Nel's New Day

March 4, 2019

State TV Fox Tied to DDT, Vice Versa

For several years, people have noted the close relationship between Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and Fox network as the faux news network has remained a combination of propagandist and feeder of falsities to the man inaugurated over two years ago. DDT has given Fox 44 exclusive interviews, with the number accelerating. In the past six months, DDT has tweeted over 200 Fox items to his 58 million followers. In the New Yorker, journalist and author Jane Mayer has detailed the relationship between DDT and Fox in an 11,000-word essay.

Instead of reflecting the news, Fox radicalizes the people with its fear-mongering. Conservative pundit Bill Kristol, employed by Fox as a contributor until 2012, said, “Before [Trump], it was conservative, but it wasn’t crazy. Now it’s just propaganda.” Sean Hannity has long been known as a confidant for DDT, often freely appearing at his dramatized events to toss him easy questions and one of the nightly triumvirate with Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham to scream over guest statements opposing DDT. Called the Shadow Chief of Staff, Hannity talks to DDT every night after his show. Fox Business hosts Pete Hegseth and Lou Dobbs offer DDT policy advice in the Oval Office. DDT thinks of hosts of Fox & Friends as his personal friends, and they pander to him with unvetted ideas.

Former Fox employees hired in the White House such as disgraced Bill Shine, former head of Fox News’ programming division, further burnish the Fox’s image with DDT devotees. Fox currently pays Shine while he collects his paycheck from taxpayers as part of the coordinated work between DDT and Fox. Former Fox contributors include HUD Secretary Ben Carson, national security adviser John Bolton, former deputy national-security adviser K.T. McFarland, and recently resigned UN Ambassador Heather Nauert. Donald Trump Jr., girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who also left Fox in disgrace works on DDT’s reelection campaign. Hope Hicks, DDT’s formers head of communications, went to Fox, and others such as Sebastian Gorka, are regularly on Fox. [Fox separated from Gorka as of this article’s publication.]

DDT’s political rise matched a shift in tone at Fox. Early on, CEO Roger Ailes opposed Fox being a shill for the Tea Party, but owner Rupert Murdoch created an audience that became the “party of Trump.” Before DDT, Fox ridiculed birtherism, Bill O’Reilly described its promoters as “unhinged,” and Glenn Beck, who hosted a Fox show until he went over the conspiracy edge, called them “idiots.” DDT made birtherism respectable, and Hannity got his way to promote the extremist far-right party. He described President Obama’s negotiations with North Korea “disturbing” but called DDT’s failed efforts a “huge foreign-policy win.” Fox built its audience by elevating Benghazi far above other embassy ambushes causing deaths in its constant attack on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Hannity appeared on stage at a DDT rally with little objection from Fox. Murdoch went from correcting DDT by tweeting that “Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born” to tolerating Fox’s frequent diatribes about hordes of “illegal aliens.” Murdoch and DDT are both about the bottom line and ratings.

Megyn Kelly asked DDT “tough” questions in the Fox-sponsored presidential debate, but insiders said that Ailes alerted DDT about the questions. Kelly wrote in Settle for More that DDT called Fox executives the day before the campaign to complain about her “very pointed question directed at him.” After the debate, DDT boycotted Fox, driving down until ratings until Ailes groveled.

During the summer when DDT became the GOP presidential candidate, Ailes’ sexual misconduct forced him out, and he joined DDT’s debate team. Fox gained two Ailes loyalists, Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine, as co-presidents who turned the network over to DDT propaganda, furthering empowering him and Hannity. At 85, Murdoch claimed the CEO position, but insiders reported that after his serious health issues, “the lunatics took over the asylum.” During DDT’s campaign, a Fox reporter confirmed the story about his affair in 2006 with Stormy Daniels, but Fox editors denied her going public. She told colleagues that Ken LaCorte, then head of FoxNews.com said, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.” The same reporter kept digging and discovered that the National Enquirer made a “catch and kill” deal with Daniels in which the tabloid bought the exclusive rights to story before it buried the information.

