Fox News Laughably Mangles Report on Mueller’s Subpoena for Russia Docs From Trump Org

There was breaking news on Thursday about the investigation into Donald Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a new subpoena to the Trump Organization for all documents related to its dealings with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. It’s a significant development that indicates that the investigation is continuing to expand and has the President squarely in its sights.

Robert Mueller Trump

So it will surprise nobody that Fox News found a way to report this news that is both trivializing and confusing. In fact, they made it sound like good news for Trump. The mission of Fox News, of course, is to act as a shield for Trump and his Republican backers by defending him, and maligning his critics, at all costs. To that end Fox News host Dana Perino broke into her program with a Fox News Alert to rapidly misinform their viewers before any morsels of the truth could get out. She interviewed reporter Catherine Herridge on the Mueller subpoena (video below):

Perino: The New York Times is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge is on Capitol Hill. Catherine, this news just broke right before the hour started.
Herridge: That’s right Dana. I’ve been making some phone calls and I spoke with one of the President’s personal attorneys who confirmed to me that the Trump Organization has been working closely and cooperatively with the office of the special counsel Robert Mueller. And at this time he was unaware that a subpoena had been issued, but he was going to check further. The key thing he said was the driving force, or the objective of the subpoena, whether it was in fact going down a new line of inquiry, or whether this was what they call a “wrap up subpoena” or a “clean up subpoena,” which is when you request records as you’re getting close to the end the of the investigation and you’re trying to tie up some loose ends.

First of all, it’s notable that Herridge only called Trump’s personal attorney to confirm this report, rather than someone at the Justice Department who would have knowledge of the subpoenas they issue. It’s also notable that Herridge didn’t identify the attorney she spoke with. Were these remarks off the record or anonymous?

More to the point, the introduction of the terms “wrap/clean up subpoena” muddies up the reporting. A quick Google of the terms found few results that weren’t referencing this Fox News segment. In fact, it’s a rather pointless distinction because all subpoenas are intended to secure information that’s relevant to the investigation and could lead to new paths of inquiry. But this spin by Fox News is intended to imply that the investigation is nearing completion and that nothing incriminating has been found. But they weren’t through trying to further deflect from the Trump/Russia connection:

Perino: So it might not signal a new aggressive approach by the special counselor?
Herridge: Well what we know through our own independent reporting is that the special counsel has been looking at the issue of the United Arab Emirates, and whether there was any financial input into the campaign by the United Arab Emirates, or whether there was a promise of better treatment after the election because of their support of then-candidate Trump.

Technically, that’s true. The UAE, along with other areas of financial misdeeds, is under investigation. But that has nothing to do with this new subpoena that specifically seeks documents from Trump related to Russia. This is an obvious dodge to create confusion and pretend that Russia isn’t the focus of this investigation. And the segment ended with a virtual admission that their furious spinning was probably all made up:

Perino: I’ve never heard of clean up subpoenas. I’m glad I had you on.
Herridge: I know. I learned of them recently too. That’s the kind of subpoena you want, apparently.
Perino: I used to work at the Justice Department. Someone was holding out on me.

See? It’s all very innocent. There’s nothing to worry about here. And the fact that these two experienced media professionals never heard of the type of subpoena that they just introduced on the air shouldn’t raise any suspicions. According to Fox News Mueller’s new subpoenas are not only uncontroversial, they are “the kind of subpoena you want.” It’s actually good news for Trump. And Fox News is the only place you’re gonna get that kind of twisted analysis.

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

This Fox News Trump-Fluffer is Right: ‘The American People Are Sick and Tired’ of Russia Probe

Longtime Donald Trump sycophant and Citizens United honcho, David Bossie, visited State-Run TV (aka Fox News) on Monday to further disseminate the absurdity that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “doesn’t seem like it is going anywhere near the White House.” That’s an obvious falsehood that is easily refuted by widely available facts.

Donald Trump

Everyone knows that there have already been nineteen indictments and five guilty pleas. Among the guilty are Trump’s National Security Advisor, and his assistant campaign manage. It’s hard to get much closer to the White House than that. And yet it does. Breaking news on Monday morning reveals that Mueller’s team has issued subpoenas for numerous documents and communications with Trump insiders including Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Keith Schiller, and his personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Which may explain why the Trump surrogate army has been deployed to flood the airwaves with deceitful propaganda. Bossie is taking the lead with an interview on the Fox News program Outnumbered OT (video below). and his dishonesty and obfuscation is so apparent it must be humiliating. He said that…

“The American people are sick and tired of this two year investigation. We are getting into this scandal fatigue area where the American people are tired of it. They see the shifting around and they don’t see any evidence whatsoever that this president or the campaign did anything wrong, let alone collude with the Russians.”

