Why Trump Supporters Believe He Is Not Corrupt

What the president’s supporters fear most isn’t the corruption of American law, but the corruption of America’s traditional identity.

On Wednesday morning, the lead story on FoxNews.com was not Michael Cohen’s admission that Donald Trump had instructed him to violate campaign-finance laws by paying hush money to two of Trump’s mistresses. It was the alleged murder of a white Iowa woman, Mollie Tibbetts, by an undocumented Latino immigrant, