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Trump’s conspiracy hokum is ‘a vital part of his strategy to avoid accountability’: New York Times report

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Why does Donald Trump lie at a historic rate, including so many whoppers from inflating the crowd size at his inauguration to pretending he was spied on by the Obama administration?

The New York Times went deep into Trump’s long history of spinning conspiracy hokum in a deeply reported piece on Monday, concluding that it’s part of his essential nature.

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“It is a vital ingredient in the president’s communications arsenal, a social media-fueled, brashly expressed narrative of dubious accusations and dark insinuations that allows him to promote his own version of reality,” write reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman. “Students of Mr. Trump’s life and communication style argue that the idea of conspiracies is a vital part of his strategy to avoid accountability and punch back at detractors, real or perceived, including the news media.”

The piece quotes his biographer, Gwenda Blair, who says it’s about reinforcing the idea that you can’t believe anything.

“He has sold us a whole way of accepting a narrative that has so many layers of unaccountable, unsubstantiated content that you can’t possibly peel it all back.”

The Times talked to former Trump aides who spoke privately because they “did not want to embarrass him,” who said that Trump is paranoid and “predisposed” to think events are being driven by secret groups of people. He refused to use the term “Deep State” for a long time, “partly because he believed it made him look too much like a crank.”

The story quotes a number of lawmakers by name and includes a devastating assessment from Erick Erickson, the founder of the conservative website RedState.

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“A lot of people really want to believe a conspiracy because it’s a lot easier to think a malevolent force is in charge than that our government is run by idiots,” he said.

Read the whole story here.


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The dangers of Trump TV: MSNBC host hammers Fox News as ‘genuine public health threat’ amid pandemic

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Tuesday night, Fox News decided that all anyone needed to do is to pump Americans with a Malaria drug and send them back to work to save President Donald Trump's economy.

Speaking Wednesday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes bashed the conservative network for downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus, saying that they are "a genuine public health threat."

While Trump has advisers like Dr. Anthony Fauci, he also has the unofficial advisers he sees on Fox News.

They "are coalescing around the idea the whole thing is just overblown and we need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and get them back to work. This is what you heard if you watch trump tv just last night," Hayes said. He then played clips illustrating exactly that, with hosts ranting and raving about the virus not being as serious as the flu.

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‘Don’t let him rewrite history’: GOP ex-congressman slams Trump for painting fewer than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths as a victory

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At Wednesday's coronavirus task force press conference, President Donald Trump reiterated his claim that if fewer than 100,000 Americans die from COVID-19, it will be a victory for him.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) had none of it.

He ignored the warnings. He ignored the scientists & doctors. He refused to prepare. He lied about the virus. This country wasn’t ready. People got sick. People died. People lost their jobs. Because he cared more about himself than the country.

Don’t let him rewrite history. https://t.co/9snqoJ1VQI

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Wisconsin GOP plots to strip Democratic governor of more power — a day after forcing voters to stand outside in a pandemic

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This week, Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature have faced national fury after their successful lawsuits blocking Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from delaying the election and extending absentee voting.

But just one day after tens of thousands of voters were forced to stand in public lines and risk COVID-19 exposure just to exercise their constitutional right to vote, the Wisconsin GOP found yet another way to weaponize the pandemic for partisan gain.

According to Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Republicans in the legislature have slipped a provision into the state's relief bill authorizing unemployment disbursement under the federal CARES Act, that would allow the state's Finance Committee to make budget cuts without input from Evers — stripping him of power at exactly the moment when the public would be looking to the governor for help.

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