February 16, 2017

Shep Smith was not at all pleased with Trump's 76-minute gaslighting session today, and let that be known.

While he was mostly angry about how CNN's Jim Acosta was treated, he had words to say about the general tenor of things in the room.

"It's crazy what we're watching every day. It's absolutely crazy," Smith marveled. "He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we're some kind of fools for asking the question."

Addressing Trump directly, he continued, "Really? Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we're fools for asking the questions?"

"No, sir, we're not fools for asking these questions and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people."

As for Trump's claim that bad news is "fake news," Shep shook his fist at that, too.

"We have a right to know," he insisted. "We absolutely do, and that you call us "fake news" and put us down like children for asking these questions on behalf of the American people, is inconsequential. The people deserve that answer, at very least."

Shep Smith is the one voice on Fox News who is permitted to speak the truth, mostly so they can keep claiming they're fair and balanced. And what he said is true, even if it did ooze out of Fox News.

But here's the thing. The bottom line of that press conference wasn't Trump's attacks on the media. It was that everything -- literally every single thing -- Trump said was a lie. He lied about the economy, about Russia, about Flynn, about the ACA, about Hillary Clinton (yes, he's still obsessed with Hillary Clinton), about uranium, and the news media. The entire presser was an effort to gaslight Americans everywhere.

He as much as admitted it when he said, "The leaks are real; the news is fake." In other words, there are real leaks coming out, but don't believe any of them because they're coming via the filter those of us in sane America call journalists. He said that while standing in front of journalists who were there to report...news.

That press conference was, bar none, the most unhinged press conference I've ever seen a president have. For awhile it seemed to hover close to the Nixon "I am not a crook" statement, before just jumping off the cliff into Alex Jones-level paranoia and delusion.

He's hoping he takes the rest of the country along for the ride. As long as I have a breath to breathe, that will not happen.

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