In a column for Bloomberg, Donald Trump biographer Tim O’Brien claims that the president’s insistence of promoting conspiracy theories such as ones about former Vice President Joe Biden are quickly becoming the reason for his downfall, as indicated by the House Democrats moving forward with impeachment hearings.
According to the author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald,” the president has long used conspiracy theories — such as his questioning where President Barack Obama was born — to elevate him, and now he has reached a point where he is using them to stay on top.
As O’Brien notes, Trump’s use of smears and made-up stories about his rivals dates back to the ’80s, long before he became president.
“In the late 1980s, Donald Trump got into a feud with another prominent New York developer, Leonard Stern, over a story that a Stern-owned magazine, 7 Days, ran about the weak resale value of some Trump condominiums,” O’Brien recalled. “Stern was also funding an unflattering documentary about Trump, and amid the squabble Trump confided to his advisers at the Trump Organization that Stern was part of a broader cabal of jealous Manhattan builders out to get him.”
“But none of it amounted to the purposeful and broadly orchestrated plot mongering that Trump unfurled when he embraced birtherism in 2011 and aggressively promoted the idea that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. (and therefore wasn’t qualified to be president),” he continued before turning to Trump’s ascent to the presidency and how he used rumors to trample his rivals and gain favor with what has become his rabid base.
“‘Donald Trump’s supporters lap up every conspiracy theory he pushes out there,’ one pollster noted in 2016, the year in which lessons Trump learned from selling birtherism helped pave his way to the White House,” O’Brien explained. “Trump launched his presidential campaign by accusing the Mexican government of plotting to export rapists and other criminals to the U.S. As the campaign wore on, he took to stating that Muslim Americans broadly and secretly supported terrorism.”
Ticking off a series of conspiracy theories Trump has pushed since assuming office (“Obama’s efforts to wiretap Trump Tower, Muslims trying to establish sharia law in the U.S., and global warming as a Chinese hoax, to windmills causing cancer, white genocide in South Africa, voter fraud in the 2016 election) O’Brien writes that his insistence on a Biden conspiracy theory may be the one will bring him down.
“His recent efforts to choreograph, and not merely disseminate, a grandiose conspiracy theory — that the Bidens profited from corruption in Ukraine and that that country itself was the real villain of the 2016 election — have snapped back on him,” he writes. “His phone calls to Ukraine’s leader to further the scheme have landed him in an impeachment inquiry. The machinations of loose-cannon compadres like Rudy Giuliani have come to haunt him.”
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