The story went public when the Wall Street Journal published the details about Daniels and the Enguirer, a year after DDT was inaugurated. The reporter was demoted, she sued the network, and her settlement includes a nondisclosure agreement banning her from talking about her work at Fox. LaCorte, still paid by Fox after he left, said that he squashed the story without talking to superiors because it hadn’t “passed muster.” Blogger Nik Richie called him out for being a “LIAR,” tweeting that he “was one of your sources.” Richie voted for DDT, but he thinks that the story would have swung the election.

Part of Shine’s job at Fox was to handle sexual misconduct complaints. Any woman who complained was gently treated unless she persevered, when Shine would warn her that her career would be destroyed. At least four civil lawsuits against Fox name Shine as defendant, and Fox settled on in 2017 for $90 million. That suit claims Fox spent $55 million to settle sexual harassment claims out of court. Shine was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in a Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s investigation into company funds for these payoffs, but Shine agreed to interviews by prosecutors. The investigation disappeared after Ailes death in May 2017, but Shine was his enabler as shown by payments he signed to accusers’ settlements.

Under Shine’s leadership in 2017, Fox and O’Reilly paid $13 million to five female employees accusing him of sexual misconduct with a sixth $32 million payment in negotiation. After advertiser boycotts and street demonstrations, Fox fired O’Reilly and then Shine. Hannity became Fox’s top-rated star and highest-profile DDT promoter and helped Shine get a job as White House communications director and deputy chief of staff.

DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has always been close to Murdoch, but Murdoch made up with DDT after calling him “a f**king idiot” to benefit from specialized treatment for his business interests.

  • DDT’s administration approved Fox’s sale of most of its entertainment assets to Disney for $71 billion, with the Murdoch family getting $2 billion and becoming a major stockholder in the combined company that accounts for half the box-office revenue in the United States.  DDT promised the creation of jobs from the deal that has resulted in thousands of layoffs.
  • DDT’s FCC blocked Sinclair Broadcast Group, more conservative than Fox, from buying Tribune Media Company that would have given Sinclair access to 72 percent of the U.S. population.
  • DDT’s DOJ stopped AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, owner of CNN, after Murdoch failed to buy Time Warner in 2014. A sweetener for DDT was retaliation against CNN, DDT’s most hated media source. Although DDT claimed that he was “not going to get involved,” he ordered Gary Cohn, then director of the National Economic Council, to pressure the DOJ to intervene in the sale although Cohn knew that DDT’s action was inappropriate for a sitting president and refused. A federal court has ruled against the DOJ and permitted the $85 billion merger—for the second time. [Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said that a president has the right to punish the media by blocking this merger.]

The more DDT does for Murdoch, the more Fox does for DDT. Yochai Benkler, a Harvard Law School professor who co-directs the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, said, “Fox’s most important role since the election has been to keep Trump supporters in line.” According to Fox, the only collusion is between Clinton and Russia,  the special investigator is perpetrating a “coup” by the “deep state,” DDT and his associates aren’t corrupt, U.S. courts are corrupt, illegal immigration is an invasion and not at a 15-year low, and all news organizations offering perspectives different from these are “enemies of the American people.” Benkler, author with Robert Faris and Hal Robert of Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation and Radicalization in American Politics, said:

“It’s not the right versus the left. It’s the right versus the rest.”

Conservative media outlets focus on confirmation of the audience’s biases and provide propaganda and lies that spread uncorrected to Fox because viewers hate for falsehoods to be disclosed. Fox fired Glenn Beck for baseless conspiracy theories, but Hannity is rewarded for them. Only boycotts of Fox advertisers forced Hannity to drop his conspiracy accusations about murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich.

Alisyn Camerota, former co-host of Fox & Friends, quit because of its lack of standards and wrote the novel Amanda Wakes Up about propaganda on a cable morning show. She said that the show’s producers would “cull far-right, crackpot Web sites” for content and never bothered with second sources. The primary standard was that “this is going to outrage the audience!” Guilfoyle got her information from an avid fan who sent her content for her topics such as “physically weak men” are “more likely to be socialists.”

Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters, thinks that Fox drives DDT more than the reverse. A recent example how DDT caused the 35-day shutdown and declared a national emergency because of Fox ridicule.

“The President’s world view is being specifically shaped by what he sees on Fox News, but Fox’s goals are ratings and money, which they get by maximizing rage. It’s not a message that is going to serve the rest of the country.”

