Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, spoke with CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday to explain the ultimate goal of President Donald Trump's false accusations of a rigged and stolen election.
Rauch was asked by Stelter if the issue is Trump is simply trapped in the delusion that he actually beat President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
"Is delusion a fair word for these election lies?" Stelter wondered.
"No, actually, I don't think it is," Rauch replied. "It's hard to know what's going on in the mind of the president, but you don't really need to. What you need to know is that what he is running right now is a classic Russian-style disinformation campaign of a type known as the firehose of falsehood. That's when you utilize every channel, not just media, but also the bully pulpit, even litigation to push out as many different stories and conspiracy theories and lies and half-truths as you possibly can in order to flood the zone if with disinformation."
"The goal here is to confuse people, and he is doing very well at that," Rauch continued. "This is classic propaganda tactic. he is very good at it. doesn't matter what's going on in his head. what matters is what he is doing.
Rauch described Trump's tactic as "information warfare," arguing he's "manipulating and organizing the social environment and the media environment to confuse and discombobulate [his] enemies, to isolate them, to demoralize them so they don't know what's true or false anymore, they get very frustrated."
Stelter then asked if the issue is that Trump is engaging in a "massive conspiracy theory" which in turn creates a "collective identity" among his supporters. Rauch disagreed with that suggestion.
"There actually is no theory here," Rauch replied. "In a fire hose falsehood campaign, it's not about having one idea and pumping it out consistently. It's about throwing spaghetti against the wall. It's anything and everything. It can be wild. iI can be random. It's to create confusion and epistemic chaos. That's what we are seeing. That's very hard for democracies to deal with it."
Watch the interview below, via CNN: