In Schizoid Speech, Trump Exposed His Son’s and Campaign’s Collusion With Russian Spy

On Saturday America was treated to a pair of events that are best described as bizarre and controversial. It began with Donald Trump’s petty revenge for journalists throwing a party in Washington to celebrate the First Amendment. Too afraid to attend, Trump held another of his hate-mongering, ego-stroking, campaign-style rallies. Shortly thereafter, the White House Correspondents Dinner featured a routine by Michelle Wolf, something that frightens Trump and the GOP even more than journalists – comedy! And from a (gasp) woman!!!

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The right will try to make Sunday all about Wolf’s admittedly raunchy routine. They’ll say it was vulgar and insulting. And they’ll manage to keep a straight face despite supporting a president who has made vulgar and insulting the hallmark of his public persona. It’s a core part of his appeal to his disciples who drooled over him at the Michigan rally.

Trump’s speech mainly covered familiar, and now tedious, territory with jabs at all of usual targets. But he didn’t fail to satisfy those hoping for new derangments of old numbers. On that score he offered up a threat to “close down the country” as if it were one of his bankrupt casinos. He also threatened Montana Senator Jon Tester with some unspoken, heinous secret that would end his political career.

But perhaps the most peculiar revelation in his address was his admission that his campaign – and specifically his son, Don Jr. – actually did collude with the Russians (video below). Although, true to form, he probably had no idea what the heck he was talking about. The confession came in a segment focusing on the collusion issue, when he blurted out:

“Have you heard about the lawyer? For a year a woman lawyer was like, ‘Oh, I know nothing, know nothing.’ Now all of a sudden she is supposedly involved with government. You know why? If she did that – because Putin and the group said, ‘You know, this Trump is killing us. Why don’t you say you’re involved with government so that we can go and make their life in the United States even more chaotic?

“Look at what’s happened. Look at how the politicians have fallen for this stuff. Russian collusion. Give me a break. The only collusion was the Democrats colluded with the Russians. And the Democrats colluded with lots of other people. Take a look at the intelligence agencies.”

Let’s break that down. Trump is saying that the Russian lawyer that we know had a meeting with Don, Jr. and other members of Trump’s campaign staff, was recently told by Vladimir Putin to say that she’s involved with the Russian Government. OK. So she’s taking orders from Putin. Which means that she IS involved with the Russian Government. Therefore, Don, Jr. and company DID collude with Russia by meeting with this admitted spy to discuss obtaining stolen Hillary Clinton emails in order to damage her campaign and boost Trump’s.

That’s Trump’s theory? One that incriminates himself, his campaign, and his family? He is so unfathomably stupid that he doesn’t realize that he just told America that his son conspired to help Russia subvert our democracy. And it doesn’t even matter if he knew at the time. Because if he didn’t, that just means he got played by Putin. And who’s to say he isn’t still getting played?

Are you listening to this, Robert Mueller? It’s really very simple. Trump previously confessed on national TV to obstruction of justice with the firing of James Comey. And now he’s admitting this collusion in a public, televised (by Fox News only, of course) congregation of true believers. What’s more, he follows that up by lashing out wildly at Democrats in a pathetic display of consciousness of guilt. How much more proof do we need than all of these admissions straight from the horse’s ass?

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

Trump Told Fox News that the U.S. is Just as Bad as Russia and Tried to Make Comey Agree

The ABC interview of James Comey Sunday night had some juicy quotables. The interview precedes the release of his book, A Higher Loyalty, which is currently number one on Amazon. Comey’s opinion that Donald Trump is “morally unfit to be president” seems to be getting the most play in the morning-after media. But Comey also introduced several “possibilities” that are hard to ignore. He said that it’s possible that Trump is “compromised by the Russians.” He said that there is possible evidence of Trump obstructing justice. And he said that it is possible that Trump “was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow.”

Comey Trump

All of those are harrowing thoughts when applied to the President of the United States. And particularly so when they come from one of the highest law enforcement officials in the American federal government. The harmful prospects implied by those remarks cannot be overstated. And they will surely play a part in the unfolding investigation being conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

In addition, there was a surprising allusion to Trump’s favorite cable news network, Fox News. It reveals the extent to which he is preoccupied with everything he sees and hears from his shadow policy advisors on the network, who too often become his actual White House advisors. The exchange occurred when George Stephanopoulos asked Trump about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, a unambiguously brutal dictator who Trump has never been able to say a single bad word about. This is what ensued (transcript here, video below):

“The Super Bowl pre-game show where– and I hadn’t asked any questions about this, but the president was just talking about it, he had given an answer to Bill O’Reilly that had been much criticized across the political spectrum when he had said, in response to a question, that he respected Vladimir Putin and said, ‘That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.’

