Trump’s Rambling, Lie-Riddled Rant About Mueller and Russia Exposes His Panic and Fear

On Thursday morning Donald Trump held an impromptu press conference to announce an initiative related to drug pricing disclosures. But as often occurs at any Trump affair, it wandered off topic and wound up miles from reality. Trump’s rambling discourse (video below) was further evidence of his severely declining mental state that is stressed by anxiety, consumed by paranoia, and fraught with hostility toward his perceived enemies.

Trump Fear

The diversions littered throughout this spectacle included utterly false claims that Trump had provided Puerto Rico Rico with $91 billion dollars in aid following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. It was only $11 billion. He also repeated his frequently told lie that tariffs on China are paid by China. They are actually paid by by American companies who pass those costs on to American consumers.

Trump defended his son, Don Jr, who was just subpoenaed by the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, by saying that special counsel Robert Mueller had exonerated him. He didn’t. And Trump recklessly accused former Secretary of State, John Kerry, of having violated the Logan Act, and called for his prosecution. That’s just another example of Trump using his Justice Department to persecute his political opponents, the way dictators are known to do.

However, the most strikingly deranged portion of this babbling tirade was Trump’s surreal portrayal of what happened in the aftermath of the release of the redacted version of Mueller’s report. He began by misrepresenting the special counsel’s team as being comprised of “seventeen or eighteen very angry Democrats who hated Donald Trump.” It was actually led by Mueller, a lifelong Republican, who was appointed by a Republican Acting Attorney General, who was appointed by Trump.

Following that, Trump claimed that no one was ever more transparent than he has been. This is despite his recent declaration that he is suppressing, via executive privilege, the entire Mueller report, denying Congress the right to interview anyone associated with the affair, and opposing all attempts to have witnesses testify before Congress, including those unser lawful subpoenas.

Trump further misrepresented what took place by claiming that Mueller was unfit to conduct the investigation because of “conflicts” he had with Trump. Those alleged conflicts were fabrications from the diseased mind of a paranoid president. He first stated that he and Mueller had some sort of bad business relationship. And it went downhill from there:

Trump: Mueller’s no friend of mine. I had conflicts with him. We had a business dispute. We had somebody that is in love with James Comey. He like James Comey. They were very good friends. Supposedly best friends. Maybe not, but supposedly best friends. You look at the picture file and you see hundreds of pictures of him and Comey. And with all of that and other things – he wanted the FBI job. I don’t know if anybody knows that.

First of all, the business dispute Trump refers to was a minor incident when Mueller resigned his membership at Trump’s National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, because he no longer lived in the area and wasn’t using it. That hardly qualifies as a business dispute.

Secondly, Trump’s assertion that Mueller was “in love” with Comey is laughable. Especially after Trump confessed that he was in love with Kim Jong Un. What’s more, there is absolutely no evidence that Mueller and Comey had anything other than a work relationship. They were not even casual friends. Comey testified before Congress that he had dinner once with Mueller, but had never been to his home, didn’t have his phone number, and didn’t know the names of his kids. Trump has told this lie before, embellishing it with claims that there were hundreds of pictures of them “hugging and kissing.” No one has ever found a single one.

Trump did interview Mueller for FBI director, which shouldn’t surprise anyone since he previously held that job for twelve years. But if Trump is insinuating a conspiracy, then Rod Rosenstein must have been in on it, because he picked Mueller to lead the special counsel probe. If there was a conspiracy, it didn’t work very well because Rosenstein later stood quietly behind Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, has he brazenly lied about the contents of Mueller’s report. But here’s where this really gets weird:

Trump: Here’s what happened. The report comes back, it’s perfect it’s beautiful. There’s no collusion. Nobody even talks about collusion. You know, I haven’t heard the word Russia in a long time [he talked to Putin six days ago]. There’s no more talk about Russia What happened to Russia. The Russia witch hunt – they don’t talk because it was so on collusion. Which by the way is by far, that’s the big deal.

Let’s just set aside the fact that everyone is talking about Russia. Now Trump is ecstatic about what he claims is the result of the investigation that he also claims was a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” He describes as “perfect” and “beautiful” a report that he insists was the work of an allegedly conflicted and embittered enemy who hates him.

