May 22, 2018

During one of Donald Trump's staged "press pool" opportunities with the South Korean president, he managed to spend minutes ranting about a phony conspiracy theory that there were "spies in his campaign" but could not manage to answer a straightforward question about whether he still has confidence in Rod Rosenstein.

How convenient. Trump yammered on for minutes about "spies in my campaign" 1 and yet, when he was asked about whether he still had confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, could not manage to answer the simple yes or no question, waving reporters off.

Simple question: "Do you have confidence in Rod Rosenstein?"

Really dumb answer: "Next question please."

"Excuse me, I have the president of South Korea here," Trump chided. "He doesn't want to hear these questions, if you don't mind."

Never mind that he just spent minutes yakking about the spies in front of the very same South Korean president.

Today we have news that some allied Congressional Republicans are building momentum toward the appointment of a second special prosecutor to investigate the Special Counsel and the FBI. This is a classic Groundswell effort, just like the bogus Benghazi "investigation" and IRS "scandal" were, along with their supreme victory when they shut down the government over Obamacare. It is intended for nothing other than cynical countermessaging and electoral success, and if we haven't learned this by now then we get the results we deserve.

As a reminder, this is how they do it.

  • Invent a scandal, using Judicial Watch and other right wing "watchdogs"
  • Blow up messaging via right wing media, beginning with the blogs and ending up at Fox News. (aka the Fox Effect)
  • Enlist Congressional allies to open investigations
  • Distract the media with the constant drumbeat of fever dreams

This is their guiding principle: "Our founders wanted government to be dysfunctional, making it difficult to pass laws was a built-in protection. Once things are reorganized and on course it will be time to get back to being dysfunctional. Getting on course will send a message that will show America we are doing business."

This was all of a piece of that strategy. Undermining the media, government institutions and more is how fascism takes hold and billionaires reach their goals. Trump is their perfect front guy, a carnival barker who plays the front-man fascist.


1 Here's what he said during that rant after being asked about his meeting with Wray and Rosenstein Monday. (Side note: Why isn't this the same as Bill Clinton talking to Loretta Lynch on the runway, again?):

TRUMP: A very routine meeting. As you know, the Congress would like to see documents opened up. A lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign. If they had spies in my campaign that would be a disgrace for this country. That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone's ever seen and it would be very illegal, aside from everything else. It would make probably every political event ever look like small potatoes. So we want to make sure that there weren't. I hope there weren't, frankly. But some man got paid, based on what I read in the newspaper, and on what you reported, some person got paid a lot of money. That's not a normal situation. The kind of money you're talking about. So hopefully that would be -- and I think the Department of Justice wants to get down to it. I can tell you Congress does. So hopefully they'll all be able to get together. General Kelly's going to be setting up a meeting between Congress and the various representatives and they'll be able to open up documents, take a look and find out what happened. But if they had spies in my campaign, during my campaign for political purposes, that would unprecedented in the history of our country. Yes.

But can't answer about Rosenstein. Okay.

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