The Art Of The Distraction
Iran. FISA. Security clearances. Many would call this wagging the dog.
The Rantt Rundown: Day 550 of the Trump presidency
If there’s one thing Donald Trump is great at, it’s closing tremendous deals… Ok, jokes aside, Trump is incredible at diverting the attention of the media. Whether it’s scheduling an Apprentice-style primetime announcement or sending out midnight ALL CAPS tweets threatening world leaders, Trump is the king of paranoia-driven deflection. And last night, Trump chose the latter.
The Distractions: On Sunday night, President Trump took to Twitter to threaten the Iranian President.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Interesting that this is the response a threat warranted, but the when Russian President Vladimir Putin successfully attacks American democracy, he gets invited to the White House.
There was also Trump’s consideration of removing the security clearances of Former FBI Director James Comey, Former Director of the Central Intelligence John Brennan, Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former Acting FBI Director Ander McCabe, and Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden. Aside from the fact some of those named no longer have security clearances, this was widely panned as the President of the United States targeting those who dare to speak out against him.
In their latest gaslighting move, President Trump and House Republicans, led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA-22), continued to argue that the FISA surveillance of Carter Page was politically motivated, that the FISA court was misled, and the warrant was based on the Christopher Steele dossier. After the release of these 412 pages of documents this past weekend, which proves these claims to be blatantly false, President Trump, House Republicans, and conservative media continue to push this false narrative.
Many would call this wagging the dog.
The Stories: This flurry of activity came as a disruption to the media’s continued discussion of whether or not President Trump is compromised by Russia and his disastrous capitulation to Putin last week. This would surely be bolstered by the fact President Trump completed a quintuple walk-back and is now back to calling Russian interference a hoax. There was also ongoing discussion surrounding the recording Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen locked down in Septemeber 2016, revealing Donald Trump discussed purchasing the rights to Karen McDougal’s affair story from the National Enquirer. Also, Trump’s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort’s criminal trial was set to begin this week (now postponed).
Although we shouldn’t necessarily avoid discussing the storylines Trump intends to be distractions, we should remain vigilant and aware of who is driving the narrative and what is productive vs. what is playing into the hands of Distraction Donnie.
In other news…
- Rantt Media: House Republicans Want To Force You To Read Their Conspiracy Theories… By Law
- Rantt Media: Yes, Sacha Baron Cohen Is Being Deceptive. Who cares?
- The Guardian: Michael Cohen: at least 12 tapes handed to investigators after raid on Trump lawyer
- ABC News: Judge delays Manafort trial, grants immunity to 5 Mueller witnesses
- The Washington Post: Trump administration officials dismissed benefits of national monuments
- The Washington Post: Russian billionaire with U.S. investments backed alleged agent Maria Butina, according to a person familiar with her Senate testimony
- The Daily Beast: John Kelly Signed Off on a ‘Purge’ of Scott Pruitt Loyalists From EPA
- The Washington Post: In private, Trump vents frustration over lack of progress on North Korea