For the umpteenth time, I find myself deeply disappointed in, but not at all surprised by, the president's actions. Trump’s decision not to declassify and release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican memo (the Nunes memo) made public last Friday is but his latest self-serving and hypocritical outrage.
Trump decided to declassify and release the Nunes memo condemning the contents of a FISA application over the strong objections of the Justice Department and the FBI before even having read it. But he blithely holds Democrats to a different, much higher standard, requiring them to jump through arbitrary hoops to merit comparable treatment.
The concepts of fundamental fairness and equal justice under the law have no meaning to this narcissist, whose goal is not transparency but self-preservation.
FISA is the acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which was established by Congress in 1978. The Court entertains applications made by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and certain other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.
In their memo, the Republicans argued that the FISA warrant obtained for Trump’s campaign adviser (and suspected foreign agent) Carter Page was improperly obtained. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have publicly denounced the Nunes memo noting that it was incomplete and misleading. For instance, it wrongly suggests that the only basis for the FISA warrant was the Steele Dossier and that the application failed to disclose that the dossier was from a political source.
If the president had any intention of putting the nation’s interests before his own, he would not have released the Nunes memo. Of course, that would require him to be a patriot, not a partisan, and – as we’ve repeatedly seen this past year – that’s not in his DNA. But having decided to release the Nunes memo, he should have released the Democratic rebuttal memo as well – and at the same time.
Dishonest Don is playing fast and loose with our national security to seek cover from the eventual findings of the Special Counsel’s investigation. This is the stuff of third world dictators, and the Republicans in Congress haven’t lifted a finger to stop him. Instead, they have been his enablers.
The ball is in our court. We must flip the Congress and replace this president. We cannot allow our beloved nation to become nothing more than a Banana Republic.
Propaganda 101: Trump’s gibberish gets worse by the day.
But as tempting as it is to dismiss his nonsensical rants as mere twaddle, it is important to recognize them for what they are: propaganda. And, sadly, it’s propaganda that resonates with far too many of our fellow citizens.
Consider, for instance, Trump’s tendency to talk in glittering generalities. This propaganda technique was recently on display when Trump, relying on an incomplete, inaccurate and misleading GOP memo, blasted p...rocedures used to obtain a FISA warrant for surveillance of his campaign advisor, Carter Page.
He did so without offering a scintilla of substance.
“I think it’s terrible what’s going on in this country,” Trump raged. He gave no context, no specifics, just a sweeping, unsubstantiated assertion that something “was going on” and that it was “terrible.”
Then he said, "What's going on in this country, I think it is a disgrace." Again, “what’s going on” was completely undefined and why “what’s going on” qualified as “a disgrace,” was equally unclear.
Finally, he said "When you look at that, and you see that, and so many other things what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that."
Holy Toledo! When you “look” at what? When you “see” what? And what are the “many other things” going on? And who should be “ashamed of themselves”? And for what should they be ashamed? And what is much worse than what?
See what I mean? He gets away with this rubbish all the time. Reporters must start demanding specifics.
I know he’s slippery, and he filibusters, and he changes the subject and he says something even more bizarre to distract from his original blather. But it would be refreshing to hear someone say, “Mr. President, what you said just now didn’t make any sense. You strung a lot of pejorative words together but you didn’t say anything. Could you be specific? What exactly are you talking about?”
And when he resorts to the same non-responsive gobbledygook, the next journalist needs to follow up with the same question. And so does the next one, and the next.
He’s so adept at babbling using loaded words to create an impression but actually saying nothing. Reporters – individually and collectively – need to pick up their games and start consistently calling him out on his mumbo jumbo propaganda.