“And then O’Reilly responded, ‘But he’s a killer.” And the president responded, in substance, “But we’re killers, too. You think our country’s so innocent.’ I forget the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. And that moral equivalence, between the people of our government and Putin’s thugs, had generated a lot of controversy. […]

“He was telling me it was a good answer and then said – gave me an opening by saying, ‘You think it was a great answer. You think it was a good answer.’ And then he was starting to move on. And I jumped in and I said, ‘Mr. President, the first part of the answer was fine, not the second part. We’re not the kind of killers that Putin is.’

And when I said that, the weather changed in the room. And like a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look. And I thought in that moment, ‘I’ve just done something unusual maybe.’ And then (SNAP) it passed and the meeting was over. And, ‘Thanks for coming in,’ and – and Priebus walked me out.”

Comey regarded that exchange as having an unintended positive result. He said that “by interrupting him and also criticizing him to his face,” it ended any personal relationship between him and Trump. It allowed him to “keep a distance that we need to keep from him.” But it also showed that Trump has an unhealthy obsession with whatever he says on Fox News being validated by everyone with whom he comes into contact. Trump desperately wanted Comey to agree that what he told O’Reilly was brilliant.

Of course, what he told O’Reilly was an insult to America and blatantly unpatriotic. Even O’Reilly thought so. Putin is guilty of murdering his political opponents and critical journalists. He is a cold-blooded tyrant who thirsts for world domination. Whatever flaws the U.S. has, they are not on that level of evil. But Comey’s refusal to suck up to Trump caused the President to freeze up. And it may have been at that moment that he decided that Comey had to go.

The cumulative effect of the Russia investigation and Comey’s lack of adoring fealty to Trump sealed his fate. So ironically, Fox News, the PR division of the Trump White House, may have inadvertently played a role in proving that Trump obstructed justice. Who’da thunk it?

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

THE CALLER: Starring Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr, and Vladimir Putin with Stormy Daniels

This season’s steamiest melodrama has been unleashed on America. It’s a thrilling adventure into the politics and romance of Donald Trump’s White House. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the President shows that he is always one step ahead of the fake news and the hordes of rampaging foes that hound him around every corner.

Donald Trump

In the latest episode of this bawdy soap opera it is revealed that Trump diverted his attention from supposedly being president to make a phone call to an old friend. The TV matron of the Conner family, Roseanne Barr, was the recipient of this honor due to her surprisingly successful comeback on television. After the premiere of the rebooted “Roseanne” show drew 18.2 million viewers, the President knew that he had to drop everything and get Rosie on the line. Never mind that he won’t call the families of deceased soldiers or victims of natural disasters. Trump knows exactly what his priorities are. This historical event was recounted adoringly by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends who noted that Trump “likes his big ratings.”

Indeed, Trump does like his ratings BIG. So when he heard about Roseanne, who is a fan of Trump both in her show and in real life, he stopped tweeting and dialed her up. After all, if there is anything Trump is known for, it’s congratulating people whose achievements soar beyond the ordinary. That’s why he called Vladimir Putin last week to congratulate him on his stupendous electoral victory. Never mind that the election was a sham in which his opponents were not permitted to run, or were otherwise threatened with imprisonment or death. And speaking of death, Trump also called Philippines President Duterte recently to congratulate him on his fantastic anti-drug program that features the assassination of suspects in the streets without having to bother with messy annoyances like, you know, trials.

As the story unfolds, the love interest is introduced to steam up the screen. The sultry Stormy Daniels was also on TV this week. “Why,” she wonders, “didn’t Donald call me? My ratings were even bigger than Roseanne’s with 22 million viewers.” Perhaps he was jealous since Stormy’s ratings on 60 Minutes were far higher than Trump’s when he was interviewed in the days following the election. He managed only about 16 million viewers.

Stay tuned as the controversies and scandals continue to heat up. In upcoming episodes sparks will fly between Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks. And Mike Pence will beg “Mother’s” forgiveness for dining with a female senator without permission. And the season will conclude on a fiery note with the confrontation between Trump and his arch-nemesis, special counsel Robert Mueller. This is truly must see TV.

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

The Coming Arms Race? WTF is Trump Tweeting About Now?

Following Vladimir Putin’s reelection as president of Russia, Donald Trump called him to offer his hearty congratulations. The fact that Trump thinks that Putin deserves applause for masterminding a sham election is bad enough. But in the midst of ongoing atrocities related to Russia’s election tampering in the United States, and it’s complicity in executing opponents with nerve agents on British soil, it is utterly disgraceful. And he was even warned against sending congratulations by his top advisors, a warning that he ignored.

Donald Trump

Many Americans are outraged by Trump’s fealty to Putin, including a few Republicans who castigated him for praising the Russian tyrant’s undemocratic victory. But most Republicans are either defending Trump or remaining silent in the wake of yet another heinous act against the interests of America. And Trump’s greatest defender is, as usual, himself. In a Wednesday morning twitter rant, Trump tried to excuse sucking up to Putin by saying that…

First of all, Obama didn’t call Putin while Russia was still trying to undermine America’s democracy and attacking our allies with chemical weapons. Secondly, the media are not the only critics of Trump’s Putin-fluffing. Ask GOP senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham. Thirdly, would Trump have also said that getting along with Hitler was a good thing?

