Trump is STILL Colluding With Russia (and Fox News) to Deny Putin’s Election Interference

It’s been four days since the Mueller Report has NOT been released – only the four page cover up by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. In that short span of time the right-wing media has been furiously crafting a brazenly false narrative that imagines that Donald Trump was exonerated even though Barr’s letter explicitly denies it and the American people don’t buy it.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Included in the campaign to vindicate from Trump are demands that the media apologize for accurately reporting about Trump’s crime-riddled administration. Which is ironic since it’s Trump who should be apologizing to special counsel Robert Mueller. For more than two years Trump has engaged in reckless character assassination, accusing Mueller of being a corrupt, dishonest partisan on an illegal witch hunt.

What’s more, the media’s MAGA Martinets are also calling for the President to actually escalate his war against the First Amendment. And perhaps the new king of anti-free press hysterics is the Fox News host of their alleged business channel, Stuart Varney went on an extended rant (video below) that proved nothing except for how valuable psychoactive pharmaceuticals could be if certain unhinged TV yakkers were taking them. Varney began his tirade by saying that:

“Now is the time for a presidential counterpunch. President Trump is good at this. Have a go at him and he’ll come right back at you, big time. Now is the time to counterpunch the media. For two years they’ve let their hatred show. I used to soften that word and say they have contempt for the President. No no, they hate him.”

Isn’t “contempt” actually strong than “hate”? And does Varney really believe that Trump hasn’t already been punching at the press with his Stalinist-inspired denunciations of it as “the enemy of the people” and “the opposition party”? He continued:

“For two years they’ve indulged in a orgy of hatred that colored absolutely everything. For two years they preened themselves, assuming the moral high ground. They’re the elite. They’re above the rest of us. They told us the President of the United States was a Russian agent. They told us he was a traitor. They breathlessly reported the most outrageous statements. They gave themselves prizes. Listen to this. It’s from the Pulitzer Prize awarded jointly to the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’ll read it.”

“For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”

Varney then mocked this tribute as referring to leaks to the press by former FBI director James Comey, and the false allegations against Hillary Clinton for allegedly funding the infamous Steele dossier. What’s peculiar about this is that Varney is attacking the Pulitzer awards for their recognition of reporting on the “Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election,” not the accusations that Trump and his criminal associates conspired with Russia.

Russia’s efforts to illegally influence our election have been documented and affirmed by everyone from the U.S. Intelligence community to the Mueller report, according to Attorney General Barr. But this rabid rundown by Varney is denying that the election interference ever occurred. And Trump posted this video on his Twitter feed. Which can only mean that he is, once again, denying Russia’s involvement in tampering with the election. In that way Trump is still colluding with Russia by taking their side, absolving them of guilt, and making it easier for them repeat their crimes in 2020. Vladimir Putin must be ecstatic.

And Varney wasn’t through. He wrapped up this atrocious gift to our enemies in the Kremlin by lavishing adoring praise on Trump and lashing out again at the media:

“The counterpunch has already started. Good! The Trump campaign has sent a letter to news outlets telling them to employ quote ‘basic journalistic standards’ when booking guests who have made outlandish and false claims. Way to go Mr. President.”

For the record, that letter to TV news outlets was pretty funny. It called on them to refuse to book any guests who had proven themselves to be repeated and unrepentant liars. It singled out politicians like like Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Adam Schiff. But it more accurately described people like Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose absence from the airwaves would make them decidedly more trustworthy.

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

Trump’s Lies are Crushed By Senate Intel Vice-Chair: ‘There’s Plenty of Evidence’ of Collusion

Donald Trump has been stuck in a frantic and tedious loop of whiny denials for the past couple years. It consists primarily of him impotently proclaiming his innocence with regard to his nefarious associations with Russian operatives in an effort to steal the 2016 presidential election. For the most part his factless proclamations have only served to make him look more guilty.

Mark Warner, CNN

Among his most persistent citations of innocence has been a repeated reference to remarks by the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr. Last September Burr told reporters that he had not seen any direct evidence of collusion or conspiracy with Russia on the part of the President. Note that he did not say it didn’t happen, only that his committee had “no hard evidence” of it. But that was enough to trigger Trump into making multiple identical tweets on the subject. It began on Sep 12, 2018, and continued on Feb 7, 2019, and Feb 8, 2019 and Feb 9, 2019 and Feb 10, 2019 and Feb 22, 2019 and Feb 25, 2019.

Some of these tweets were Trump unleashing his standard “Witch Hunt” rants, and others were retweets from the likes of Sean Hannity. But they all said exactly the same thing incorrectly quoting Sen. Burr: “No Collusion!”

Well, on Sunday morning Trump’s favorite proof that he was a squeaky clean paragon of virtue fell apart. Sen. Mark Warner, the Vice-Chair of the Intelligence Committee appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and explicitly contradicted Trump’s distorted version of events (video below). His remarks could not have been more clear:

“Anyone who says there’s no evidence of collaboration – there’s plenty of evidence. […] The notion that there’s no evidence is just factually wrong. Just in the public domain there are literally reams and reams of evidence of Russian outreach to Trump officials and clear interest from Trump officials, including the President’s own son, welcoming the opportunity to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

Warner outlined a small portion of the evidence that was just revealed during the recent House Oversight Committee’s hearing with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. He cited three pieces of evidence from Cohen’s testimony:

“One, the fact that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen mislead the American public for months about the whole notion of trying to continue to get a Trump Tower project going in Moscow. […]

“The second is the evidence that Mr. Cohen put out that he was in the presence of Donald Trump when Roger Stone called indicating that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange from Wikileaks, indicating that Wikileaks was about to drop a bunch of very damaging information about Hillary Clinton. […]

“And finally we have this whole question wherein Mr. Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower that included Don Jr, Jared Kushner, the campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Clearly a meeting that was not about Russian adoption, but was about the idea of turning over dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

For good measure, Warner’s counterpart in the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, spoke on the same issues on CBS’s Face the Nation, saying that “there is both ‘direct evidence’ and ‘abundant circumstantial evidence’ of collusion with Russia.” He elaborated:

“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there is overt acts in furtherance of that. That is the meeting at Trump Tower and all the lies to cover up that meeting at the Trump Tower, and apparently lies that the president participated in.”

So this should put an end to the fallacy that there is no evidence against Trump for conspiracy with Russia. Quite the opposite is true. There are mountains of evidence. And that’s even the position of the Vice-Chair of the Senate committee that Trump is so fond of citing on his own behalf. But don’t expect this to end Trump’s plaintive wailing that he’s innocent. When has reality ever interfered with his determination to disgorge obvious lies to shield himself from the consequences of his criminal behavior?

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

Lying Trump Shill Sarah Sanders Gives Solace to Domestic Terrorists and Russian Conspirators

It has been several days since the arrest of Christopher Hasson, a domestic terrorist who compiled a cache of weapons and ammunition with the intention of murdering Democrats and journalists. But Donald Trump has still said nothing about it, even though he has commented on the Jussie Smollett case, 6G communications technology (which doesn’t exist), and a remorseful “ISIS wife” who wants to return to her home in the U.S.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

In the absence of any comments from the President, reporters asked his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, if she could provide any insight into Trump’s feelings on the matter. This lead to an exchange that was purely pablum for Deplorables:

Reporter: Is there any plan for the President to maybe tone down his rhetoric, and do you think this contributes to these sorts of extremists getting these ideas?
Sanders: I certainly don’t think that the president at any point has done anything but condemn violence against journalists or anyone else. In fact, every single time something like this happens, the president is typically one of the first people to condemn the violence and the media is the first people to blame the president. We should all join together and start condemning the violence whether it’s against members of the media, whether it’s against Democrats, Republicans, any person in this country. That is unacceptable, and that is why every time it comes up we have been consistent and repeatedly said that we condemn violence in all forms.

The first notable part of this robo-reply is that it didn’t mention Hasson or his plot to commit mass murder. Sanders pointedly did not condemn him or make any statement to deter others from conspiring to commit the same atrocities. She simply generalized the horror and pretended that it’s a problem for both sides of the political aisle, although the data shows that right-wing domestic terrorism is far more prevalent and on the rise.

What’s more, Sanders’ claim that Trump hasn’t “done anything but condemn violence” is provably false. In fact, Trump has encouraged violence at his cult rallies, telling people to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and not to worry about it because “I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.” Trump also praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, who was convicted of assaulting a reporter, saying that “Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type.” And of course, Trump’s repeated assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people” are unambiguously incitements to violence, particularly of the sort aspired to by Hasson and committed against the Capital Gazette of Maryland.