Fox’s problem comes from its one-pony show of DDT to make money, and ratings fall when he looks bad. Fox’s evening ratings have dropped by 20 percent since the midterms with only a spike for DDT’s interview after Michael Cohen’s testimony. A change may be in the wind: much smaller since the Disney sale, Fox will be supervised by conservative Lachlan Murdoch who might move to center right. The test could be the release of Robert Mueller’s findings. At this time, Fox’s hosts and guests are swearing war. The question is whether Fox wants to start the war.

The most frightening part of Jane Mayer’s detailed look at the authoritarian DDT and Fox network is that it’s not as shocking as it should be for a country that prides itself on being a democracy.

April 5, 2017

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: DDT Defends O’Reilly

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. In keeping with presidents in the past, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) issued a proclamation to honor this event:

“We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it. Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated…. “As we recognize National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we are reminded that we all share the responsibility to reduce and ultimately end sexual violence. As a Nation, we must develop meaningful strategies to eliminate these crimes, including increasing awareness of the problem in our communities, creating systems that protect vulnerable groups, and sharing successful prevention strategies.”

During DDT’s campaign, a 2005 recording shows him bragging about his committing sexual assault in which he said, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p***y.” Eleven women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, and one is currently suing him for defamation after the controversy.

After the sexual-assaulter promised that his administration “will do everything in its power to protect women, children, and men from sexual violence,” DDT defended Fox network host, Bill O’Reilly, after the New York Times’ article about his harassment of women, including the $13 million paid to settle claims to five women. Five days into Sexual Assault Awareness month, DDT declared that O’Reilly is a “good person” and declaimed that “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Advertisers were so disturbed with the revelations, that included information from other women who didn’t sue him, that over fifty companies, including major automobile manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, have dropped their advertising for the O’Reilly show. DDT also said, “Personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled.”

As a fan of Fox, DDT gets all his false information from them such as all that wire-tapping that didn’t exist. He is so obsessive about watching the cable that his schedule shows that he doesn’t being any presidential activity until almost 11:00 in the morning. DDT has attended baseball games with O’Reilly and been a regular guest on his show, giving him an interview airing on Fox during its Super Bowl pregame bowl.

DDT brags about referring to the Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch, by his first name. Since the presidential election, the two men frequently communicate. In the past, Murdock mentored DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng, made DDT’s daughter Ivanka a trustee of the Murdoch children’s fortune until Ivanka dropped out of this role a few months ago.

In saying that he thinks that neither O’Reilly nor Ailes did anything wrong, DDT is probably not lying. He thought that he also did nothing wrong in assaulting women. A 2015 survey found that one in three women have been sexually harassed at work, and 71 percent of them did not report the harassment, partly because powerful men can block their job prospects. Like O’Reilly, DDT denied that he did nothing wrong and would sue women who made claims against him.

Last year DDT defended former Fox CEO Roger Ailes after a number of his female employees reported his sexual harassment.  “I think they are unfounded just based on what I’ve read,” Trump said. “Totally unfounded, based on what I read.” Ailes was forced to resign from Fox News just one week after that interview. Julie Roginsky has recently filed another sexual harassment suit against Ailes. The FBI is investigating him and other Fox executives for using corporate funds to pay off the company’s sexual harassment victims. DDT defended Mike Tyson against his 1992 rape charges as well as billionaire whose private jet was nicknamed “The Lolita Express” and Joe Paterno who ignored Jerry Sandusky throughout years of the assistant coach’s sexual abuse of young boys.

O’Reilly has spent two decades at Fox being verbally abuse to female staffers, punishing them for refusing sexual advances, and appearing to masturbate while on the phone with them. Seventeen years ago, producer Andrew Mackris’ sexual harassment lawsuit accused him of describing his sexual fantasies about her and urging her to purchases a vibrator. If she told anyone about this, he said, she would “pay so dearly that [she’d] wish she’d never been born.” Mackris received $9 million by issuing a joint statement with O’Reilly that “no wrongdoing whatsoever” had occurred. She has not worked in television news since then. In 2011 Rebecca Gomez Diamond settled for an undisclosed amount. One of the settlements came because one of the women had recorded telephone calls with O’Reilly.

 

Transcripts from a custody hearing between O’Reilly and his ex-wife in 2014 show that their daughter once saw her father choking her mother and dragging her down the stairs.