But the most troubling part of this tweet-plomacy is Trump’s curious reference to Russia helping with “the coming Arms Race.” Is there something he knows that he isn’t telling us?

It should be noted that any suggestion that an arms race is developing has to recognize that Trump himself is waging it. He has railed for months about what he regards as a depleted and ineffectual U.S. military. During his campaign, and now as president, Trump has promised to build up the military with an infusion of billions of dollars. He has advocated more and newer nuclear weapons, as well as piling on additional conventional munitions.

What’s more, Russia doesn’t seem to be a particularly helpful party when it comes to an arms race. Putin recently showed off what he said were invincible new missiles that could be used against the U.S. and for which we would have no defense. If anything, Trump and Putin appear to be engaged in a mutually agreed upon escalation of weapons of mass destruction. Which would just make this the latest sweetheart deal that Trump has executed with his BFF.

It is no longer shocking when Trump says something false or stupid. That’s a nearly daily occurrence. But it is still worrisome when he makes dangerous comments that bring the country closer to conflict with foreign adversaries. Especially when those comments are contrary to the public policies and best interests of the nation.

By announcing that there is a “coming Arms Race,” Trump is alerting Russia and other nations of an intention by the U.S. to expand its military advantage. In effect, the comment has the potential to be the trigger for an arms race that didn’t exist previously. Hopefully somebody in the media will ask Trump what the heck he’s talking about. Although it may be too much to hope for that he actually knows.

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

FAKE NEWS! That’s What Trump Called Media Reports that Tillerson Would Be Fired – Um, OK

Another one bites the dust: On Tuesday morning it was announced that Donald Trump had fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. This move came after months of awkward conflicts between the President and his top diplomat. It was not an unexpected development, but most White House watchers probably thought it would come later, after the firing of H.R. McMaster, John Kelly, or Jeff Sessions.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

For the record, Trump has previously denied all reports that he was even considering terminating Tillerson. In fact, he called it “fake news.” That was just three months ago:

Apparently they work so well together that he had to go. Maybe Stormy – I mean Melania – was getting jealous. So this was tweeted on Tuesday:

This is rather startling timing for such a major personnel change. Trump recently announced that he would be meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un by May. Now the United States will be breaking in a new Secretary of State and still has no ambassador to South Korea. There are also significant issues pending with Iran, Israel, China, Russia, and the U.K. But not to worry. As Trump said in November regarding his dangerously understaffed State Department “I’m the only one that matters.”

Rest assured that whatever you hear from the administration about Tillerson’s departure will be a lie. It is no coincidence that he was jettisoned the day after he forcefully charged that Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England. Trump was not about to allow any criticism of his BFF, Vladimir Putin. When given the opportunity on Monday to hold Russia accountable, the White House balked, leaving our U.K. allies in the lurch.

Let this be a lesson to anyone serving this president. If you say anything unkind about Putin, you’re out of a job. It’s almost worse than saying something unkind about Trump himself. Actually, it is worse. Tillerson called Trump a moron last year and didn’t get fired. Putin is apparently the third rail in 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.

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?

Finally:

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.

UH-OH: There’s a Second Dossier Alleging that Russia has Compromising Materials on Trump

Republicans have been working furiously to discredit a dossier produced by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. The dossier contains information tying Donald Trump and his associates to the Russian government. Some of the material involves salacious activities placing Trump in a Moscow hotel room with Russian prostitutes.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The Steele dossier has been examined thoroughly and some, but not all, of the data has been confirmed. Despite that, Republicans rant incessantly on Fox News and other right-wing media that the dossier is unverified. That is flatly untrue. Which makes their attempt to discredit it all the more difficult. And it isn’t going to get any easier now that, as the Guardian reports, another document that corroborates much of the dossier is currently in the hands of the FBI. According to the Guardian:

The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.

The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.

However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads.

One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.

It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier, which has been derided by Trump’s supporters, may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.

There is still much to uncover with regard to this new document. And the partisan associations of its author need to be taken into consideration. But the gravity with which it has been received by the FBI is sufficient to give Trump and his Republican defenders migraines. They can’t continue to swing so wildly at Steele if his data is backed up by an independent investigation.

What’s more, the Trump brigades’ campaign to smear special counsel Robert Mueller is going to be hampered by new evidence that Trump colluded with Russia and that Vladimir Putin might have damning evidence of it. This new information will compound the allegations against Trump and could lead to serious legal jeopardy for him and others in his administration. And while the GOP will surely try to leap out in front of this news and dismiss it, Mueller is not going to be so easily distracted.

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.