During the same press avail, Sanders was asked about the media reports that special counsel Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation and what Trump’s thoughts were about the pending report. Here is the question and Sanders’ response:

Reporter: You were saying a minute ago that there was no need for the campaign to collude with the Russians, but there have been so many indictments. There have been convictions. And there were so many contacts with the Russians. How do you balance that?
Sanders: It’s real simple to me. The President was far and away the better candidate. He had a better message and he outworked Hillary Clinton. And that’s why he’s president. He didn’t need to, nor did he, collude with the Russians. Pretty simple.

Notice what’s missing in Sanders’ reply? Pretty everything that was asked about in the question. Sanders said nothing about the indictments, convictions and numerous contacts with Russians by many of Trump’s closest associates and family, all of whom lied about their activities before being confronted with evidence that forced the truth out of them.

The result of Sanders’ remarks are not inconsequential. By failing to specifically condemn Hasson and anyone else who would seek to emulate him, Sanders is implicitly condoning those actions. Why does she find it so easy to universally condemn innocent refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. as criminals, rapists, and drug traffickers, but cannot denounce actual right-wing terrorism? And by refusing to address the facts surrounding Trump and his nefarious relationships with Russia, she is giving permission for our foreign adversaries to continue to undermine our democracy.

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

What both of these failures to stand up for American principles and sovereignty demonstrate is the tendency by the Trump administration to act against the interests of the United States. In some circles that is referred to as treasonous. At the very least it reveals a suspicious leaning toward some self-interest on Trump’s part that benefits our enemies. And that’s about as solid a justification for impeachment that you’re ever going to see.

This Just In: Trump finally addressed the Hasson matter, but only after he was asked by Hallie Jackson of NBC News. His answer is unbelievably disgusting. He called it “a shame.” WTF? It’s a shame when your kid cheats on a math test. A terrorist plotting mass murder is an atrocity. And Trump’s assertion that he hasn’t been fully briefed a week after the arrest is undoubtedly another lie.

Trump Tweets ‘Thank You MSNBC’ with Video that He Deceitfully Edited to Clear Himself of Collusion

It isn’t often that Donald Trump will offer praise to any TV news network other than his pals at Fox News. In fact, he generally denies that he ever watches anything else. His Twitter feed is filled with examples of his live-tweeting whatever he’s watching on Fox. But somehow he finds out what the others are saying about him and whines about it for days. That’s when he isn’t smearing them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

But on Tuesday Trump saw a segment on MSNBC that warmed his shriveled heart. Host Hallie Jackson was interviewing NBC News intelligence and national security reporter, Ken Dilanian, about the breaking news that the Senate Intelligence Committee had concluded that they had not found any “direct evidence” of Trump colluding with Russia. Trump was so gleeful upon hearing this that he dropped everything and posted the video on Twitter with these words: “Thank you to @MSNBC!”

There’s just one problem. Trump cut off the video while Dilanian was still talking. And what he had to say had a direct bearing on how Trump’s involvement with Russia should be perceived. For instance, Dilanian said that Democrats on the committee never thought they would find “a contract between Trump and Vlad saying ‘Hey, let’s collude.'” And what Dilanian said immediately after the point where Trump cut the video was this (video below):

“The disagreement comes, though, over that pattern of contacts that we’ve all seen and heard about over the last few years. More than a hundred contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians. The Democrats say that those remain highly suspicious and that there’s a pattern here that still raises questions. […] And Robert Mueller still has yet to weigh in. And that’s a big question because Robert Mueller knows things that the Senate investigators do not have access to.”

You have to wonder if Trump would have still thanked MSNBC if he had the courage and honesty to present the full video in context. What’s more, Dilanian also tweeted that “The Senate intelligence committee has not found evidence exonerating Trump, either.” And that’s the heart of the matter. The Senate committee deliberately limited the scope of their investigation to avoid stepping on Mueller’s toes. So their conclusions are not what anyone would describe as, well, conclusive. But they still couldn’t clear Trump af anything, and the final word rests with Mueller.So Trump should not be planning his big exoneration party just yet. However, if he wants to thank MSNBC for anything, perhaps it should be for how they are killing Fox News in the ratings. Thanks indeed.

