This election will be an ongoing reality check for the duration, largely thanks to Paul Manafort, who is an expert propagandist.
Manafort headed over to Fox Business for a softball interview with Maria Bartiromo in order to reassure all seventeen viewers of that channel that Donald Trump isn't the guy who is in bed with the Russians. Nay, nay. It's actually Hillary Clinton.
In response to a question about Trump's weakness with every group but white supremacists, Manafort turned to Russia as his backup position.
"And when you talk about soft on Russia, she's the one who established the "Reset Russia" policy, that not only brought Russia into the Middle East, something American foreign policy under both Democrat and Republican presidents for years tried to keep from happening," he began.
Except that last part is just untrue. Syria has been a client state of Russia's for decades, as have other middle eastern actors. Russia has been working to destabilize NATO because they want to build alliances with NATO nations like Turkey, in order to control the fossil fuels in that region of the world more closely. It is patently false to say that Russia wasn't in the Middle East before 2008. Simply untrue.
He continued, "She's the one who is, you know, pushed Russia in such a direction that they started putting alliances together with China."
Yeah, facts don't matter to those seventeen viewers, so why bother with them?
"And if anybody is weak on Putin, and who Putin should be anxious to see as President, it's Hillary Clinton."
That's just Orwellian to its core, particularly the part where Manafort acts like Russia's efforts to destabilize NATO aren't perfectly aligned with Trump's!
Twitter's reaction came swiftly:
How many times have we heard Trump say that it'd be great if Russia would team up with U.S. to "knock out" ISIS? pic.twitter.com/lwXWr1uhPu
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 7, 2016
@SopanDeb When Yanukovych's conciliere pretends to be critical of the Russian geopolitical agenda, does he expect to be taken seriously?