access.” It turns out the story wasn’t false after all. Both Dowd and Cobb have left since those tweets. And his insistence that he would not be hiring anyone else has also proven to be untrue. In a much ridiculed display of desperation, Trump hired Rudy Giuliani. And along with the news about Cobb’s departure is the addition of Emmett Flood. Flood’s significance as a new member of the team is that he is one of the few attorneys alive who has experience with impeachment, having worked on Bill Clinton’s hearings in 1998. What does that say about what Trump is currently fixated on and worried about?

And don’t let anyone tell you that Cobb’s departure was simply due to his desire to retire. That is an utterly implausible assertion. He just took this job a few months ago and was well aware that it wasn’t going to be a quick gig. The truth is that Cobb and Trump have been at odds regarding Trump’s behavior and particularly his tweets attacking Mueller which just make him sound more guilty. CNN’s Jim Acosta confirmed this with sources who said that Cobb “was not going to be ‘part of a mud slinging campaign.'”

In conjunction with the news about Cobb, Trump fired off some more rage-tweets denying that there was any collusion or obstruction of justice. You know, like any innocent person would do five times a day. One of the tweets quoted Joseph diGenova on Fox News (who was on Trump’s legal team for about half an hour) saying that Trump could fire anyone he wants at any time. Of course, that isn’t true. There are exceptions for criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice that specifically apply to Trump’s situation.

Trump also tweeted a promo for Fox News legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett, and his new book “The Russia Hoax – The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.” Jarrett is disreputable character whose credentials are pitiful. He hasn’t practiced law in 30 years, and has been at Fox News half of that time. Trump and Jarrett both share the problem of repeatedly referring to the Mueller investigation as a hoax. PolitiFact honored that phrase with its 2017 “Lie of the Year” award.

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

Like many of the other members of Trump’s White House staff who he has praised, Cobb was dumped a few weeks later. Having Trump’s approval is the best warning that you are about to be unceremoniously shit-canned. Cobb should have seen it coming. And now that there are new reports that Chief-of-Staff John Kelly has been calling Trump an idiot, Trump came out with criticism of those reports and is standing by Kelly. In other words – goodbye Kelly. He’s just the latest flunky to get the Fredo treatment from the White House Don.