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

Willfully Blind: Fox News Wonders ‘Where is the Russia Collusion?’ in Roger Stone Indictment

The walls continue to close in around Donald Trump and his criminal enterprise. And these aren’t the border walls over which he orchestrated history’s longest government shutdown. On Friday morning one of Trump’s longest known and closest associates, Roger Stone was arrested on seven counts that include lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Charges that Trump would be wise to study up on.

Donald Trump, Roger Stone

The arrest and indictment of Stone was not unexpected. In fact, Stone himself had predicted it in May of last year. Most observant followers of the Mueller investigation have known for some time that Stone was a target of the probe and that he likely ran afoul of the law. Even Trump acknowledged Stone’s complicity and praised him for clamming up about the case in a tweet that could have been written by an old-school mob boss:

Meanwhile, Fox News immediately went to work fulfilling their mission to shield Trump from any and all criticism. In a series of reports they downplayed any significance of Stone’s indictment, presenting it with exactly the same framing as Trump did in his knee-jerk tweet:

For the record, no one “alerted CNN to be there.” They noticed some unusual activity at the Grand Jury and surmised that an indictment might be imminent, so they sent a crew to Stone’s home in Florida. And you have to wonder which drug dealers Trump was referring to who were treated better than Stone who was released a couple of hours after his arrest. As for the “Greatest Witch Hunt,” it surely is the most successful with dozens of indictments and guilty pleas, some by top officials in Trump’s campaign.

Steve Doocy, co-host of Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, was dumbstruck by the charges against Stone. But more importantly, he couldn’t understand how anyone would see any hint of collusion in the charges against Stone:

“When you look at the seven counts from the Grand Jury – obstruction of an official investigation, false statements to Congress, and perhaps witness tampering – once again, where is the Russia collusion?”

Where is the collusion? It’s everywhere. It’s in each and every one of the charges Doocy just itemized. The obstruction of justice is specifically related to Stone’s efforts to cover his involvement in conspiring with the Russia-affiliated WikiLeaks to acquire and publish emails stolen from Hillary Clinton and her team. The false statements to Congress were specifically related to his denials of such involvement. And the witness tampering was also connected to his attempts to intimidate his co-conspirators into keeping quiet about these crimes committed on behalf of Trump.

The position of Fox News is remarkably tunnel-blind, even for them. Some pundits have even said that these indictments are good news for Stone and Trump. Because it’s always such good news to have one of your closest confidants arrested for multiple felonies. The narrative at Fox is that because the word “collusion” wasn’t spelled out in the text of the indictments, that there wasn’t any. But that is a fool’s interpretation considering that each of the indictments explicitly address the criminal conspiracy in Trump World.

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

No doubt Fox’s cult-bound audience will buy into their narrative, as will Trump. But that is a small minority of the population at large, and the more new revelations about the Russia probe come out, the more the American people are turning against him. He is currently sitting at record lows of approval (37%), and even his favorite pollster, the thoroughly biased Rasmussen, has him at 54% disapproval (46% strongly disapprove). So Fox’s viewers are, once again, living in a manufactured world that bears no resemblance to reality. They are going to be shocked when all the facts are finally revealed. Unless Fox claims that they are “alternative facts” and that it’s all “fake news.” Which you can bet on.

WH Dep Press Secretary on Fox News Refuses to Deny Buzzfeed Story that Trump Told Cohen to Lie

Thursday night saw the release of one of the most devastating stories about Donald Trump to date. Buzzfeed reported that Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was directed by the President to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. If confirmed, that would be an airtight case against Trump for suborning perjury and obstructing justice – both impeachable offenses.