It appears that Trump can’t keep his rattled attention focused long enough to decide whether he is the victim of an evil cabal, or the joyful winner of “total exoneration.” All of this is on public display every time he steps in front of a camera. And for some reason, the press is still reluctant to say what is so glaringly obvious: Donald Trump is totally nuts and unfit to serve.

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

Fox News is Referenced in the Mueller Report Four Times, and Each Makes Trump Look Worse

With the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report by Donald Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr, there is going to be a flurry of furious spinning by Trump’s devoted martinets in the right-wing press. Trump himself will continue his frantic robo-rant of “no collusion, no obstruction,” as he has been doing for months.

Fox News, Robert Mueller

Naturally, Fox News will assume its predictable role as the main line of defense for Trump. They will focus exclusively on any positive angles among the vague interpretations of Mueller’s report offered by Barr or other Republican partisans. And they will brazenly ignore anything in the report that is remotely detrimental to Trump, of which there is a significant amount. Even Chris Wallace of Fox News noted that “There is a lot of stuff in here that is damaging to the president, politically embarrassing to the president.”

However, Fox News itself had a place in the Mueller report with four references to Trump’s State TV affiliate. The following passages from the report illustrate just how deeply integrated Fox is with Trump and his associates. For instance:

Page 70:

“That night, the White House Press Office called the Department of Justice and said the White House wanted to put out a statement saying that it was Rosenstein’s idea to fire Comey. Rosenstein told other DOJ officials that he would not participate in putting out a ‘false story.’ The President then called Rosenstein directly and said he was watching Fox News, that the coverage had been great, and that he wanted Rosenstein to do a press conference. Rosenstein responded that this was not a good idea because if the press asked him, he would tell the truth that Comey’s firing was not his idea.”

What we have here is Trump keeping tabs on the investigation by watching Fox News, and then trying to get Deputy AG Rosenstein to lie for him about FBI Director James Comey’s firing. That’s obstruction of justice right there. The fact that Rosenstein refused doesn’t make Trump’s attempt any less illegal. And then there’s this:

Page 99:

“[Reince] Priebus recalled learning about the June 9 meeting from Fox News host Sean Hannity in late June 2017. Priebus notified one of the President’s personal attorneys, who told Priebus he was already working on it. By late June, several advisors recalled receiving media inquiries that could relate to the June 9 meeting.”

It’s rather remarkable that Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, found out about the infamous Trump Tower meeting (with Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and some Russian operatives) only by watching Fox News. That’s how out-of-the-loop Trump’s closest White House aide was, but also how integral Fox News is to Trump’s affairs. And that’s not all:

Page 126:

“In a Fox News interview on August 22, 2018, the President said: ‘[Cohen] makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else. And one of the reasons l respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial-you know they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. The President said that flipping was ‘not fair’ and ‘almost ought to be outlawed.'”

In this “interview” with the unabashedly pro-Trump “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, Trump is laying the groundwork for threats directed at his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, while simultaneously praising his more loyal campaign chairman, Manafort. This is a fairly clumsy attempt at witness tampering. Which he did some more of here:

Page 151:

“In January 2019, after the media reported that Cohen would provide public testimony in a congressional hearing, the President made additional public comments suggesting that Cohen’s family members had committed crimes. In an interview on Fox on January 12, 2019, the President was asked whether he was worried about Cohen’s testimony and responded:

‘[I]n order to get his sentence reduced, [Cohen] says “I have an idea, I’ll ah, tell-I’ll give you some information on the president.” Well, there is no information. But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law because that’s the one that people want to look at because where does that money-that’s the money in the family.'”

Trump made these accusations during an interview with his adoring acolyte, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. They were directed against Cohen’s family as a flagrant attempt to scare him into keeping his mouth shut.

It’s hard to see why Mueller didn’t think he had sufficient evidence to indict Trump, or at least to recommend that Congress take up an inquiry that could lead to impeachment. And as guilty as Trump now appears to be, it’s plain that Fox News was a willing accomplice every step of the way. It is not insignificant that Fox was referenced four times in the report. They were further included in twenty-seven footnotes. No other national news network was referenced in the body of the report even once. What does that tell you?

