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Dan Rather: Trump’s ‘Nixonian’ obsession with crowd sizes undercuts his presidency

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Famed journalist Dan Rather on Monday blasted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s “outrageous performance” on Saturday, arguing the Trump administration’s obsession with crowd sizes is an almost-“Nixonian moment.”

Speaking with MSNBC’s Chris Mathews, Rather scolded the president’s “trash the press strategy,” calling out Trump for using his speech at the CIA on Saturday to berate the media for what he perceives as unfair coverage of the size of his inauguration crowds.

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Rather said Donald Trump’s “inappropriate” speech at the CIA was “followed up by the very unfortunate—I would say outrageous—performance of the new press secretary Sean Spicer coming out, delivering what can only be classified as a lie, and then moving out of the room.”

“He didn’t even have the guts to answer questions,” Rather added.

The celebrated reporter, who was part of the team that exposed former President Richard Nixon’s connection to the Watergate scandal, said while Spicer managed to host a substantive press conference Monday, the administration had a “Nixonian moment, if you will, when it gets back to this obsession with the size of the crowd for the inauguration.”

Rather noted “we have enormous problems in this country,” adding Spicer’s statement to the press Saturday served to “undercut the Trump presidency.”

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Discussing Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s widely-mocked insistence that the Trump administration is relying on “alternative facts,” Rather insisted, “none of us can go into this world with alternative facts.”

“Two plus two equals four, that’s a fact,” Rather declared, later adding, “This idea of alternative facts, this is a propaganda tool.”

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“Facts and the truth—or as close as humanly possible to get to the truth—are at the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an informed citizenry,” Rather said.

He added that journalists must be “oak and iron” when Trump “changes his tune, lies.”

“What Donald Trump has succeeded in doing, in many ways—in his own mind he thinks he’s succeeded tremendously—is to intimidate the press,” Rather argued. “And many of these things are designed to to intimidate the press. And this is gut-check time for the press, not to be intimidated.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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These 6 former Trump officials are most likely to throw him under the bus in 2020

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Former Trump White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said on Monday that he believed we would soon see a groundswell of former Trump administration officials coming out to publicly denounce the president ahead of his 2020 reelection bid in an effort to warn Americans of his unfitness for office.

Given that the Trump White House has experienced record turnover during its two-and-a-half year existence, there is no shortage of disgruntled former officials who could come out against the president's reelection campaign within the next year.

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Trump’s ignorance has touched off a new crisis in Kashmir

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While Americans parse conspiracy theories about billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s demise in a Manhattan jail cell, Trump’s sinister role in helping light a fuse in one of the most dangerous areas of the world has gone virtually unnoticed – by the U.S. that is.

India’s abrupt takeover on Aug. 5 of the Muslim-majority Kashmir state was a double whammy for the seven million inhabitants of this once-storied Himalayan kingdom nominally ruled by India and bordered by arch-enemy Pakistan as well as China, both of which claim territory in the region. All three countries have nuclear weapons.

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Is Trump right? Is there ‘something going on’ at Fox News?

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President Donald Trump denounced Fox News after the network released a poll showing him lagging behind the four current frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Fox has changed, and my worst polls have always been from Fox. There's something going on at Fox — I'll tell you right now," Trump told reporters Sunday in New Jersey. "And I'm not happy with it."

The president went on to list which talent on the Fox News roster he was pleased with, while also suggesting that the hosts of the presidential debates could be determined by who treats him most favorably.

"Fox was treated very badly by the Democrats — very, very badly having to do with the Democrats and other things. And I think Fox is making a big mistake," Trump added. "Because you know, I'm the one who calls the shots on the really big debates. I guess we're probably planning on three of them. And I'm not happy with Fox."

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