Donald Trump

So on Friday morning Trump dispatched his Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, to what he surely assumed was the friendly territory of Fox News. However, his interview went skidding of the rails when the Fox co-hosts uncharacteristically asked him some probing questions. In the process, Gidley conspicuously avoided answering those questions and refused to even deny the allegations in the Buzzfeed report. This exchange is going to leave some visible bruises on Trump – and perhaps on Gidley as well after Trump sees it (video below):

Sandra Smith: The story coming from Buzzfeed on the President ordering Michael Cohen to lie…sources two law enforcement officials. This is the headline. Breaking: President Trump personally orders his longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. How is the President responding to that report this morning?
Gidley: This is absolutely ludicrous that we are giving any type of credence or credibility to a news outlet like BuzzFeed. They are responsible, totally and completely, for the release of a discredited, disproven, false dossier. And now the author of the piece that you’re talking about went on air this morning and said he couldn’t corroborate any of his own evidence. He ran it anyway. This is quite frankly the problem with the press and why the President continues to call them ‘fake news’ repeatedly. There is nothing in that piece that can be corroborated.

First of all, notice that this reply was not a denial. Also, Gidley is incorrect that Buzzfeed was responsible for the infamous Steele Dossier. They simply published it after it had already circulated through the White House and the Department of Justice. And he’s lying as to the dossier being disproved. Nothing in the Dossier has been proven false, while much of it has been confirmed.

Furthermore, the Buzzfeed author didn’t say that he couldn’t corroborate his story. He only said that he didn’t see the corroborating documents, a point that Fox’s Bill Hemmer made saying that “I think the way it was characterized – the reporter did not see specifically see the evidence, but relied on one or two sources that they had trusted to this.” Gidley fumbled in an attempt to form a coherent reply and settled for just saying that “That’s not news,” and resorting to Trump’s catch phrase about “the fake Witch Hunt Russia investigation.” So Hemmer pressed him to give a more direct response to the original question about whether Trump ordered Cohen to lie:

Hemmer: You’re saying the President did not tell Michael Cohen to do that?
Gidley: I’m telling you right now this is exactly why the President refuses to give any credence or credibility to news outlets. Because they have no ability to corroborate anything they’re putting out there. Instead they’re just using innuendo and shady sources.
Hemmer: That was not a denial of my question.
Gidley: No. But the premise is ridiculous.

Once again, Gidley evaded the question. And even after Hemmer called him out on it explicitly, Gidley outright admitted that he was not offering a denial. Then he segued to a strategy of smearing his accuser, saying that Cohen is a liar and a felon. That’s true, but what Gidley isn’t saying (or denying) is that Cohen lied under orders from Trump. And then he is given one more opportunity to defend the President and deny the allegations against him:

Smith: But the headline in that report is the President personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations involving that Trump Tower. Is that true or false?
Gidley: Right. But the President’s attorney has also addressed this. I’m not gonna give any credence or credibility to Michael Cohen who’s a convicted felon and an admitted liar.

So Gidley’s response to whether the Buzzfeed story is true or false is “Right.” Really? When the President’s own spokesperson resorts to dodges like “I’m not gonna give any credence,” to charges that the President suborned perjury and obstructed justice, there’s a good reason. And it’s usually because the story is true. But let’s not be too hard on Gidley. After all, his boss couldn’t even deny the allegations in his response on Twitter:

For as long as Trump has been under investigation for what he calls “this Russia thing,” he has behaved exactly the way you would expect a guilty person to act. The same is true for his defenders in the White House and the media. So there’s no reason to expect them to act any differently now. And judging by this pathetic performance by Gidley, they aren’t. With each passing day, and with each new revelation, it becomes increasingly clear that Trump is headed for prosecution and impeachment. And it can’t come too soon.

UPDATE: The Special Counsel’s office has issued a statement saying that “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony, are not accurate.” This statement doesn’t identify what precisely they are disputing, but it does say that it is specific, rather than applying broadly to the article’s main points. And Buzzfeed’s authors and editor-in-chief stand by their reporting.

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

Even Fox News Can’t Avoid How Badly the Trump Shutdown is Going Over with the American People

It’s day 24 of the Trump Shutdown, and no end is currently in sight. The ill effects of that are even being felt in the White House, where Donald Trump had to serve Big Macs and pizzas to the NCAA champion Clemson Tigers because much of the staff is furloughed. Trump says that he paid for the “feast,” but that really isn’t something to brag about. It’s a pretty lame “celebration” that’s catered by McDonalds.

Fox News Trump

In the meantime, millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet due to the furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. Who’s paying for their meals, or healthcare, or mortgages? The hardship that Trump has imposed on the nation is getting worse with each new day. And the American people know exactly who is at fault.