In response to the NYT article, O’Reilly played the victim when he said, “Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.” His next cover was that he “would do anything to avoid hurting [my children.]” The question might be the identities of “prominent and controversial people” other than DDT.

Last week, DDT “honored” National Autism Day after he spread the falsehoods that vaccines cause “horrible autism” and that there’s a “tremendous increase” in the number of autism cases. After his intense ridicule of journalist Serge Kovaleski, he skipped over honoring Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. DDT has until September 15 to figure out how to work around Hispanic Heritage Month after his racist attacks, including the ones against a Latino judge.

August 16, 2016

Trump: Conservative Admits Creating ‘Monster’

Conservative media has started to take some responsibilities for the monster they have created. Charlie Sykes, conservative radio host, is perhaps the first to express remorse for the way that people can lie as much as they want without any media checks. Even if one journalist tries to point out falsehoods, the audience will simply say it’s true because another journalist let it pass.  Sykes sounds defeated when he says:

“There’s no way to break through it. And I swim upstream because if I don’t say these things from some of these websites, then suddenly I have sold out. Then they’ll ask what’s wrong with me for not repeating these stories that I know not to be true…. There’s got to be a reckoning on all this. We’ve created this monster.”

Sykes explained:

“[Conservative media has] spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media…. At a certain point you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there. And I feel, to a certain extent, that we are reaping the whirlwind at that. And I have to look in the mirror and ask myself, to what extent did I contribute?”

Trump Watch: In a surprise move tonight, Donald Trump practiced reading a speech from teleprompters at a rally in Wisconsin, a state that has voted for a Democratic president for decades. He claimed to be in Milwaukee, but his speech was in West Bend, an hour’s drive away from the city, a suburb that is 95 percent white and only one percent black. During the speech, he blamed the violence in Milwaukee after the killing of a black man by police on Hillary Clinton because, according to Trump, the Democratic presidential candidate “hates” the police and “peddl[es] the narrative of cops as a racist force in our society.”

Trump’s speech, touted to be about “law and order,” aimed to get the black vote as he talked about how Hillary Clinton sells out blacks and how they need to vote for him. He pretended to be addressing an audience of blacks in an almost entirely white audience. A vendor sold Confederate flags outside. In the past, Trump has refused to speak to the NAACP, Urban League and the recent National Association of Black Journalists/National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention. The man who calls blacks “thugs” and “rioters” now wants their vote because only one percent of the black population supports him.

Trump’s mostly vague lies covered Clinton’s inability to have the “strength or stamina” to govern, her lacking the temperament to be a president, and her policies being disastrous for black people. Trump has recently developed this new strategy: if he is attacked for something—for example, health, temperament, racism, etc.—he then accuses Clinton of these problems.

Less than one-fourth of the speech concerned law and order, but between the slander against Clinton, he had ways to stop inner city problems and help the black community. One was to get manufacturing out of China, and another was to put a lot of people in prison. This is his message to a community decimated by unequal mass incarceration, unequal prosecution of non-violent offenses, and unequal treatment by police.

Earlier this week, Trump said that he would not “pivot.” Perhaps he was being sarcastic about his belief that “I am what I am.” Tomorrow will show what tweet drives him into another tantrum.

Whenever Trump gets in trouble with the RNC, he calmly–and badly–reads a speech from teleprompters. One of his current serious problems comes from his campaign manager, Paul Manfort. First, there’s indication that Manafort was paid to swing an election in Ukraine to favor the pro-Russia leader who was then deposed. Then Jason Abel, attorney and former Chief Counsel of the Senate Rules Committee, said that Manafort may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (also known as FARA) by not disclosing his foreign agent status with the Ukraine. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the George W. Bush administration complained that Manafort and his firm were undercutting U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine.

Congress has taken notice of Manafort’s fiasco in the Ukraine. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, requested that Trump “immediately disclose any payments by pro-Putin groups to his campaign chairman or other key staff, and assure the American public that these payments have not influenced his campaign proposals or any action he might take in the White House.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) also said that Trump “ought to really investigate this,” and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) agrees.

trumpailes

Another Trump problem may be Roger Ailes, recently deposed from Fox president for sexual harassment. The New York Times has reported that Ailes will advise Trump for the upcoming debates starting September 26. Trump and Ailes are good friends, and Trump has attacked the women who brought charges of sexual assault against Ailes, calling him “a very good person.” Manafort has said that Ailes will not join the campaign, and Trump says that the NYT is wrong. Perhaps he is being sarcastic.