First of all, Bossie is brazenly lying about the duration of the investigation. Mueller was appointed to his position in May of 2017, so it hasn’t even been in progress for one year yet. However, Bossie did inadvertently stumble over a truth with regard to the American people’s fatigue. They are surely tired of how long this scandal is being drawn out and would appreciate a swift conclusion. However, it isn’t because they think Trump and Russia are innocent, as Bossie implies. To the contrary, The American people overwhelming believe that that the investigation is warranted and that Trump is likely guilty of something. A new CNN poll found that sixty-one percent of Americans say the Russia investigation is a serious matter. Seventy-two percent are very/somewhat concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections.

No matter how many times people like Bossie or Sean Hannity or Sarah Huckabee Sanders say there is no evidence of collusion or other wrongdoing, they cannot make it true. The known evidence is piling up, and the evidence that is known only to Mueller and his team is surely far more damning than what has been made public. And the same is true with regard to the false right-wing assertions that the people don’t care about this issue. Trump’s defenders are only exposing their desperation by distorting reality to fit their yearning for all of this to be over. And Trump himself is dong the same thing on Twitter:

Trump’s anxiety could not be more apparent. It shows who is really “sick and tired.” He’s scared and likely knows that he is in deep trouble. This tweet displays a serious cognitive collapse. He is simultaneously saying that there was no Russian election meddling, and also that President Obama did nothing about the Russian election meddling that didn’t happen. Never mind that every U.S. intelligence agency with jurisdiction has stated unequivocally that there was Russian meddling. What’s more, Obama punished Russia with sanctions and ejections of Russian operatives. He also tried to put together a bipartisan response, but Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to cooperate.

The tantrums thrown by Trump and his surrogates like Bossie aren’t helping their cause. They are only making them appear guilty and frantic as they scramble for cover. And the American people see right through this pathetic charade. It’s only a matter of time before Mueller’s investigation is complete and the truth revealed. And that’s when the American people’s fatigue will be relieved. But it will be just the beginning for Trump et al.

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

Putin Unveils ‘Invincible’ New Nuclear Missiles – And Of Course, There’s an Old Trump Tweet for That

February was a month that saw more unsettling scandals from Donald Trump’s White House than even his biggest critics could have imagined. They run the gamut from Jared Kushner’s bank loans, to insulting his Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “disgraceful,” to contradictory positions on gun control, to Hope Hicks telling “white lies,” to 13 new indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller. And I could go on.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Consequently, March has a lot to live up to. And it’s coming in roaring like a lion. The big news on Thursday, March 1, was Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia has developed a class of new nuclear weapons that make the West’s defenses “useless.” NBC News reports that…

“To rapturous applause, Putin said the new technology had been developed despite skepticism from other countries about Russia’s capabilities.

“‘I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development … you have failed to contain Russia,’ he said.

‘He accused the West of ‘ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now.’

“He boasted that Russia’s new ICBM is ‘powerful and modern and defense systems will not be able to withstand it,’ he said. ‘Missile defenses will be useless against it.'”

Putin said that he is prepared to retaliate against any aggression directed at Russia or its allies. And he insists that he isn’t bluffing. All of this bluster comes at a time when American’s president has given Russia wider latitude than ever before. Trump viciously attacks Democrats, Republicans, and even his own staff, but has never criticized Putin in any substantive way. And despite the fact that Russia engaged in blatant election tampering against the U.S., Trump refuses to impose sanctions or otherwise punish them. Which make this tweet, posted almost exactly one year ago, especially significant:

That’s right. Trump is complaining that Obama wasn’t tough enough on Putin. Never mind that Obama did impose sanctions on Russia, ejected more than thirty Russian operatives, shut down two Russian facilities, and sought a bipartisan agreement on additional measures that was shot down by GOP senate leader Mitch McConnell. And if Trump was so upset by Obama’s response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, then why hasn’t Trump done anything about it in the past year? And with Putin’s announcement of adding new, more advanced missiles, Trump’s tweet seems to apply more to himself than to Obama. It’s Trump who is even worse than weak, he’s submissive.

