The Walking White House Dead: Trump Declares Whatever He Doesn’t Like to Be Deceased

The White House released its first medical exam results on Tuesday and, lo and behold, they heralded the excellent health of Donald Trump. Never mind that his doctor warned that he’s border line obese, has high cholesterol, shows evidence of heart disease, has “stroke issues,” and worst of all, is on a hair loss prevention medication.

Donald Trump

The real health problems that plague the Trump White House are all the corpses laying around of policies and opponents that Trump has certified as having expired. The latest one is what Trump calls the “Russian Collusion Hoax,” which he declared dead in a tweet Tuesday morning:

Of course, Trump is not a doctor, nor has he played one on TV. So his diagnosis cannot be regarded as reliable. Especially since all the evidence shows a healthy investigation into Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia with a strong prognosis for impeachment. And Trump’s assertion that “the public gets it” is only true if what he means is that the public knows that he’s a pathological liar.

Recent polling shows that sixty-one percent of Americans think that the Russia probes are a serious matter that should be fully investigated. Only thirty-four percent disagree. Trump’s handling of Russia is favored by a mere thirty-two percent, while fifty-six percent disapprove. A majority of fifty-six percent also say that Trump’s comments on the Russia probe have been mostly or completely false. And special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has an overall approval rating of forty-seven percent vs. only thirty-four percent who disapprove of Mueller.

So it’s difficult to conclude that the Russia collusion story has seen its final days. What’s more, along with Muellers investigation and at least one Grand Jury, there are multiple committees in Congress conducting ongoing inquiries. Four indictments have been issued with trials pending, and two Trump associates having pleaded guilty. Just today Trump’s former campaign chair and chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury.

But the Russia affair is only one of Trump’s victims. He has previously announced the demise of numerous media enterprises. Most famously, Trump likes to refer to the “failing” New York Times, despite the record subscriptions and revenues they are enjoying. But there’s more where that came from:

There have been at least twelve death notices on Twitter that declared ObamaCare vanquished. Even though it had a record number of new sign-ups last year, despite Trump’s fierce efforts to sabotage it. Here are a couple representative tweets.

And of course, according to Trump, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program kicked the bucket too. That remains to be seen since it is currently being debated in Congress with Democrats determined to preserve it. The vast majority of Americans (eighty-six percent) favor allowing Dreamers to remain in the country. Despite that overwhelming public support, Trump and his Republican comrades are standing firm in opposition to the American people:

Donald Trump is distinguishing himself as the “Sixth Sense” president. Everywhere he turns he sees dead people or policies or other carcasses of whatever has riled him up for the moment. It’s a morbid existence he must endure in a White House draped in black. But it’s also a delusional existence that defies reality as he endeavors to force his demons on the rest of the nation.

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

Trump’s Fox News Fetish Could Be Making the Network a Security Risk Exploitable By Russia

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News has always been problematic. It represents the closest thing to state-run TV that the United States has ever had. The anchors and reporters on Fox serve as dutiful sycophants to the Trump administration, advancing his self-serving agenda and defending his every fault. While Trump repays Fox by promoting the network and its personalities with free advertisements on his Twitter feed and relentless attacks on their competition.

Fox News Commies

However, there may be more worrisome consequences from this political/media marriage of propagandistic convenience. Aki Peritz, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, just wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that raises some frightening possibilities that might result from the parasitic combination of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and the dimwitted White House. The article, headlined “Foreign spies are watching — and probably targeting — Fox News Channel” delves into some reasonable speculation about how hostile foreign intelligence operations might benefit from monitoring – and possibly compromising – Fox News. What follows are some excerpts that provide a taste of how this problem could become a recipe for disaster:

“[I]f I were a spymaster in the employ of a hostile foreign service, I’d devote some significant effort to penetrating one specific private institution: Fox News Channel.”

“It’s no secret that Fox News — specifically, shows such as ‘Hannity,’ ‘Fox & Friends,’ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ — have outsize influence on the inner workings of how certain policies are carried out by the U.S. government.”