Despite Trump’s promise not to blame Democrats, he has been doing just that for the past couple of weeks. However, his broken promise isn’t being received well by the public. And even Fox News is unable to pretend that Trump’s shutdown strategy is working out very well. An article on the Fox website carries the headline “Trump doubles down on border wall, as polls show voters turning against his shutdown strategy.” And the article explains unambiguously how badly the polling on this issue is going for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party:

“As the partial shutdown enters its fourth week and hundreds of thousands of federal workers miss their first paychecks, fresh polling suggests the president is losing the battle of public opinion.

“A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 63 percent of voters agree with the Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security, with 30 percent opposed. The same poll found 63 percent also oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding, with just 32 percent supporting.

“The poll found that 56 percent of American voters blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the partial shutdown, compared with 36 percent who say Democrats are responsible.

“An earlier Washington Post-ABC News poll also found more Americans blame Trump and the Republicans than the Democrats over the stalemate.”

This bad news is just a portion of what Trump is having to endure as this new year is barely getting started. Bloomberg reports that at least six polls show that America blames Trump for the shutdown and opposes his exploitation of it for a stupid vanity wall that nobody wants. Trump is also fielding questions about whether he is a Russian asset. If your president has to deny that he’s working for Russia, you need a new president. And it’s been discovered that he has been suppressing information about his private meetings with Vladimir Putin.

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

If Trump isn’t a Russian asset, he’s doing an awfully good imitation of one. That’s a far bigger problem than his poor showing in polls about the shutdown. But the nation’s mood isn’t going to be particularly forgiving to a president who is generally despised while also being suspected of selling out his country. This is the kind of political environment that lends itself to impeachment. Hopefully.

What’s the Real Reason Trump Gave that Yawner from the Oval Office? (Hint: Think Russia)

On Tuesday night Donald Trump gave a much anticipated address from the Oval Office, his first as President. There was rampant speculation about what he might say. Some pundits wondered if he might take the opportunity to declare a national emergency in order to reallocate federal funds to his idiotic and useless vanity wall. Others just considered it a ploy to get the public to pressure Congress to pay his ransom for reopening the government.

Donald Trump, Subway

As it turns out the speech was a tiresome affair that featured Trump solemnly reciting from his TelePrompTer and sniffling as he has been known to do after snorting Adderall. There was nothing that could be called newsworthy. Trump offered no solutions to the shutdown impasse. He made no overtures to Democrats on border security legislation. There wasn’t anything different about this speech than what he’s been saying for the past three weeks on this subject. And of course, that means he was repeating the same old lies that he and his surrogates (including Surrogate-in-Chief Mike Pence) have been foisting on the public since the Trump Shutdown began.

So there was no reason for this speech to be carried live by the news networks. No news value would have been lost by delaying it for half an hour so that it could be fact checked – a practice that should be in effect for everything Trump says or does. What the speech did contain was Trump’s now tedious routine of fear mongering and blame shifting to Democrats.

He amped up the emotionally charged fears of violence allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants with examples that included murders, rapes, and even beheadings. Never mind that this immigrant population is far less likely to commit these or any crimes than are native born citizens. The purpose of this overtly racist argument, as employed by Trump and his shills on Fox News, is to demonize people who are largely peaceful and law abiding.

So why did Trump take the extraordinary step of demanding primetime television access to the nation in order to bore them with rote repetitions of his commonplace cult rally ravings? He must have known that there was nothing in his remarks that would change anyone’s mind. Nor would it move the needle on resolving the shutdown problem. The only thing that it would be certain to do is dominate the news cycle for a short period of time. And therein lies a clue to what might have been his true intention.

Absent this speech, the most prominent stories that came out the same day concerned the ongoing investigations into Trump’s collusion and conspiracy with Russia. One of those stories featured the chairman of his presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, who was found to have been sharing proprietary polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence operative. That information corresponds with the sort of data used by Russia to interfere with the election, and links Trump’s campaign to the Russian conspiracy more closely than ever before.

The other story concerned the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who famously met with Manafort, Don Jr, Jared Kushner, and others, in Trump Tower. That was the meeting where they discussed acquiring “dirt” in the form of stolen emails from Hillary Clinton and her associates. Veselnitskaya was indicted yesterday for obstruction of justice in a case that revealed her close ties to the Kremlin.

Given the bombshell quality of these stories, it would have been a fortunate coincidence if something else arose that might distract the media and the public from focusing on them. Could Trump have been tipped off about these impending legal disclosures? Perhaps by Manafort or his lawyers who have already been discovered to have secretly briefed Trump’s legal team And might Trump have had an incentive to schedule a rare Oval Office address that was completely devoid of substance in order to execute that distraction? Can anyone supply another reason why the President would embarrass himself with that empty televised spectacle that was the oratorical equivalence of dropping his pants on the subway to draw attention away from a worse crime?

Who knows with this president? This might be a step too deep into conspiracy theory. But it is well within the bounds of plausibility for a president who is openly considering a declaration of a national emergency – which does not exist – just so he can build a wall that most Americans don’t want. It is not far-fetched for someone who lies with such ease about things as easily verifiable as whether past presidents told him that they should have built a wall; or that 4,000 suspected terrorists were caught crossing the southern border; or that Democrats request that Trump change his wall construction from concrete to steel.

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

None of those things were true. And that tendency for flagrant falsification is what makes anything possible with this president. Including a plot to wave a shiny Oval Office speech in front of the press to get them to ignore the fact that he’s pantless. But fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have worked. The other stories are still being sell covered (less so on Fox News) and are likely to make headlines on Wednesday and beyond. So Trump embarrassed himself, and wasted the nation’s time, in vain. The only problem with that is that it might make him more likely to actually declare a national emergency, out of anger and/or vengeance, in order to distract from the failure of this distraction. Stay tuned.

The GOP Outrage Over Rashida Tlaib is Overflowing with Hypocrisy – Trump has Said Much Worse

The new Congress has been gaveled into session by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and it is already making progress on the issues that the American people have wanted addressed, but were suppressed by the Republican Nationalist supplicants to Donald Trump. First up is ending the Trump Shutdown. But also on the list of priorities is election reform, restoring fairness to taxes, infrastructure funding, and the long overdue oversight of Trump’s criminal campaign and administration.

Donald Trump

So what is the biggest issue for the GOP? A new congresswoman said a naughty word. Rep. Rashida Tlaib was speaking to group of supporters Thursday evening and dropped an F-bomb when referencing her intention to seek the impeachment of Trump for his many crimes. Her language was raw and, by conventional standards, inappropriate for a public servant. And that sentiment was expressed by nearly every leader on the Democratic side of the aisle. But that didn’t stop Republicans from gasping in horror and fainting from the sheer shock of such insolence.

However, one of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats will criticize themselves when they deserve it. Republicans will defend the most disgusting behavior rather than condemn a fellow Republican, especially Donald Trump. After all, Trump is the guy who bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” but still got the GOP nomination for president. And that’s not all. Trump currently has fifteen instances of F-bombs on his Twitter feed, Including this one:

And Trump has not been shy about uttering profanities of all varieties in public. Here is a speech Trump gave that had multiple profanities. Pay particular attention to how he referred to his intention to levy tariffs on China:

In addition, Trump has recently tweeted some raw insults aimed at Democrats he is clearly afraid of. He referred to the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, as “Adam Schitt.” And that was followed a few weeks later by a tweet where he called Sen. Richard Blumenthal “the dick.”

Of course, there has been almost no criticism of Trump by his GOP colleagues for bellowing out the very same words that Republicans are now in such a tizzy about because a freshly minted Democrat said them in a private gathering. The GOP is less a political party than it is a cult where there leader is incapable of any wrongdoing. But the same behavior by their foes is a capital offense. This is how the GOP wants to start the new year with new leaders in Congress. And it’s an obvious attempt to distract the public from the government shutdown, and other failures, that they are wholly responsible for.

As for the underlying issue of impeachment that inspired Rep. Tlaib’s comments, that is something that is going to unfold in due time no matter what Trump has to say about it. Special counsel Robert Mueller is getting closer to releasing a report with his findings. And prosecutors in New York, Maryland, Washington, D.C., California, and other states are also investigating Trump for potentially impeachable crimes. Which has lead to Trump posting another of his plaintive whines that he’s innocent of everything:

There is so much wrong with that it’s hard to know where to begin. First of all, Trump was elected with only 46.1% of the vote, and with three million fewer votes than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Secondly, there is abundant evidence of collusion and/or conspiracy with Russia by Trump and his closest associates and family (and no collusion by Democrats).