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

So once again Trump has proven that he is an empty suit that has no idea what he’s doing or saying. He will lash out at anyone who piques his ire at a given point in time, but forget all about it after the next scandal erupts – or after watching Fox and Friends. His ineptitude and limited attention span make him an imminent danger to the nation. And there always seems to be a tweet wherein he affirms everything that everyone worries about with regard to his flagrant incompetence.

Trump Thanks Fox News for Helping Him Ignore His Duty to Protect and Defend the Constitution

Once again, Donald Trump is caught convening with his “outhouse” cabinet (too crappy to be in the kitchen) on Fox News rather than knowledgeable professionals. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends delivered another of their “Presidential Daily Briefings” to the only person in their audience that matters to them.

Fox News

The segment (video below) reiterated a White House talking point meant to distract from the reality that Russia invaded the United States with a massive and well-financed attack on our democratic system. They advanced the lie that President Obama didn’t do anything about Russia’s election tampering. In fact, Obama did quite a bit. He expelled thirty-five Russian “diplomats” and imposed new sanctions. These were actions that Trump’s soon-to-be National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, assured Russia would not be carried out if they won the election. Obama also tried to get Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell to sign on to a bipartisan public announcement revealing the Russian operations. McConnell refused, and Obama thought it would appear political if he were to proceed without GOP support. It could be argued that Obama could have done more, but not that he did nothing, as Trump did in this tweet:

Of course, Trump never has an original thought, and he didn’t in this case either. He was reacting to the policy dictates put forth on Fox and Friends. In addition to the tweet above, Trump also tweeted a quote that played on the Fox News program of Obama saying that…

It needs to be noted that Obama was talking about Trump’s campaign hysterics that Obama and Hillary Clinton were conspiring to steal the election. He was not talking about the sort of tampering that we know Russia engaged in. That’s a significant distinction, but one that Fox and Trump are too dimwitted to figure out. Or more accurately, too dishonest to admit. So Trump’s “Friends” merely repeated their well-rehearsed lines:

Brian Kilmeade: If you look at the President’s track record, it’s been anything but strong when it comes to Russia. [Steve Doocy had to interject that Kilmeade meant President Obama]
Steve Doocy: But here’s the thing, ultimately. Barack Obama was the president of the United States when Russia was meddling with our election. Trying to sow discord. So why didn’t he, as the chief executive of the country, stop it? And now, fast forward to now, what’s the narrative become? Forget about the fact that it happened on Obama’s watch, now it is ‘Well you know it looks like the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.’ Which there is no evidence, absolutely none that that happened. All we found out Friday with the Mueller indictment was there was this place called the troll factory. Spent about a hundred thousand dollars and put out a few Facebook ads. That’s it.”

First of all, there is plenty of evidence of Trump’s collusion, starting with Donnie Jr.’s meetings with Russians (which he initially lied about) in Trump Tower. There are verified connections between Trump, Wikileaks, and Russia, who Trump begged to hack Clinton and release the stolen emails. There are more than a dozen Trump associates who met with Russians and lied about it. And no one knows what further evidence special counsel Robert Mueller has that won’t be disclosed until he concludes the investigation.

What’s more, Doocy’s deliberate disinformation about Mueller’s indictments misstates the facts. It wasn’t a hundred thousands dollars and a few Facebook ads. It was over a million dollars a month and thousands of Facebook and other Internet posts seen by millions of Americans.

More importantly, Trump appears to be conceding now that the election interference did occur. And while he’s obsessing over Obama’s response, he’s ignoring that he has done nothing himself. To the contrary, he is letting his pal Vladimir Putin off the hook. Trump refuses to impose sanctions that were voted on nearly unanimously by Congress. And although he will criticize everyone from Obama to Clinton to Oprah, he has never said a cross word to or about Putin.

No matter what Trump thinks of Obama, he has a responsibility as the current president to protect and defend the country. But he’s never even had a cabinet level meeting on the threat of Russia’s election tampering. Nor has he directed his intelligence and law enforcement agencies to address the matter. If he thinks that Obama was negligent, then what is he saying about himself? It’s almost as if he’s happy with Russia’s political intrusions and wants them to continue. Or maybe that they have something on him that is costly to his financial empire or personally embarrassing. Nah – couldn’t be any of that. Could it?

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

Moscow is Laughing: Trump’s Sunday Morning Tweetstorm is More Unhinged than Usual

It’s panic time at the White House. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments against Russians for election tampering are bringing the culpability of Donald Trump ever closer to the surface. And the best confirmation of that is the ferocity of Trump’s frantic and implausible denials. He is behaving like a cornered rat that is consumed with fear.

Donald Trump

Consequently, he is resorting to his standard means of projecting his fear outward. Secure in his Twitter safe space, Trump is lashing out at phantom foes and perceived enemies with ludicrous accusations, insults, and shaky justifications. His Sunday morning tweetstorm was bursting with madness and paranoia. It’s astonishing that someone hasn’t told him how guilty this hysteria makes him look. And it’s a symptom of his sickness that he thinks any of this helps. Let’s delve deeper into the diseased mind of Trump:

Trump has accidentally conceded something that is surely true. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. But it isn’t because of committee hearings and investigations. It’s because of how successful they were in putting their puppet at the helm of the American government. And they probably also think it’s pretty funny that he has proven to be so incompetent at governing. And the fact that Trump is advancing the agenda of Vladimir Putin and defending him against fellow Americans who see through these crimes is worth a guffaw or two in the Kremlin.

And then there’s this:

Trump’s desperation is showing in that it’s no longer enough to just attach childish nicknames (“Liddle”) to his opponents. He is now elongating them with ridiculous descriptions (“leakin’ monster of no control”). Sounds a little like Trump is accusing Rep. Adam Schiff of having a gastrointestinal problem. More to the point, Trump is actually admitting now that there was Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Although he is misdirecting the blame to his favorite black nemesis, Barack Obama. However, Trump is lying about what Schiff said. The Democratic congressman was talking about a missed opportunity to deal with hacking after an incident in 2014 with Sony Pictures. It was a call for more transparency that Schiff believed might have been a deterrent to the Russians who came along later.

But Trump wasn’t through yet:

This is just patently false. There is no poll by McLaughlin that puts Republicans ahead of Democrats in a generic congressional ballot. In fact, Democrats lead the GOP in almost every match-up on this. If Trump isn’t consumed with fear, then why is he lying?


Trump really thinks the American people are stupid. And with regard to his followers, I can’t argue with that. He has been saying for months that the whole Russia investigation was a hoax, not just the the matter of collusion (which is also not a hoax). He actually told reporters that he had asked Putin about the meddling and that Putin denied it. And Trump insisted that he was satisfied with Putin’s word, saying “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.” How thoughtful. Trump believes his friend Vladimir, but not the American intelligence professionals who work for him. And if you need more evidence of Trump dismissing Russian election tampering, just listen to Trump himself:

Update: Later on Sunday Trump (who doesn’t have time to watch TV) saw Oprah Winfrey on 60 Minutes interviewing voters in Michigan. And, having no presidential work to do, he posted a new tweet attacking her:

WOW! Trump thinks Oprah is insecure? Mr. Small Hands, Big Buttons? The same Trump who constantly insults enemies with childish nicknames; who needs to brag incessantly about his imaginary awesomeness; who lies with every breath; who is obsessed with former political foes and past failures; who is clearly scared and panicked about his legal future? That Trump thinks Oprah is insecure?

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

Trump’s Dep. Press Secretary: Democrats and the Media Have Created More Chaos than Russia

The propaganda push to clear Donald Trump of all responsibility for the Russian interference in the 2016 election is in full force. The chair of the Republican National Committee has blamed it all on President Obama. Fox News is trivializing it as Rocky and Bullwinkle stuff. And now the White House Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, is making statements that baselessly allege crimes by Democrats that are worse than what the Russians are alleged to have done.

Fox News Gidley

On Saturday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends (where else), Gidley was stroked – I mean interviewed – by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes in a segment that addressed the indictments against Russia by special counsel Robert Mueller. Gidley’s remarks were so offensive and dishonest that I’ll just leave them here with little commentary (video below):

“First of all we have to understand, this began in 2014 under then-President Barack Obama’s nose. He didn’t do a thing about it. Long before Donald Trump announced for president this was going on. Also it points out clearly that in this process there was no collusion, as you just pointed out. The President said it multiple times. This makes it clear and concise for the American people and proves the President correct. No collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign, and Russia. And also, I think this is important too. It did not affect the outcome of the election whatsoever.”