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

Trump Flagrantly Lies About the 4 Women (It’s 16) Who Allege Sexual Misconduct By Him

On Wednesday afternoon, Donald Trump gave his first news conference in over a year and a half. It was a predictably hostile affair where Trump rarely allowed a reporter to complete a question before interrupting and talking over them before he even knew what the question was. And invariably his answer had little to do with the actual substance of the inquiry.

Donald Trump

While the event covered subjects as varied as the economy, the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, trade with China and elsewhere, and Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court debacle, there was one subject that stood out. Stemming from questions about the controversy over sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, Trump was asked about his own problems concerning the mistreatment of women. After having called on several male reporters, Trump, at the urging of CNN’s Jim Acosta, called on Weijia Jiang of CBS News. She jumped right in with what would have been a piercing inquiry had Trump allowed her to finish:

Jiang: Have your personal experiences, being accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct…
Trump: I’ve been accused. (Interrupting) Excuse me. And I was accused by, I believe it was four women. You can check with Sean Hannity. You can check with Fox. Cause they covered it very strongly. Excuse me. I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me. We caught them and the mainstream media refused to put it on television. They refused to even write about it. There were four women, and maybe even more – I think the number’s four or five.”

First of all, anyone who bothers to check with Sean Hannity to corroborate Trump’s account is seriously in need of professional help. This is reminiscent of the time Trump went into a crazed rant during a debate because “everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity.”

Trump then rattled off some vague, unsubstantiated accounts of women who he said were paid to make false allegations against him. He offered zero evidence that there were any women whose stories were deliberately fabricated for money. However, he did say that one of the women reported her story after refusing to take $750,000. Which actually validates the allegations against him and sanitizes her motives. Is he listening to himself?

Trump went on to complain about some stories he heard about a few women who were included in an article in the New York Times who later disputed the portrayal of them in the article. Trump falsely stated that the Times never reported on those women’s disputes. But the Times did cover that, along with standing by the accounts of many more women in the article. Trump’s conclusion from that was that “a lot of the news is fake. And a lot of the people sitting here are fake.” REally? There are fake people now?

Jiang then tried to ask her question which Trump had repeatedly interrupted. He told Jiang that “you’ve been asking a question for ten minutes.” Then he rudely told her to sit down. Nevertheless, she persisted. And she managed to get out her question which was whether the charges against him has impacted his opinion on charges against Kavanaugh. He said that:

“Well it does impact my opinion. You know why? Because I’ve had a lot of false charges made against me. I’m a very famous person, unfortunately. […] So when I see it I view it differently than someone sitting home watching television where they say ‘Judge Kavanaugh this or that.’ It’s happened to me many times.”

So Trump is admitting that it “absolutely” affects his opinion with regard to Kavanaugh. And he was angry that only Fox News reported any of this in a way that made him look innocent. He also made a point of praising the network saying “Well, Fox. I like Fox. I really do.” Then, of course, he lied about his relationship with Hannity, whom he talks to almost every night, telling reporters that “I don’t talk to him very much.”

In the end, Trump dishonestly portrayed himself as being open minded about the allegations against Kavanaugh. He said that he could be persuaded by his accusers when they testify before Congress on Thursday (note: only one of them is being permitted to do so). But that’s not possible if he’s already convinced that Kavanaugh is telling the truth. Plus, he has repeatedly accused the Democrats pursuing more info of engaging in a “con job.” And his admitted prejudice due to his own experiences makes it even harder to believe that his mind isn’t made up.

Finally, he must not be allowed to get away with lying about the extent of the charges against him. It isn’t four or five women. It’s at least sixteen. And that alone should be sufficient cause to remove him from office. Even if special counsel Robert Mueller doesn’t make the case for collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice, Trump is simply unfit to serve.

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

Trump’s Press Secretary Has Replaced ‘Daily’ Press Briefings with Softball Interviews on Fox News

On Monday evening Donald Trump’s White House took the extraordinary step of parading its Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, out on State TV (aka Fox News), to whitewash the charges against him for sexual assault. That spectacle only exacerbated his problems by revealing him as awkward and over-coached in his own defense. And it doesn’t help that he was defending himself on the network best known for political partisanship and employing sexual predators.

Fox News, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

However, this tactic on the part of the administration further illustrates just how reliant they are on disseminating propaganda via Fox News. It’s their go-to media fixer when Trump is in trouble or they have some new unpopular initiative to foist on the nation. And in a totally unprecedented course of action, the White House has virtually eliminated the Daily Press Briefing as a means of informing the public about administration activities. They have replaced it with Fox News.

Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has held only one briefing so far in the month of September. She held only five briefings in June, three in July, and five in August. That’s one hundred and seventeen days with only fourteen “daily” briefings. This makes it far more difficult for reporters to gather information that the public deserves and is entitled to in a working democracy. Clearly Trump prefers to operate like the dictatorships he so admires in Russia and North Korea.

So the day following Trump sending off his Supreme Court nominee to the happy place for rightist news, he sets up a playdate for Sanders with his Fox and Friends. Sanders joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for an extended discussion on how splendidly everything is going in the White House and in America (video below). She stuck up for Kavanaugh, dismissed the controversy over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, effusively praised her boss, and promoted the upcoming cookbook by Fox co-host Steve Doocy that contains a recipe by Sanders.

This performance is a poor substitute for briefings attended by diverse and independent journalists. Rather, it is an extension of Trump’s determination to turn the White House into a Reality TV melodrama with all the nonsense and artifice that implies. They aspire to lull the American people into a stupor that will be thrilled by the circus-like antics of a Big Brother presidency.

Unfortunately for Trump, just because his cult followers are foolish enough to fall for that, doesn’t mean that the rest of the country will. And even with his reincarnation of Goebbels (former Fox News president, and current White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication, Bill Shine), Trump isn’t going to find success in dumbing down America’s democracy. He’s only going to make sure that his Deplorables remain utterly and painfully clueless. Just the way he likes them.

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

Sean Hannity Forces a Fox News Lockdown on Opinions About the Rosenstein/Trump Affair

On Friday the New York Times published a bizarre story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The article alleged that Rosenstein had floated a suggestion to secretly record Donald Trump to gather evidence of his mental infirmity. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. That hardly seems like an allegation that needs any additional proof.

Fox News Sean Hannity

As noted yesterday, the article was peculiar because…

“…the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News.”

It looked like Trump was getting the support he would need to fire Rosenstein from a bevy of Fox News hacks. They included Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro. But all was not as tightly synchronized as one would expect of the Fox propaganda machine. Later that evening when Sean Hannity’s program came on, he had a decidedly different take on the matter. He looked squarely into the camera and delivered a personal message to Trump saying “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody. The president needs to know it is all a setup.” Hannity asserted that the whole thing might be an insidious attempt by the “deep state” to bait Trump into firing Rosenstein and then initiating impeachment proceedings against him for doing so.

Despite the absurdly Machiavellian flavor of that conspiracy theory, it appears to have taken hold and altered the Fox News playbook for this issue. Ingraham deleted her tweet without any explanation. And Pirro posted a subsequent tweet adopting Hannity’s framing. She even went a little further to speculate that Rosenstein was the Times’ anonymous source. Tucker Carlson was already on board having opined that it was former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who leaked the memos to the Times since he “has every incentive to want to see the president impeached.”

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

So now we have achieved the full hive-mind harmony that is required of a socio-political cult. This unanimity of viewpoint makes it possible for the borg Family to advance their robo-mission unencumbered by independent thought. And surprisingly, the leader of the Family has remained silent. Trump has not addressed the Times’ article directly since it’s publication. He did make a sideways reference at a rally that simply accused his Department of Justice of having a “lingering stench.” Which is something that, were he more self aware, he would realize was emanating from himself. But for the time being, Rosenstein’s job is safe due to the paranoid musings of Trump’s State TV (aka Fox News).

Fox News Urges Trump to Fire Rosenstein Over Comments in the ‘Fake News, Failing’ New York Times

The latest bombshell to emerge from Washington D.C. in the twisted era of Donald Trump comes just as the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is reaching a boiling point. Is it a distraction or a legitimate news story that demands immediate attention? No matter, it’s already getting the airwave blanketing that was inevitable considering the subject.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The New York Times is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had floated the idea of secretly recording Trump to gather evidence that he was mentally unstable and unfit for service. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. Other news reports have spoken to sources who say that Rosenstein was being sarcastic. And Rosenstein himself issued a firm denial.

What’s peculiar about this story, other than the distracting effect it has on Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, is that the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News. And he’s already getting it:


[Note: Ingraham deleted this tweet the next day. Was it because Hannity took the opposite position?]

Wow. Are these three confirmed Trump-fluffers all buying into the “fake news” from the New York Times? Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro are three of Trump’s most devoted supplicants on Fox News. And it stands to reason that they would want to rush to give him cover to jettison the bone spur that has traveled from Trump’s foot to his ample backside. But will he take the bait?

Trump has posted ten tweets since this news broke, and none of them are about Rosenstein or the New York Times. Is he consulting with Sean Hannity, Bill Shine, and the rest of his propaganda team to come up with a strategy? Is he afraid to get out too far ahead of the story while it’s still unfolding? Is he getting spanked by a porn star at Mar-A-Lago? Who knows? But the fear factor may be the most plausible scenario. Because even his pals at Fox News aren’t completely in his corner. Shelby Holliday of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had this to say in an interview shortly after the story was released:

It probably won’t be long until Trump makes his views known about this. He is simply too lacking in self control to keep his mouth shut. But if he does fire Rosenstein he’s going to have to explain why he suddenly believes the “failing” New York Times” whose story was based on the anonymous sources that Trump says don’t exist. He will also have to face more charges of obstruction of justice as Mueller gets closer to wrapping up his probe. But if he let’s it go, then Mueller and company proceed as before. So all told, this is really a lose-lose proposition for Trump.

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

LATE BREAKING: Sean Hannity is diverging from his Fox colleagues above. On his program Friday night he had a personal message for Trump, warning him that “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody.” Hannity thinks Trump is being set up by Democrats – or the deep state, or Satan – and that giving Rosenstein the boot is a “set up,” a plot to justify impeachment. Those insidious demonrats.

A New Record? Liar-in-Chief, Donald Trump, Squeezes 10 Lies Into a Single Tweet

For someone who has made lying the hallmark of his public persona, Donald Trump is committed to advancing that character flaw to ever new heights. It’s not enough that he has won at least two Lie of the Year awards from PolitiFact, or that he surpassed 5,000 lies since his inauguration. He continues to climb to new summits in the pursuit of prevarication.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

On Sunday morning, Trump apparently missed church so that he could repeatedly violate the Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not lie. And he managed to commit this sin ten times in the space of a single tweet. It’s a feat that could compete with the holy spectacles of parting the Red Sea or getting elected president after bragging about grabbing women by their private parts. Here is the miraculous tweet:

Lie #1: It’s not illegal.
Let’s break this down in order. The first lie arrives quickly in the second word, “illegal.” The Mueller investigation is legal by any measure of consideration. It was authorized by Trump’s own attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and is headed by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein. The entire probe is subject to the review of the Deputy Attorney General, who has approved everything that Mueller is doing.

Lie #2: It’s not a “Witch Hunt”:
This is one of Trump’s favorite ways to malign the investigation. But the absurdity of his attack is evidenced by the fact that so many “witches” have already been found. Mueller has produced dozens of indictments and secured seven guilty pleas/verdicts. And many of these felons are now cooperating with Mueller on broader matters that might include Trump’s collusion with Russia.

Lie #3: Mueller is not searching for a crime:
The special counsel is limited to only those areas of inquiry that are authorized by his bosses at the Justice Department. Everything he has been investigating has been explicitly approved and he has no authority to go beyond those limits without getting additional approvals. His only mandate is to investigate alleged crimes and document what he finds. If there were no crimes committed, he won’t find any.

Lie #4: There was collusion:
No matter how many times Trump whines that there was no collusion, he cannot erase reality. His son and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, admit that they met with Russian operatives to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. What’s more, numerous people in Trump’s circle (Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, etc.) have met with Russians and lied about about until the evidence made that impossible.

