In the continuing all day everyday coverage of President Donald Trump’s preposterous claim that the Obama White House was involved in surveillance of the Trump Tower during the 2016 Presidential Campaign…as the events unfold…it seems the identifier of ‘fake news’ is actually the world’s biggest victim of said ‘fake news’.
The initial wire tape ‘evidence’ itself came from Breitbart News and right wing radio host Mark Levin. Evidence that was debunked during FBI director James Comey’s testimony in Congress today.
An incendiary idea first put forward by right-wing radio host Mark Levin is now burning across Washington, fanned by President Trump’s tweets…even though the facts don’t back up the conclusion.
Breitbart News has given the conspiracy theory a name: “DeepStateGate.”
The next day, Rush Limbaugh echoed Levin’s “silent coup” language, and Breitbart columnist Joel Pollak published an “expanded version of that case.”
That’s how the idea reached Trump’s radar. The Breitbart article “circulated” in the West Wing, a White House official told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, and the information “infuriated” Trump.
And in the never say die never back down mentality now pervasive in the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggests that former President Barack Obama engaged British Intelligence to perform surveillance on Trump Tower.
The story took a significant further twist on Thursday when Spicer, speaking from the podium carrying the seal of the president of the United States, repeated an account from a Fox News commentator alleging that, instead of using one of the US agencies, Obama had asked GCHQ in Cheltenham to tap Trump’s phones on his behalf.
Anyone with any knowledge of the intelligence world knew the suggestion was absurd. First, the president of the United States does not have the power to order the tapping of anyone’s phone. Second, the idea of the British foreign secretary signing a warrant authorising such an intrusion into domestic US politics was unthinkable. GCHQ broke its traditional silence and moved quickly to dismiss the allegation as “utterly ridiculous”. No10 followed suit soon afterwards.
The President of the United States has a phone from which he can call anyone in the entire world…and a staff who can find that person’s phone number. And he has 17 intelligence agencies and their respective directors close at hand…but instead of contacting anyone of them and getting the ‘facts’…he takes the word of news agencies and commentators (not even news people) at their face value…sources far closer to the definition of ‘fake news’ than any of the mainstream media he rails against.
Yet he defends his position and forces Mr. Spicer farther out on the limb to defend his narrative…a narrative that is indefensible and now proven to be patently false. And he has totally destroyed the faith that the rest of the free world has held in the United States…pissed off a number of our staunchest allies.
How long are the Republicans on Capitol Hill going to continue to support a White House that is totally off the rails? A White House that is grounded in anything but reality.