Ailes was political adviser to President Richard Nixon, giving him the positive image that elected him twice. By 1988, Ailes had become Vice-President George H.W. Bush’s chief media strategist. As a debate coach, Ailes used his belief that debates can be won with a single dramatic event. Dan Rather interrogated Bush about the Iran-Contra affair when Ronald Reagan illegal sold weapons to exchange the release of U.S. hostages before diverting proceeds to Nicaraguan anti-Sandinista fighters. Ailes taught Bush to say, in reference to Rather’s leaving dead air on CBS in anger:

“It’s not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? Would like that?”

Ailes instructed Reagan regarding questions about his age:

“I want you to know I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Trump gets his first classified national security briefing as presidential candidate tomorrow, and he’s taking his good friend Michael Flynn—former head of the Defense Intelligence and paid speaker at the Russian state-funded TV network to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Flynn has served has also served as analyst for the network. Aides must be vetted before attending these briefings, but no nominee’s advisor has ever been banned from listening to the country’s secrets. After Trump’s ties with Russia because more obvious, he attacked Clinton’s connection with Putin, using his new strategy.

Michael Moore has a theory regarding why Donald Trump ran for president: he wanted a better deal for The Apprentice, a show that was badly failing when Trump decided to run for president. All he needed were a few rallies and then get the deal he wanted. No need for a campaign staff or infrastructure—just a lot of insults. Much to his amazement—and by now dismay—he became a success with a certain segment of the nation’s voters. And he could be on any show he wanted just by being on the telephone. CBS CEO Les Moonves talked about how good he was for the ratings.

Trump’s problem now is that he might become president and have to work. How to get out of it is his real problem because he can’t stand to lose—especially to a woman.

August 2, 2016

Trump Had a Bad Day – Is He Insane?

Attention–that’s what Donald Trump needs more than anything else. The more others take the media from Trump, the harder he works to get it back. Right now Trump is trying to be more outrageous after Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bounce put her at a two-thirds chance of winning, up from the under 50 percent before the conventions . Clinton’s smallest lead in any fully post-DNC national survey is now 5 percentage points, and Nate Silver reports that her national leads go from eight percent (CNN) to 15 points (RABA Research). Overall, polls average between five and eight points for Clinton. Her upward trajectory may have contributed to Trump’s meltdown during the past 24 hours.

Trump has now threatened to ban New York Times reporters from his appearances as he has done to over a dozen other news outlets. He also predicted that the paper will not be “in business more than two to three years.”

“No matter how good I do on something, they’ll never write good. I mean, they don’t write good. … They don’t know how to write good. And I guess if they did, they’re certainly not doing it.”

Trump also called CNN the “Clinton News Network” and claimed he won’t do any interviews with the network until it treats him fairly.  Everyone should want an answer to the question that CNN’s Brian Stelter asked:

“Why is he talking about us, and not policy?”

Trump’s attacks on Khizr Khan continue when Trump insinuated that Khan, father of a soldier who died saving his men in the Iraq War, is a terrorist sympathizer because he was really “bothered” by Trump’s promise to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. Trump’s co-chair for veterans’ issues, New Hampshire Rep. Al Baldasaro, added that Khan is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood and tweeted an article claiming that Humayun Khan was a double agent “working for the US and Al-Qaeda… killed before his Islamist mission was accomplished.” The comment has been deleted from the right-wing fringe anti-Islam conspiracy website, but Khan stands by his claim about the father. At the GOP convention, Baldasaro had called for Hillary Clinton to be executed by a firing squad. The Trump campaign said that they “do not agree” with Baldasaro but is “incredibly grateful for his support.”

Trump’s spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, blamed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for Captain Khan’s death when she told Wolf Blitzer that the soldier died because the president and secretary of state changed the rules of engagement in Iraq. When Captain Kahn died on June 8, 2004, a year after George W. Bush started the war, Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois and Hillary Clinton was New York’s senator.