“[H]ostile foreign intelligence services are probably consuming as much Fox News as President Trump does.”

“Trump’s unfiltered Twitter feed provides world intelligence operatives with ‘a real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind’ – traits to be exploited in further dealings on the global stage. And what better way to determine what the president thinks – for the price of basic cable — than to watch selected Fox News programming?”

“A truly aggressive intelligence effort would not just monitor what’s being said on the network. It would target the on-air talent, as well as the folks behind the scenes who make the network’s programming possible: producers, bookers, associate producers, production assistants and the like. This might range from opening friendly contacts with these employees to outright recruitment.”

“Compared to government workers, Fox employees would make easy targets. That’s because they aren’t public officials — they’re news and entertainment people. Also, it’s television — full of trade secrets, big personalities and titanic egos. Most wouldn’t expect to be compromised by a hostile intelligence power, especially on American soil. Few, if any, have the sort of counterintelligence training the U.S. government administers to people in sensitive positions, because Fox employees are not the usual targets for intelligence operations. But the president’s continuing, very specific interest in the channel heightens their risk of being approached by a hostile government.”

Peritz specifically mentions the risk posed by covert operations aimed at Fox News staff. For instance, Sean Hannity is known to speak frequently with Trump. So bugging Hannity’s phone or office “could provide real-time intelligence on the American president and his thoughts.” The same could be true for others at Fox News. Trump’s chumminess with people at Fox has resulted in several of them getting jobs in the administration, including K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, and Heather Nauert. Two of Fox’s current prime time lineup, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, were reported to have been candidates for press secretary.

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

The WaPo article is careful not to present this theory as anything more than informed speculation. But given what is known about how Russia conducts its spy operations, it would be prudent for all Fox News employees to be wary, even suspicious, about contacts from friendly strangers. That is, if they aren’t actively seeking out Russians for collusion on behalf of Trump, who is already deeply compromised.

Trump is a ‘Very Stable Genius’ Who Mindlessly Repeats What He Just Saw on Fox and Friends

The questions about Donald Trump’s apparent psychological decline are rapidly becoming more than partisan speculation. And the person most responsible for affirming the President’s mental infirmity just happens to be Donald Trump. The more he talks about his own cerebral frailty, the more feeble he appears to be.

Fox News Trump

On Saturday morning Trump thought it was necessary to defend himself against the allegations that have been made by politicians, pundits, and mental health professionals. But his comments were a pathetic mess of ego and delusion. He tweeted that:

It is notable that these tweets were posted less than ten minutes after a segment on this subject was aired on Fox and Friends. This is a pattern that is repeated frequently by Trump who obviously watches the program religiously, despite saying that he doesn’t have time for television. The message in the tweets is one that should be of concern to all Americans.

First of all, the investigation into his involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election has not been proven to be a hoax. Quite the contrary. There have already been four indictments with two guilty pleas. The rest of what has been uncovered by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is still under wraps. And PolitiFact awarded Trump it’s Lie of the Year for repeatedly making this statement about the matter being a hoax.

Secondly, no one has ever recognized Trump’s two greatest assets as his “mental stability” or “being, like, really smart.” And if he wants to make that claim himself he probably shouldn’t sound so much like a “Valley Girl.” (fer sure). His true assets were actually having been born into a wealthy family and having the shameless lack of character that permits him to lie, cheat, and steal to get what he wants.

His boasts about education are a lame attempt to cling to some alleged glory from half a century ago. And it’s all the more irrelevant since he refuses to release his college transcripts. Also, Trump has never been a successful businessman. He would be far richer if he had just invested his inheritance in an S&P 500 indexed mutual fund. With at least four bankruptcies, he can hardly lay claim to any business prowess. And like his college claims, Trump refuses to release his tax returns to validate his alleged success in business.

