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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.”

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

“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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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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George Conway erupts on Trump lackeys who are smearing Scaramucci: ‘These people work for a rapist!’

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Several anonymous Trump officials told the Washington Examiner this week that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci regularly abused staff members in the 11 short days in which he was employed by the president.

George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, lashed out on Tuesday at the Trump officials who anonymously attacked Scaramucci and accused them of overlooking President Donald Trump's own abusive behavior.

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Fifth NRA board member resigns over ongoing power struggle with embattled CEO Wayne LaPierre

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Another member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors has resigned -- marking the fifth high-profile departure in recent weeks from the powerful gun manufacturer lobbying group.

NRA board member Richard Childress, a former NASCAR driver and owner of a car racing enterprise, resigned Monday in a letter obtained by Newsweek.

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Trump’s fantasy about Russia investigators going to prison is doomed to flop: legal experts

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The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has largely wrapped up, and even though it did not exonerate President Donald Trump, he and his allies seem convinced not only that it has, but that the whole investigation was illegitimate and the people who carried it out are part of a so-called "Deep State" that is going to be put behind bars any day now.

A new analysis by Politico published on Tuesday walks through how Trump and many of his allies, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, and right-wing ex-prosecutor Joe DiGenova, are expecting a number of people, like former FBI Director James Comey and fired federal agent Peter Strzok, will be found guilty of criminal acts after internal investigations conducted by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Durham. Trump has even called it "treason."

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