Lie #5: The collusion was not by Hillary Clinton:
There is absolutely zero evidence that Clinton or her campaign had any dealings with Russia. What Trump likes to assert is that the infamous Steele dossier is somehow proof of Clinton’s collusion. But that research was done independently by Christopher Steele, who got information from Russian dissidents, not Kremlin operatives. And Clinton never directed any of that investigation.

Lie #6: There aren’t 17 angry Democrats:
As a technical matter, there are 65 million angry Democrats. But more to the point, Trump is accusing Mueller’s team of being partisan and biased against him. But these are career Justice Department professionals who have shown no bias whatsoever in the conduct of their duties. And the head of the team, Mueller, is a life-long Republican who could overrule any finding that he determined was improperly influenced by personal opinions. Mueller proved his impartiality by removing former FBI official, Peter Strzok, after only two weeks due to the appearance of bias (although none was actually found).

Lie #7: They are not Looking for “anything”:
This is similar to lie #3 where Trump asserts that the investigation is just fishing for anything to hang on him. But once again, Mueller’s authority is strictly overseen by his superiors at the Justice Department. He cannot simply wander off on his own to hook the President.

Lie #8: It’s not unfair:
This is just Trump whining (and he did say that he is the “most fabulous whiner”. This is only unfair to the same degree that any criminal regards his prosecution as unfair. They would obviously prefer not to be under investigation at all. But Mueller’s probe is following all the rules set forth by applicable laws, and if Trump doesn’t like it he’s just behaving the way any other guilty person would. If he were innocent he would expect that the result would exonerate him and welcome the investigation as as an opportunity to clear his name.

Lie #9: It’s not bad for the country:
Let’s face it. This is only bad for Trump. What’s bad for the country is that Trump engaged in such shady and illegal activities that we all have to go through this nightmare. It’s no one’s fault but Trump’s. And he doesn’t get to decide whether his being brought to justice is bad for the country. His conviction will result in his having to pay the price for his crimes. And it will hopefully serve as a deterrent to other aspiring criminals and traitors.

Lie #10: It most definitely is allowed:
Everything that Mueller is doing is strictly according to the law (see Lie #1). Trump didn’t cite any alleged legal violation because there isn’t one. Not that he would be able to understand it if there were. His lawyers haven’t even cited any legal argument for ending the investigation, nor have they filed any motions to do so. The only threat to the investigation is Trump’s frequent warnings that he might interfere with the proceedings because he doesn’t like that they exist. That would just be another incident of obstruction of justice.

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

So Trump’s tweet managed to get everything wrong. It was a panicky outburst that exhibits just how frightened and desperate he is. It’s what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.” And Trump has demonstrated that so many times it’s impossible to count. One thing for sure is that Mueller is taking all of this into consideration and it will be a part of his final report. Trump is so stupid he has no idea how badly he’s hurting his own case. But that’s typical of malignant narcissists who are always convinced of their own superior intelligence and virtue. And it’s also typical of their eventual downfall.

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

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

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Response to Mueller’s Indictment of 12 Russians Further Implies His Consciousness of Guilt

The breaking news this Friday morning is on a scale that is rarely seen in modern politics and crime. The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, announced the indictment of twelve Russian intelligence operatives for illegally hacking into the accounts of members of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. These are not some anonymous “dark web” patsies, but actual agents of Russia’s GRU spy agency.

Donald Trump

Naturally, Fox News has played down the story by airing short reports at the top of the hour and ignoring it thereafter. Other cable news networks are doing the deep dive into the many sordid details. And Fox is also leaping to the defense of Donald Trump by highlighting remarks that Rosenstein made regarding the allegations that are not asserting any complicity by Americans or vote total changes. What they are forgetting is that there are only no such allegations YET. This is not over by a long shot.

The response from the White White was astonishingly tone deaf. They issued a brief statement that was entirely defensive, as if the only consideration was how this affected the probe into Trump’s criminal collusion with Russia. It read:

As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today:

– There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians.
– There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime.
– There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.

Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.

It’s clear that Trump doesn’t care at all about the attack on America’s democratic system. He doesn’t say one word about the atrocity that is alleged in the indictments. And of course, he doesn’t criticize his friend (boss) Vladimir Putin. He doesn’t make even the most timid condemnation of Russia for their actions. He just whines that nothing in the indictments accuses him of anything. And, as noted above, that is only for the time being. Neither Rosenstain nor special counsel Robert Mueller said anything about there not being any further indictments. And the investigation is still in progress.

Along with Fox News and the Republican echo chamber’s ludicrous efforts to spin this as vindication for Trump, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is asserting that these indictments are “good News,” and suggest that they prove that “Trump is completely innocent.” Which they most certainly do not do. Giuliani is also saying that Thursday’s congressional inquisition of Peter Strzok makes it less likely that Trump will ever interview with Mueller. Gee, ya think? Trump never intended to interview with Mueller.

You can count on Fox News to fiercely continue defending Trump and to make these cries of absolution for at least the remainder of the day. It remains to be seen how long they will have this sort of wiggle room to avoid the increasingly obvious evidence of Trump’s treasonous guilt. But these new charges are an indication that Mueller is getting closer to the completion of his investigation. It isn’t surprising that no Americans were included in this set of indictments. The primary targets are always held in confidence until the end. Stay tuned.

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

Fox News ‘Judge’ Pirro: If I Were in Charge the President Would Be Playing Golf Right Now

Never let it be said that Fox News doesn’t have its priorities in the right place. They know their mission is to advance the interests of Donald Trump and his perversion of Republican Party politics. They dutifully pursue that mission with enthusiasm for the propaganda they espouse throughout their broadcast day.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

One of the most devoted disciples of Fox’s Trump Cult is “Judge” Jeanine Pirro. Her spittle-inflected ravings are a unique spectacle on cable news. Even Sean Hannity’s fawning adoration of Dear Leader doesn’t reach the passionate infatuation expressed by Pirro on every episode of her relentless Trump-fluffing program. After all, she recently declared that Trump had “fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods.” And on Friday morning she proved why she is viewed as the Fox “personality” who has the most direct line to Trump’s brain.

Pirro was interviewed Friday on Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends (video below). The segment began with a discussion of whether Trump should sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Pirro what she would do if she were in charge. “If I were in charge,” she began, “the President would be playing golf right now. There is no way the President should appear before Bob Mueller.”

OK then. Not only is Pirro against Trump talking to Mueller, she apparently isn’t keen on him doing any presidential work either. She wants Trump to be doing what he does more than anything else: visiting his luxury resorts and playing golf. That’s something he has already done more than 100 times since taking office. And to tell the truth, most Americans would also probably prefer that Trump camp out at Mar-A-Lago rather than do more damage to the nation. But Pirro wasn’t finished giving her view of Trump’s responsibility to the people. But her reasons for having the President avoid a sit-down with Mueller are sorely lacking in reason:

“Think about it. If a sitting president cannot be indicted, and this president were to be questioned, it would only be for the purpose of an indictment. The legislative branch is not gonna be in a position – which is what Mueller would like – to get the testimony of the President so that they can then use it to impeach him. That’s the problem.”

What’s the problem? Pirro isn’t making sense. First of all, there is no law prohibiting the indictment of a sitting President. It’s a rule within the Justice Department that can be changed at any time and has never been tested in court. Trump’s TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tried miserably to make the same argument. More to the point, Pirro says that Mueller only wants Trump’s testimony so that Congress can impeach him. Which implies that Trump has something to say that would warrant impeachment. Yes, Jeanine, that is a problem. And it’s also a problem when a president is afraid to talk with a law enforcement investigator. Is there any better indicator of guilt?

Pirro’s opposition to impeachment, however, is limited to its use against Trump. Later in this interview she insisted that Justice Department investigators, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should be impeached. Never mind that she offered no justification other than her rabid hostility to anyone who is even tangentially critical of her White House boyfriend. The whole strategy of the White House and its PR division (aka Fox News) is to demean the nation’s institutions of law in order to convince their base that there is massive conspiracy against Trump. But the truth is that it’s reality that is conspiring against the President and his frantic and irrational behavior is proof that he knows it.

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