Finally, Trump’s self-exalting assertions about his sanity and brilliance are downright surreal. When was the last time you heard “a very stable genius” say he was a very stable genius? Smart people are the last people to say that they are smart. Trump’s bragging is actually a sort of certification of his ignorance and instability. And he elaborated on that theme in brief remarks to reporters at Camp David when a reporter asked “This morning you were tweeting about your mental state. Why did you feel the need to tweet about that this morning?”

Whereupon Trump regurgitated his tedious refrain about having been an “excellent student” and becoming a successful businessman and TV star. Then he drifted off into a diatribe against Fire and Fury author, Michael Wolff, and his former top White House aide, Sloppy Steve Bannon. Watch this video and see for yourself if he ever approaches a coherent answer to the question regarding his mental state:

Remember, the question was “Why did you feel the need to tweet about [your mental state] this morning?” The answer was aimless blather about his perception of his own awesomeness and his perceived enemies. That isn’t the response of someone who is either stable or a genius. If anything, Trump’s response this morning affirms the broadly held assessment that he is unfit for the office he holds. His inability to maintain a focus on the topic is a symptom of cognitive dysfunction. It’s a cry for help that everyone – from his family to his Republican peers – is ignoring. And the peril this represents to the nation, and the world, cannot be overstated.

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

Trump’s ALL-CAPS Post-Christmas Rant Reveals How Frightened He Is of His Bleak Future

The day after Donald Trump made it safe for Americans to say “Merry Christmas” again, he went straight back into the political fray. Well, he actually went straight back to one of his golf courses. But he did find the time to post a message on Twitter that expressed his innermost thoughts on the news of the day. Well, the news according to Fox News.

Donald Trump

Trump’s latest Twitter tirade was pretty much a rehash of the same nonsense that he has been disgorging for months. He has frequently yelped about the investigations being conducted to ascertain his involvement with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. But he is clearly adding a huge helping of the horror that is overwhelming him as the investigations circle ever closer around him and his associates. Perhaps as a sort of relief valve he tweeted:

WOW, indeed. The first notable part of this presidential outburst is that Trump is, once again, identifying his source as his favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. So despite his access to the world’s best intelligence apparatus, Trump still relies on the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of a morning cable “news” show, that Fox doesn’t even classify as news. And to make matters worse, Trump was apparently so flustered with fear that he linked to a fake Fox and Friends Twitter account (note the “L” rather than an “I” in Friends).

As for the rest of the tweet, it was feast of falsehoods that are easily disproved. The so-called Steele Dossier to which Trump refers is decidedly not bogus. While the entirety of it has not yet been affirmed, much of what has been researched has been solidly verified. CNN reported in October that:

“While the most salacious allegations in the dossier haven’t been verified, its broad assertion that Russia waged a campaign to interfere in the election is now accepted as fact by the US intelligence community. CNN also reported earlier this year that US investigators have corroborated some aspects of the dossier, specifically that some of the communications among foreign nationals mentioned in the memos did actually take place.”

Additionally, Trump’s eagerness to blame Hillary Clinton for all his problems is not only misplaced, it’s a purposeful attempt to malign his arch nemesis and shift attention from himself. He never bothers to mention that the dossier originated with the Washington Free Beacon, a right-wing news website. And Trump’s assertion that it was used “as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign” is just wholly made up.

The inspiration for Trump’s Boxing Day bluster was, as is often the case, something he saw on Fox and Friends. The segment featured Buck Sexton, a conservative radio talk show show and former CIA analyst (with a comic book name that makes it hard to take him seriously). Sexton and Fox co-host Pete Hegseth covered some of the exact subjects as Trump’s tweet (video below):

Sexton: What we really want to know is was the dossier, as you all are quite aware, was a Clinton funded opposition research document, the basis for weaponizing the intelligence community against a political campaign as it was happening. People are talking about the Russian collusion as the greatest scandal – this would be the greatest scandal certainly of my lifetime.
Hegseth: And the Washington Times reporting that the FBI admitting that it can’t verify that dossier claims of Russia. Which would further the potential problem with that.

