In Apparent Desperation, Trump is Playing His Ace in the Hole: The Gullibility of His Base and the Media
The last few days have seen an obviously coordinated attack against the credibility of Robert Mueller’s investigation by, among others, President Donald Trump, elements of his administration and the state-run “conservative” media. By forcing the firing of the FBI’s Andrew McCabe, a false narrative has been purposely created in order to muddy the waters just enough so that Trump can finally get rid of Mueller, or that at least the special counsel’s conclusions will not be taken seriously by the 40 percent of the population which still supports the president.
With any other president — or even just a remotely normal major public figure — such brazen acts of deceit would be seen as sure signs of desperation and, consequently, some sort of sure guilt. While Trump’s apparent personality disorders usually make it more difficult to have confidence in any definitive interpretation of his intentions, it seems that we have now reached the point where what is really happening is so obvious that anyone with their eyes more open than Sean Hannity can easily see it.
Quite simply, the best evidence that Trump and his team are indeed guilty of something serious, and that Mueller is likely to have already discovered it, is the obscene lengths to which he and his sycophants are willing to lie in order to discredit this investigation. As even Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy has said about this attack on Mueller, if Trump is innocent why isn’t he acting like it?
The termination of McCabe, as even periodic Trump enabler Marco Rubio has admitted, does not pass the smell test, and not just because of the vindictive element of him being deprived of his pension. While I realize there was a recommendation to fire him, and that many of the details are simply not currently known, I have yet to hear a remotely sensible explanation of how this vast conspiracy “theory” involving him trying to take down Trump actually transpired in a way where any of this could be remotely relevant to discrediting Mueller’s investigation.
Team Trump keeps claiming that McCabe’s wife got paid by the Clintons and that this somehow discredits his role in the Clinton email probe. Forgetting that this has nothing to do with Trump and Russia, it is also is a giant red herring which is purposely intended to mislead Trump’s easily duped cult (anything with even the hint of Hillary Clinton’s scent on it is usually more than enough to do that job).
To be clear, McCabe’s wife was NOT given money by the Clintons, but by their long-time friend Terry McCauliffe. More importantly, that money was in the form of campaign contributions (as opposed to a personal donation to be used however she wanted), and this occurred BEFORE McCabe was directly involved in the case.
As for the justification behind his actual firing, he supposedly “misled” about having “leaked” information about the Clinton email investigation to the media. However, what Trump and his state-run media never tell his “Cult 45” is that what McCabe told the media actually was HARMFUL to Clinton at a critical juncture of the campaign.
In short, Trump and his state-run media are trying to claim that former FBI Director James Comey and his supposed lackey Andrew McCabe somehow engaged in a conspiracy to take out Trump after (or was it before, or maybe simultaneously?) they both took actions which played a key role in helping Trump win.
I would like to believe that even Trump and his sycophants realize that, much like the theoretical basis of the infamous and over-hyped Devin Nunes memo, this not-even-half-baked theory is insane. Regardless, what seems abundantly clear is that they don’t care if what they are saying makes absolutely no sense. They fully realize that their audience is more than willing to blindly buy whatever they are selling, as long as it seems to be good for their hero Donald Trump.
The reality is that much of Trump’s political base is both factually challenged and totally invested in Trump not being exposed as a horrible presidential pick. This, combined with the fact that the state-run “conservative” media which Trump’s cult exclusively consumes has a total blackout on any data points which might be dangerous to their nonsensical and self-serving narrative, means that the truth has absolutely no chance of piercing their bubble.
As long as the Trump cult keeps gobbling up what the “conservative” media is serving them, there will be no pressure for anything to change and no one in that club (other than maybe Shepard Smith) will risk being excommunicated by telling the truth. Thus, this cycle of invested ignorance will continue unabated.
I don’t know if Trump will finally figure out a way to fire Mueller, though judging from the pathetically tepid reaction from the vast majority of powerful Republicans to the possibility (other than Lindsey Graham and a few others), he could probably get away with doing so. However, it does seem now certain that Trump will be damaged under just about every scenario from here, but, thanks to there now being almost no chance that his cult ever leaves him, he will ultimately survive, at least through 2020.
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at email@example.com
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.