First of all, what we really have to understand, is that the fact that Russia began interfering in American elections in 2014 does not vindicate Trump. It actually makes it worse that he and his associates had anything to do with foreign operatives who were already engaged in espionage against the United States. And the Mueller indictments do not in any way say that there was no collusion or that the outcome of the election was not affected. They simply say that these particular indictments are not alleging that. Which leaves the door wide open for such allegations in future indictments.

But if Gidley wants to assert that Mueller is proving Trump correct, that’s fine. It makes it that much harder for them to later say that Mueller is biased and try to fire him. However, Gidley had not yet reached the most disgusting part of his interview. He continued:

“What the Russians were trying to do, as outlined by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, was create chaos in the American election system. And I’ll just say this: There are two groups that created chaos more than the Russians. That’s the Democrats and the mainstream media who continued to push this lie on the American people for more than a year. And, quite frankly, America should be outraged by that.”

Really? So Gidley is now contending that Democrats and the American media are more guilty of election tampering and fraud than the Russians who have just been indicted by a Grand Jury? He is essentially accusing Democrats and journalists of being a bigger enemy than Russia, and of criminality on a scale that exceeds actual spies from a hostile foreign nation. And the twerps on Fox and Friends just sat there and nodded in agreement. The whole bunch of them are so determined to exonerate their beloved Orange Messiah that they are willing to make scurrilous accusations of treason. It’s an attack on both democracy and the free press. And it’s another new low for the Trump White House.

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

Trump-Fluffing Fox News Pundit Calls Russian Indictments ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle Kind of Stuff’

In the hours following special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest set of indictments, there has been flurry of frantic activity over at Fox News. The desperation of Donald Trump’s phalanx of sycophants rushing to his defense is thick enough to slice with a scimitar. When they aren’t celebrating Trump’s imaginary vindication, they are insisting that the charges are meaningless. To these bipolar shills Mueller has either produced a profound success or a pitiful failure. Or, of course, it was all Obama’s fault.

Fox News Schlapp

Case in point: On Special Report, the afternoon Fox program that is cited as its flagship “news” hour, they hosted a hard-boiled Trump supporter who demonstrated the absurdity of wingnut media. Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union and is married to Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications. In a fit of pique that threatened to burst a blood vessel, Schlapp offered a unique simile to illustrate his opinion of the Mueller indictments (video below):

“This is rather absurd. This is like Rocky and Bullwinkle kind of stuff. When I think of Russian collusion in our elections I am offended. I think it’s repulsive. Is this what it was? It was thirteen guys having some rallies?”

Boris and Natasha must be laughing their cartoon asses off. Schlapp’s attempt to trivialize these charges is an anguished plea for help. His first blatant cognitive lapse was to mistake that the thirteen indictments means there were only thirteen participants in the Russian operation. Rest assured that the White House, despite their outer dismissals, is not amused. These are serious violations of the law and they imply further legal jeopardy for the President and his crime family.

But never mind that. Reality is fungible to the goons who make up the Trump Defense League. This outburst by Schlapp is typical of the imprimatur that Fox News wants so badly to stamp on this affair. That’s why he goes unchallenged by guest host Mike Emanuel. Schlapp’s main point that the whole Russian espionage campaign was a silly plot devised by a small band of losers is a lie that is explicitly addressed in the indictment which states that hundreds of people were involved with an annual budget of millions of dollars:

“The ORGANIZATION employed hundreds of individuals for its online operations, ranging from creators of fictitious personas to technical and administrative support. The ORGANIZATION’s annual budget totaled the equivalent of millions of U.S. dollars.”

No one on Fox News corrected this material falsehood. Which explains why Fox News viewers are so clueless about the facts of pretty much any topic that is covered by Fox. The network deliberately misinforms their audience and leaves them to wallow in ignorance.

Schlapp continued with his disinformation rant by shifting the blame to the right’s favorite black president/villain saying that “Obama should have stopped it.” And he concluded by saying that undermining the foundation of our nation’s democracy “is not worth a year of the country’s time,” and that the charges are “ridiculous and not true.” He is so adamant in his arguments that you have to wonder if he is now serving as the defense counsel for the indicted Russians?

If so, Schlapp would have to take a backseat to Trump, who has been litigating the innocence of Putin’s spies for more than a year now. However, these indictments prove that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was not, as Trump whines, a hoax, or a witch hunt, or fake news. It is a cyberwar, and any complicity on the part of any American is treason.

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

Full video of the segment from Fox News can be seen here.

Trump’s GOP Chair on Mueller’s Indictments Against Russia: It’s Obama’s Fault (No, Really)

The Office of the Special Counsel announced today that thirteen Russians have been indicted for crimes related to interference with elections in the United States. This is part of Robert Mueller’s investigation that has already produced indictments against Donald Trump associates Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos (the latter two having pleaded guilty). This is a significant development that further exposes the unsavory connections between Russia and Trump.

Obama Trump Tweet

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Republicans leaped out in front of the story to accuse the real culprit in this affair: President Obama. That’s right, despite there being no mention of the former president or his activities in the indictments, the GOP wants to make sure that the American people will nevertheless hold him accountable. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, told Fox news (of course) this shortly after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the announcement:

That is perhaps one of the most ludicrous diversions from reality that the loony-right has made – well, this hour. There’s much more looniness to come. But for the record, it was the Obama Justice Department and FBI that led the investigations into the Russian activities and supplied most of the evidence that Rosenstein cited in his indictment. There is an argument to made that these affairs should have been made public sooner, but the Obama administration maintained an abundance of caution so as not to influence the election themselves. That’s a worthy topic for debate. However, what is not debatable is Trump’s response to the indictments:

The fact that Russia began these operations before Trump’s candidacy only affirms that they have long been a hostile foreign entity who ought not to have been embraced as partners by the Trump campaign. Trump’s claim that the results of the election were not impacted is plainly false. All that Rosenstein said about that is there is no such allegation in this set of indictments. That’s not the same as saying it didn’t occur. It’s possible, even likely, that more indictments are still being prepared. Nevertheless, Trump reiterated his misreading of the indictments in an official statement saying that:

The President “is glad to see the Special Counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.”

Again, that is not what the indictments said. Particularly with regard to collusion. The indictments repeatedly refer to “the defendants and co-conspirators.” The co-conspirators are not identified at this time, but there are numerous references to contacts made by the Russian defendants and people in the Trump campaign. Contrary to the spin by Trump and Fox News, Bloomberg reports that “Mueller Still Investigating Possible Collusion, Source Says.” Trump is desperate to dismiss the apparent complicity of his campaign and thinks that simply saying it isn’t so will be enough to persuade his Deplorable base. And the GOP is similarly determined to advance that lie. Kayleigh McEnany, the RNC spokesperson tweeted that:

She must not recall that the election was on November eighth. And if it’s her contention that the Russian interference was directed against Trump rather than for him, she should read the indictment that says:

“Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (‘Trump Campaign’) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”

Finally, State-Run TV (aka Fox News) was playing its part in the Trump propaganda offensive. The RNC’s McEnany rushed over to the Fox studios to spew the party line in the minutes following Rosenstein’s announcement. Her frantic spin was that “Today marks the day that the Democrats’ Russia collusion conspiracy theory unraveled,” and that “Democrats deceived this country and they were caught today.” Seriously, that was the official GOP take on the news that Russia had interfered with the election of Donald Trump – a contention that he has repeatedly said was a hoax.

Now that Trump is apparently conceding that there was interference by the Russians, will he correct his previous denials and apologize? Will he finally implement the sanctions that Congress voted for overwhelmingly? Or will he continue shield his pal Vladimir Putin from any consequences for having tried to destabilize America’s democracy. It’s notable that his response to these new indictments is focused solely on how they affect him. He cries, falsely, that there is no collusion. But he doesn’t once acknowledge the harrowing allegations that Russia was meddling in our election in order to destabilize our democracy. Isn’t he, by oath, supposed to be protecting and defending the Constitution, not himself?

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

In summary, according to Trump and the GOP, the Russians worked against Trump. The indictments prove that there was no impact on the election and that there was no collusion on Trump’s part. And that it was all Obama’s fault anyway. The lesson that America truly needs to learn from all of this is to “Just say ‘No’ to drugs.” And let’s hope these Republican junkies get the help they so obviously need. Because if they aren’t high, then they have much more serious mental problems.

UPDATE: Sean Hannity boards the “It’s Obama’s fault” train. I’m shocked!

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.