For the record, the FBI never said they “can’t verify” the dossier’s claims. They said that they “haven’t verified” some of the claims. Which is completely different. But Fox did manage to back up their BS with the ultra-right “Moonie” Washington Times. It’s all part of the conservative media machine’s effort to discredit and delegitimize special counsel Robert Mueller and any other independent investigation of Trump’s corruption and treason. That war on the truth is also being waged by Trump’s pals in the Kremlin. Newsweek reports that Russia “is using social media to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, a former CIA official and a former Republican congressman said Monday night.” And with that the quartet is complete: Russia, Trump, the GOP, and Fox News are all working together to sabotage Mueller and his investigation.

They must realize that the facts are against them and that their only hope is destroy the reputation of career law enforcement professionals who are doing their jobs. Think about this: if Trump, et al believed for a second that Mueller’s investigation would exonerate him, would he seek to tarnish the reputation of the man who could prove his innocence?

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

PolitiFact 2017 Lie of the Year: Trump Calling Russia’s Election Interference a ‘Hoax’

PolitiFact has just announced the winner of their annual “Lie of the Year” honors. It must have have been an excruciating task to whittle down the contenders from the plethora of brazen, purposeful truth manglers. They could have just given up and called 2017 “The Year of the Lie.”

Donald Trump

Nevertheless, PolitiFact persevered and came up with a worthy recipient. Donald Trump’s near inability to ever say anything truthful was bound to score a victory one way or another. The rest of the political liars stood little chance against someone who is certifiably pathological. The Washington Post has documented more than 1,600 lies told by this record-breaking prevaricator.

In 2015 Trump won his first Lie of the Year award for “The campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.” They were so numerous the fact-checkers couldn’t settle on a single lie. He didn’t take that well and, in a typically lame Trump tantrum, he responded on Fox News. Trump even got an honorable mention of sorts in 2016’s Lie of the year, “Fake News,” because he was such a frequent contributor to the fakery. However, this year PolitiFact managed to narrow down Trump’s gushing geyser of bullshit to one lie that is particularly significant in terms of its bald-faced dishonesty and its potential for severe harm: “Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story‘.” They began their analysis by saying that:

“A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.

“In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.”

Achieving this “honor” may be consolation to Trump after not being chosen as Time Magazines’s Person of the Year. PolitiFact noted that virtually every assessment of Russia’s activities concluded that Vladimir Putin and Company did interfere with the U.S. election in a multitude of ways. It was not a partisan observation. Republicans and Democrats alike recognized that Russia was deeply involved in election hacking and propaganda. And as PolitiFact put it, “After all this, one man keeps saying it didn’t even happen.” Indeed, Trump stood alone in denying the obvious and defending his pals in the Kremlin.

“This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt. “It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.” And he tried desperately to shift the blame elsewhere, including to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, China, or some fat guy in a New Jersey basement. Anyone but Vlad. In fact, Trump explicitly let Putin off the hook because the Russian dictator assured him that he didn’t do it. And Trump believes Putin over his own American intelligence agencies.

PolitiFact spent little time addressing whether or not Trump colluded with Russia to impact the outcome of the election. But it’s hard to separate the two. Especially when every utterance by Trump supports the Russian version events. What’s more, Trump and his associates repeatedly denied any encounters with Russians during the campaign and after. However, they later had to admit that many of them had many meetings that they all somehow forgot for some reason. There can’t be that many blatant misstatements by that many people without there being some intent to hide something.

And just to top off this Christmas tree with a distinctly Trumpian ornament, the President tweeted about this very issue this morning:

He is still calling the Russia investigations fake news. And despite the indictments (and two guilty pleas) of four of his accomplices (so far), he stubbornly asserts that the investigations are a waste of time and money. Then he shifts from that to his desperate denials of sexual misconduct and crimes. This may be his first bid for 2018 Lie of the Year. And he’s off to great start by claiming that he doesn’t know, or never met, any of his victims. The only problem with that is that one of his accusers was a contestant on The Apprentice. Another participated in his beauty pageant. And another was placed at the scene of his abuse by his own witness.