What’s more, the first two years of Trump’s presidency has been rife with failure. He’s driven up the national debt by more than two trillion dollars. The stock market suffered it’s first negative year in a decade. There has been little or no progress on any foreign policy objective. The Climate crisis is getting perilously close to the point of no return. America’s roads and bridges are crumbling. The nation is more divided than ever. And of course, his idiotic vanity wall is still a figment of his diseased imagination.

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

But by all means, let’s forget about all of that pull out our hair over some cursing by an excited new congressperson. And in the meantime, continue to keep the government shut down, forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans to go without pay for untold weeks or months. All because Trump’s ego is too fragile to cope with the reality that no one wants his stupid, racist wall. Yeah, that’s the ticket. And that’s exactly how the GOP is proceeding. There is no better proof that they couldn’t care less about this nation or its citizens.

Trump Blatantly Lies About Russian ‘Witch Hunt’ According to the Journalist He Misquoted

With each new day Donald Trump demonstrates evermore fear and desperation due to the mounting evidence of his collusion and conspiracy with Russia to undermine an American election. He behaves precisely the way one would expect a guilty man to behave, by distorting facts, distracting from the issues, and maligning his critics. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so troubling and dangerous.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday morning Trump went to new extremes to absolve himself of any liability for his felonious actions. In a series of frantic tweets, Trump presented what he said was a case for his innocence made by journalist Michael Isikoff, co-author with David Corn of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Isikoff was interviewed by John Ziegler, however, Trump got his analysis of Isikoff’s remarks from Fox News, as usual. But what Trump tweeted (here, here, and here) was far removed from reality:

“Russia Dossier reporter now doubts dopey Christopher Steele’s claims! “When you get into the details of the Steele Dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them. There’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations…..”

“….WILL NEVER BE PROVEN AND ARE LIKELY FALSE.” Thank you to Michael Isikoff, Yahoo, for honesty. What this means is that the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC!”

“Michael Isikoff was the first to report Dossier allegations and now seriously doubts the Dossier claims. The whole Russian Collusion thing was a HOAX, but who is going to restore the good name of so many people whose reputations have been destroyed?”

There is a whole lot of wrongness in there to unwrap, starting with Trump’s typically childish insult of Steele as “dopey.” More to the point. Trump falsely asserts that the FISA warrants are a fraud even though none of this addresses them. What’s more, the Steele dossier was not a primary source of evidence for granting the warrants. Also, Hillary Clinton didn’t pay for the dossier. Her campaign paid Fusion GPS to do research and they hired Steele.

So Trump is attempting to use Isikoff’s comments as absolution for his crimes. But Trump left out the most critical parts of the interview. Those omissions were pointed out by the interviewer, the interviewee, and his co-author. Isikoff had plenty to say about Trump’s adventures with Russia that the President failed to mention. For instance:

“In broad strokes, Christopher Steele was clearly onto something. That there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere with our elections. That they were trying to help Trump’s campaign. And that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign. That much, I think, has been established by the public records.”

And also that:

“The Trump campaign and its campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, were active in ways that was clearly inappropriate and that they shouldn’t have done. And that they concealed this from the voters.

“And the Moscow Tower project going on in June of 2016, with direct conversations between Michael Cohen and an assistant to Dmitri Peskov, a press secretary to Vladimir Putin, was incredibly significant, concealed from the voters, and gives the lie to Donald Trump’s repeated statements during the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia. That nobody connected to his campaign had any contacts with anybody in Russia.

“I mean, the President during the campaign, as a candidate, seriously mislead the American public about what was a very important issue. And that was the questions about what the Russians were up to and his own dealing with the Russians. So all of that is true.”

What more needs to be said? Isikoff clearly stated that Trump was deeply involved with Russian figures and that he lied about it repeatedly. But Trump ignored all of that and distorted Isikoff’s words to say the opposite, and ironically, thanked him for his honesty. That tells you all you need to know about Trump’s aversion to honesty and his determined intent to mislead and spread falsehoods at every opportunity. It’s in his nature, and we can expect it to continue until he is removed from office. Hopefully in handcuffs.

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