Trump’s putdown of Captain Humayun Khan’s family was followed by a media discussion of Trump’s five student deferments and a medical exemption because of bone spurs during the Vietnam War draft. Following that was Trump’s receiving a Purple Heart medal from a veteran who got it for being wounded while serving in the military. To an audience in Ashburn(VA), Trump announced, “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

When Trump was in the lead, he was satisfied with the election process, but after his drop in the polls, he’s declaring that the election is rigged. His vicious surrogate Roger Stone has promised a “bloodbath” if Trump doesn’t win the election—the same promise that white supremacists made if Trump didn’t become the GOP candidate.

The solution to sexual harassment, according to the Word of Trump, is getting a new job. Fox network Kirsten asked Trump about an employer treating his daughter Ivanka in the same way that Roger Ailes treated his women employees. Trump responded that she should “find another career or find another company.” This statement follows his defense of his longtime friend Ailes and his questioning the motives of the 25 people who brought up the sexual harassment at Fox before Ailes was forced out last week. Republican consultant Katie Packer asked why a woman should have to walk away because of being sexually harassed.

Trump’s son Eric tried to defend his father’s position by explaining:

“Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be, you know, subjected to it.”

Gretchen Carlson, former Fox television host who filed the first sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes tweeted, “Sad in 2016 we’re still victim blaming women. Trust me I’m strong.”

In Ashburn, Trump shouted at two parents with crying babies and demanded that they be removed from the audience. He also said that he hoped for an economic collapse to come before he’s elected to protect himself.

“The numbers are getting worse and worse all the time. If they get real bad, I hope it happens fast, so I don’t have to — they’ll all blame me.”

Trump has a history of hoping for economic collapses.  Ten years ago, he said he was hoping for a crash because “then people like me would go in and buy.”  Two years after he said that, the housing market collapsed, causing millions of people to lose their homes in the United States and plunging the nation’s economy into a deep recession with millions of people unemployed.

Later today, Trump announced that he supported House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) challenger and attacked other incumbent nominees, including Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and John McCain (R-AZ).

The first U.S. GOP member of Congress has defected. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), elected during the 2010 Tea Party sweep, said he will vote for Hillary Clinton because Trump is “unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.” He said he made the decision after watching Trump’s treatment of the Khan family. Hanna added, “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?” The congressman has the luxury of making this decision because he’s not running for re-election. Other GOP politicians, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), have spoken out against Trump’s statements but still have not withdrawn their support.

Just this one day, and Donald Trump kicked babies out of his rally, got an “easy” Purple Heart, opposed elections for individual GOP leaders, hoped for an immediate economic collapse, victimized women who were sexually harassed, threatened journalists, cried about rigged elections, and again attacked the family of a heroic soldier who died in the Iraq War.

And there was more. He praised his golf course for its “tremendous acreage” and Vladimir Putin, claimed that the Islamic State “stole our passport machine,” threw out silent audience members who wore T-shirts with “Black Lives Matter,” and described Hillary Clinton as a “thief,” a “crook,” and the “Devil.”

It’s all in a day’s work for the demagogue.

During a press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Obama asked the Republican party:

“If you are repeatedly having to say what Trump says is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?”

That’s after the president called Trump “unfit” and “woefully unprepared.” A growing number of people in the nation agree with the president.

Both conservative and liberal columnists are increasingly asking if Donald Trump is insane.

Eugene Robinson: “At this point, it would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that Trump’s grasp on reality appears to be tenuous at best.”

Senior fellow at the Brookings Institute Robert Kagan: “One wonders if Republican leaders have begun to realize that they may have hitched their fate and the fate of their party to a man with a disordered personality.”

Vox founder Ezra Klein: “Have we stopped to appreciate how crazy Donald Trump has gotten recently?”

Conservative Weekly Standard writer Steven Hayes: “Yes, Donald Trump is crazy. And, yes, the Republican party owns his insanity.”

Conservative columnist David Brooks: “I almost don’t blame Trump. He is a morally untethered, spiritually vacuous man who appears haunted by multiple personality disorders. It is the ‘sane’ and ‘reasonable’ Republicans who deserve the shame.”

Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio disagrees. He claims that Trump “sees the world as a constant struggle for victory and lacks a moral compass.” That might be worse than insanity.

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