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

PolitiFact may have to exempt Trump from any future recognition in this competition. No one else can possibly challenge such an accomplished liar and skilled reality distortion machine. Perhaps they should rename the whole affair “The Donald Trump Lie of the Year Awards” and let some other sham merchants have a chance to win.

In His Own Words: Trump is a Traitor Who Believes Putin Over His Own Intelligence Agencies

Thousands of miles from America Donald Trump is shooting off his ignorant mouth and putting the country and the world in peril. This could not be a clearer case of treason against the United States. And the fact that it is committed by someone with the title of president makes it all the more disturbing and dangerous.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

While in Vietnam, a country Trump avoiding visiting as a young man by seeking five draft deferments, the President was asked about the well documented attack on American democracy by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. His responses are bone-chilling and demonstrate just how far he has deviated from his patriotic duty and common sense. Here are some choice excerpts from his remarks:

  • “Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that [hack our election],’ and I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”
    That’s comforting. Except that every time his own intelligence agencies tell him that Putin DID interfere with our election, apparently they don’t mean it and he doesn’t believe them.
  • “I can’t stand there and argue with him.”
    Why the hell not? He’s the leader of a hostile foreign nation that has always wanted to bring down the U.S. You are a coward if you can’t stand up to that.
  • “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
    So you can’t insult our enemies, but you can insult fellow Americans, including our veterans? Is that a good thing for our country?
  • “Everybody knows there was no collusion. I think it’s a shame that something like this can destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are very important countries. Russia could really help us.”
    You might want to check the facts (and Robert Mueller) before you make absurd claims about what “everybody knows.” And if you think Putin’s aim is to help us you are certifiably insane.
  • “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
    Why are you even asking him? We have the answer and he’s a liar. What’s more, you are again contradicting the entire U.S. intelligence community. And that includes the people you appointed (not some so-called “deep state” Obama holdovers): CIA chief Mike Pompeo, DNI Dan Coats, FBI director Christopher Wray, NSA head Mike Rogers, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Counterterrorism adviser Thomas Bossert.
  • “This artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way and that’s a shame because people will die because of it.”
    Is that a some kind of veiled threat?

It’s hard to find the words to react to this frighteningly stupid and treacherous rhetoric. Luckily, the above linked article from Politico supplied a quote from an expert that sums it up perfectly:

“The worst part of this is not that Trump takes Putin’s word over the evidence based analysis of his own intelligence agencies. It is not even that he plays the role of a useful idiot as he kowtows to Putin yet again. The worst part, by far, is that a hostile power is engaged in an ongoing attack on America’s political system and Trump is deliberately stripping the nation’s defenses bare and leaving us exposed to future assaults. It is unilateral disarmament plain and simple,” said Thomas Wright, Director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and an expert in national security. “We have never seen this type of weakness in a U.S. president before.”

Sadly, we have never seen this type of weakness, idiocy, narcissism, corruption, blindness, cowardice, treasonous, childishness, vengefulness, greed, and hatred, in a U.S. president before. Hopefully we will not see it for very much longer. He needs to be driven from office by either law or shame. And our Congress must finally take a stand for what’s right and fulfill the oath they took to defend the Constitution.

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

Donald Trump is in Full-Panic Mode Ahead of Mueller’s Monday Indictment Announcement

Like a lousy poker player, Donald Trump has a “tell” that broadcasts his innermost thoughts to anyone paying attention. Whenever he’s worried, or someone has dared to criticize him, he lashes out on Twitter. His thoroughly predictable routine is to focus intently on whatever is sticking in his craw at the moment. Everything else will be ignored, even pertinent matters like hurricane relief or the deaths of American soldiers.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

And so it was Sunday morning with an especially protracted tweetstorm by the President. This Twitter tantrum revolved around Friday’s announcement that a Grand Jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller is about to issue indictments. While there was no indication of the targets or the charges, it’s clear that it has spooked Trump. Consequently, he unleashed a stream of bile that exposes his own worst fears. And even though he posted them as a fractured run-on sentence, let’s address each one in sequence:


In fact, only a few ultra-rightist Republicans have bothered to comment on this. Most likely they recognize the folly of helping the Trump/Russia story to persist in the news cycle. What Trump probably meant was that he hasn’t seen such Fox News “ANGER & UNITY.” He could point to several Fox rants, including Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. But the looniest is surely that of Jeanine Pirro, who calls for Mueller to be fired and Hillary Clinton to be jailed.


Here Trump rattles off a few golden oldies from his campaign. Never mind that they have all been debunked by legitimate journalists. For instance, PolitiFact called the Uranium One allegations “Mostly False” more than a year ago.


Continuing to envelope himself in the bubble-wrap of Trumpian denial, the President dismisses the avalanche of facts associating him and his comrades with Russia. If it’s a “Witch Hunt,” it has actually found some witches. That’s what Mueller will be disclosing Monday.


Once again, Trump has asserted a Republican response that he can’t support with proof. It’s a Fox News response. And he is virtually admitting that there is no GOP pushback by posting, in all caps, “DO SOMETHING!” Why would that be necessary if they were already fighting back?


And there’s the capper. Trump thinks that Mueller’s indictments were timed to sink tax reform. That’s a spectacularly ludicrous conspiracy theory. To be true you would have to believe a flurry of unlikely events. First, that the special counsel appointed by a republican Justice Department is among the conspirators. Secondly, that the investigation was a legal time bomb intended to blow up legislation rather than bring criminals to justice. Thirdly, that it was triggered last May and set to go off whenever tax reform was taken up in Congress. Of course, no one had any idea then (or now) when that would be. Finally, why would this plot be aimed at tax reform rather than healthcare, immigration, climate change, or any other issue Trump has demagogued?

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

The quantity and quackery of these tweets is the best evidence that Trump is frightened enough to require new pants. The conspiracy component sounds like something he picked up from his pal, Alex Jones. And he even managed to get in a swipe at his favorite foe, Hillary Clinton. The whole package appears to have been crafted by Fox News, where precisely the same narrative is unfolding. It’s a lame strategy that is destined to fail. As soon as Mueller’s indictments are announced, these whining outbursts will seem comically irrelevant. But it’s all they have, and they’ll play it for all it’s worth, for as long as they can.

Gee Thanks: Donald Trump and Fox News Bring Back the Russia Pee-Pee Dossier

The nation, and the world, are presently enveloped in a myriad of potential catastrophes. For example: nuclear war with North Korea; tax reform; natural disasters; terrorism, etc. Under the circumstances, you might think that Donald Trump would seek to focus on any of those critical issues. If so, you don’t know Donald Trump. True to form, the President has managed to shine a spotlight on one of his biggest embarrassments.

Sean Hannity

The now infamous Trump Dossier is a treasure trove of salacious and politically damning information. Much of it is speculative, but much has also been vetted and independently corroborated. The former British spy who compiled it is considered reliable by many intelligence agencies, including those in the United States. And if there is one scandalous controversy that Trump should be anxious to ditch, it’s the one that has him cavorting with Russian prostitutes. But for some reason, the Twitter obsessed President can’t resist his self-destructive urges:

Poor Donnie, Always the victim. And now he’s helping to remind America of his alleged escapades in Moscow with a different kind of golden shower than the one in his Manhattan penthouse. Trump is reprising this story because the Washington Post just published an article that ties Democrats to the Dossier. The only problem with this breaking news is that it was broken a year ago. In October of 2016, David Corn wrote for Mother Jones that the Dossier’s author had been “researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere.” In his article Corn noted that:

“This was for an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul. (Before the former spy was retained, the project’s financing switched to a client allied with Democrats).”

