Anyone who witnessed that first 'press conference' held by Trump's WH Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, was likely caught off guard by the the combative words of admonition to the press. We should not be dumbfounded by the anomalies forthcoming with a very corrupt and ill-prepared administration, our new normal is abnormal.
AM Joy assembled a panel refreshingly free of Republican liars, who all agree that this is typical behavior with regards to media relations for an autocratic tyrant. What has been the norm in dictatorships around the world is now what we can expect in the USA. Sarah Kendzior, whom Trump supporters would label a 'PhD elitist', explains.
KENDZIOR...They want to flaunt powers to say we know that you know that this is a lie and we don't care, because there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. So the Trump administration has been doing this from the beginning. But there's one more thing he's doing, which I think is unique to Trump that you don't necessarily see in other authoritarian states, and he's extremely sensitive about quantitative metrics of popularity. He's obsessed with ratings, he's obsessed with rankings and that's because he's trying to pull an extremist position into the mainstream.
Interestingly enough, Putin has also been notoriously concerned about his image and is consumed with knowing all that is said about him, much like the 3:00 AM Tweeter-in-Chief. Both men are pathologically self-absorbed and seemingly ignore their own real responsibilities in favor of egotistical minutiae. Here's an interesting find: Trump wanted to be friends with Vladimir, long ago, and had no shame expressing that.
An emotionally insecure autocrat leading the most powerful nation in the world is especially unnerving to Malcolm Nance, a intelligence 'lifer' and author of The Plot To Hack America. He doesn't mince words about Trump's disrespectful conduct in a room that commands venerable homage to those who lost their lives in service to this nation.
JOY ANN REID: Is this something we should be laughing at and ridiculing or is this something that should actually be concerning to the American people?
MALCOLM NANCE: This should actually be concerning to the American people. No one should be laughing at this. I'm afraid to say I'm getting very alarmed just over the last 48 hours. Okay, my world, which I deal in, is called 'ground truth,' where we collect intelligence fact, we lay it out, it puts together a mosaic of a picture that gives you the actual broad truth as to what an opponent is doing.
What I'm seeing here is a propaganda machine. This is straight out of the Russian playbook, the authoritarian playbook. If anyone in the U.S. intelligence community were to ever behave or speak in the way that this administration is doing, they would have their security clearance pulled immediately, they would be taken off of site, they wouldn't be allowed back, and we have names for these people: fabulists, or pathological liars. Kellyanne Conway has lied right to my face, okay? These people are out of touch.
Naveed Jamali, former 'double agent' and author of How To Catch A Russian Spy, was rather appalled by Trump's conduct in such a somber place.
NAVEED JAMALI: It's completely bizarre to go on there and focus on the fact that you were on Time and Life magazine, he claimed he was on it the most ever, which has proven not to be the case. It was just bizarre....lf nothing else, Donald Trump's speech yesterday did nothing to close the gap to sort of heal... and when you have a speech like that yesterday in front of that wall, which is supposed to be a somber place, a place of reflection, that doesn't acknowledge that, it's -- frankly, it's disheartening and it's upsetting, I have to say.
NANCE: I've been in that hall. i have placed my hand on the stars of my fallen friends. Let me tell you something, that room is approximately 25 feet deep. There's enough space there for maybe three rows of 20 people in that exact space of the hall...The CIA officers who were in front were not applauding. There is an applause team off to the side. You even see them turn their heads to wonder who the hell is applauding in here. It is a disgrace that that happened on that spot. It is despicable and I am disgusted by the behavior of the Trump Administration on what they did in that room.
REID: Well, you echo Mr. Brennan, who is the outgoing CIA Director, who said basically the same thing. It was disgraceful. Trump didn't even reference what was behind him, which was an homage to people who died in defense of their country. Stunning.
There's no normalizing this administration. Period. Hopefully, the Fourth Estate will start acting like journalists and not exclusively pining for access. What meaning does an interview with a liar have? I doubt history will be kind to O'Reilly's Superbowl interview with Trump, as it will hardly have any truth to it.