Fox News v. Robert Mueller

Perhaps the most inflammatory rhetoric has come from Ms. Pirro, the host of “Justice With Judge Jeanine” and a “presidential favorite,” according to The Times. “There is a cleansing needed in our F.B.I. and Department of Justice,” Ms. Pirro said Saturday, in her most unhinged rant yet. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.

.. Topping her list of outlaws was, of course, Mr. Mueller, who she said “can’t come up with one piece of evidence!”

.. Ms. Pirro, a former New York prosecutor and judge, didn’t allege any actual crimes, just that Mr. Mueller and his people are guilty of “attempting to destroy Trump.”

.. After Mr. Trump’s victory last year, she interviewed to be his deputy attorney general, a job that would have empowered her to fire Mr. Mueller on her own.

..  they should ask not whether any F.B.I. investigator has ever held an opinion about politics, but rather why Mr. Trump chose as his closest advisers people with a tendency to talk to Russian officials and then fail to tell the truth, again and again, about the nature of those communications. As The Times’s Bret Stephens wrote:“Fire? Maybe not. But we are dying of smoke inhalation.”

.. When the propagandists say, “Get rid of Mueller,” it’s not the truth they’re trying to protect; it’s Mr. Trump himself.

..  roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election

.. remember that a majority of the same people continue to believe that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

.. remember that a majority of the same people continue to believe that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

.. None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith. The anti-Mueller brigade cares not a whit about possible bias in the Justice Department or the F.B.I. It simply wants the investigation shut down out of a fear of what it might reveal. But if your man is really innocent, what’s the worry?

Trump’s Twitter addiction could reshape the presidency

The tool he uses to set the agenda now threatens to open a window into the mind of an American president.

It’s also — apparently — creating the desired media effect: A tweet by the president-elect in response to a news story prompts a spate of new headlines and offers television producers more than enough fodder to fill their morning, afternoon and, possibly, evening hours.

.. “The fact is Donald Trump was very successful with ‘The Apprentice.’ It was a remarkably popular show. He understands the value of tension, he understands the value of showmanship, and candidly, the news media is going to chase a rabbit. So it’s better off for him to give them a rabbit than for them to go off and find their own rabbit,” Newt Gingrich said Tuesday. “He’s had them fixated on Mitt Romney now for five or six days. And I think from his perspective, that’s terrific. Gives everybody something to talk about. He does not think of this as chaos; he thinks of this as creativity.”

.. And he is not about to stop stoking the country’s culture wars as he did so adroitly as a candidate even as he is promising to unify a public he has further divided.

.. In almost every situation thus far, the controversies created by Trump in 140-character bursts have served — intentionally or inadvertently — to distract the public from longer, more detailed and sometimes more damaging reports by the mainstream media.

.. “We saw the rise of this phrase in 2016, the ‘alt-right,’ but I think an even deeper phenomenon is the alt-reality Trump is trying to create,”

.. it’s not that he’s trying to describe the world in a factual way or even trying to be politically clever in aiding his agenda. He’s trying to demonstrate that he has the power to create his own reality and get sufficient numbers of Americans to live inside of it.”

.. People who study authoritarianism in Europe mention this as one of most disorienting things about living in those regimes — the realities put forward that aren’t based on people’s real, lived experiences, but leader’s ability to create this reality is the point.”

.. the constant tweeting from inside the Oval Office will offer the public a window into the president’s own real-time thoughts and feelings as it has never had before. The clarity with which the country will be able to see its next president, a flawed, deeply polarizing and larger-than-life media personality, stands in stark contrast to the opacity of his seemingly malleable policy positions and unformed legislative agenda.