So what began as opposition research for the GOP was taken up by Democratic operatives. That’s probably because the findings included “troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government.” Also, sources alleged “an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” But in any case, the Democratic connection was obviously known long before WaPo’s “scoop.” It was even known by wingnut propaganda dispensers at Fox News. Trump fluffers like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have long been peddling this partisan snake oil.

So it’s ironic that Trump is now relying on the “fake” news purveyors at WaPo for his smear campaign info. His tweet Wednesday morning credited Fox News with the data. However, there’s a bigger question here. Do Trump and Fox News really think it’s noteworthy that Democrats might have funded opposition research against their opposition? Isn’t that what all campaigns do as a matter of routine? When Fox’s Jeanine Pirro was defending Trump, Jr. for meeting with Russians during the campaign she bragged that:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-faced liar.”

In fact, Trump said pretty much the same thing:

Now suddenly it’s an abomination for Hillary Clinton’s campaign to engage in opposition research. The hypocrisy is palpable. But the objective for Trump and his pals at Fox News is to conflate this old, non-story with the more relevant allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. And it’s a talking point that was distributed to all of the network’s programs. Already the subject has been covered by Pirro, Tucker Carlson, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, and, of course, Sean Hannity. For his part, Hannity helpfully stirred the recollection of the most depraved portions of the Dossier:

“The Democrats, media, they were happy to repeat, for example, that ‘Oh, Donald Trump was at the Ritz in Moscow and he had hookers urinating in his bed.’ […] All of this makes the Clinton campaign and the DNC complicit in spreading Russian propaganda and Russian lies about then-candidate, Donald Trump.

You have to wonder why Hannity thought that would benefit his buddy Trump. He could have simply talked about the Dossier in disparaging terms and left it at that. But no. This genius thought visualizing Russian hookers urinating on Trump had to be a feature of the broadcast. Never mind that the entire story involving who paid for some routine opposition research doesn’t even come close to the scandal of enlisting Russians to tamper with an American election. Clearly they are pretending to be more interest in who paid for it than what’s in it. But all of this just illustrates how desperate they are to deflect from the real news and to attack their perennial foe, Hillary Clinton, who holds no office and says she never will.

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump Proposes Unconstitutional Senate Investigation of the Media

One of the first things that aspiring tyrants do after assuming power is to suppress and/or control the media. That’s a difficult task in a country that has explicitly protected a free press in its Constitution. But that isn’t stopping Donald Trump from trying anyway.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In his latest Twitter tantrum, Trump has taken another step toward the monarchy that he so fervently desires to lead. He has escalated his relentless (and unsuccessful) smear campaign against what he refers to as “fake” news, but is actually any news that isn’t fawning adulation. On Thursday morning he tweeted this disturbingly fascist proposition:

There are several easy answers to Trump’s frightful question. To begin with, “so much of our news” is not fake. Trump doesn’t bother to offer any proof of his allegation because he doesn’t have any. The media may get things wrong from time to time, but “made up” news is rare and dealt with harshly. Unlike what happens when Trump himself makes things up. He refuses to issue corrections or apologies and, more often than not, repeats the lies after he already knows they are lies. The Washington Post has documented more than 1,100 false or misleading claims since his inauguration. That’s almost five lies per day.

More importantly, what Trump is suggesting is blatantly unconstitutional. He is directing another independent government body to investigate the independent media. The Constitution prohibits Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” A White House sponsored Senate investigation based on news content is an unambiguous breach of the First Amendment.

Another reason the Senate Intelligence Committee isn’t looking into fake news is that it’s the Intelligence Committee. It has no jurisdiction in that area. Trump’s proposal is a clear effort to deflect the Committee, and the nation, from an entirely different investigation. Already under way is the probe into Trump’s electoral collusion with Russia and related financial corruption. Trump’s obviously afraid of what they’ll discover and is anxious to divert attention away from it.

Another reason Senate Intel isn’t looking into fake news is that it would likely turn up more evidence of fakery by Fox News than by any other media organization. The Republicans in charge of the Committee are aware of this and thus reluctant to pursue it. Fox News has been found to have lied far more often than any of their peers. PolitiFact scored their coverage as “Mostly False, False” or “Pants on Fire” sixty percent of the time. That compares to forty-one percent for MSNBC, and only twenty-seven percent for CNN. So Trump’s favorite network would suffer the most damage from such an investigation were it constitutionally permitted.

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

Trump’s obsession with portraying the media as fake is driven by fear. He’s afraid of reports that correctly describe his ignorance and incompetence. He’s afraid of being caught in bed with the Russians (literally and figuratively). He desperately wants to change the subject and poison the minds of news consumers. And he’s willing to subvert the Constitution in order to assuage his fears and achieve his goals. That’s what dictators do. And Trump has been behaving like a manic tyrant throughout his brief residence in the White House. And for most of his adult life for that matter.

North Korea? NFL? Oh Wait – Russia Probes Are ‘Closing In’ on Donald Trump

For much of the past week Donald Trump has been tweeting in a frenzy over subjects not previously in the news. He has escalated the debate over professional athletes expressing themselves on matters of significant social importance. And he has also created a crisis situation with North Korea that wasn’t an issue until he starting mouthing off.

Carl Bernstein

Both of those issues are newsworthy on their own now. Certainly the message behind the movement that quarterback Colin Kaepernick started needs to be addressed. Systemic racism in America continues to cause real harm. And Trump’s overtly bigoted contribution has had the unintended effect of getting the issue more positive attention. As for North Korea, Trump’s childish feuding with Kim Jung Un has thrust the world into a rhetorical firestorm. And this one has frightening, nuclear overtones. The media can hardly ignore that.

And that may be the point. Trump is trying to control the news cycle to keep it clear of something that he’s truly afraid of. By injecting new and melodramatic subjects into the media, he hopes to prevent further revelations about his own scandals. To some degree it’s working. But in a segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein were not fooled. (Video below):

Stelter: It was reported this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s actions as president. Not just pre-campaign or pre-election day, but issues recently. That request includes at least thirteen areas in which investigators are seeking information. Including statements made about former FBI Director James Comey made in the presence of Russian officials. Also the firing of Michael Flynn. And the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr. As you recall, he sought to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian individual.

That introduction covered a broad swath of the potential criminal behaviors emanating from the White House. And Carl Bernstein’s response closed the circle with a concise summary of the President’s unsavory avtivities:

Bernstein: Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is looking at the conduct of President Donald Trump and members of his family, especially Jared Kushner. Also his closest campaign aides in terms of their dealings with Russia, ethno-Russians, during the campaign and before. And in business. But there’s a much larger context that now informs the whole investigation. And that is the conclusion of the American intelligence community – under Donald Trump, not under Obama – that now is certain that the Russians were very, very, effective at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton and specifically helping Donald Trump.

And we keep hearing the word collusion, which is not a legal term. What Mueller is focused on is quite different than the simple idea of collusion. It’s whether or not Donald Trump, and perhaps his family and business associates, knew that the Russians were trying to help his campaign. And if they knew that, why didn’t they blow the whistle on the Russians? Did they try to cover it up? Are they continuing to try and cover up that knowledge? That’s the real question. Not the word “collusion,” which Trump and the White House keep trying to focus on.

Finally, Bernstein proposed what might be the motivations driving Trump and his more recent scandal mongering:

Bernstein: But the reason is these investigations are closing in on him, his family, and his aides. And if indeed there’s nothing there and it’s a hoax, then why has Donald Trump tried to undermine, demean and obstruct – not necessarily in terms of the legal obstruction of justice – these investigations for six months at every turn? He’s done everything that he can, as have those around him, to keep these investigations from succeeding.

That pretty much says it all. Trump is engaging in a fierce effort to divert attention from himself and his possible prosecution and/or impeachment. And he’s using other news events, some serious, some fabricated, to achieve that goal. Hopefully more journalists like Bernstein and Stelter will demonstrate that they cannot be tricked into serving as his propaganda merchants.

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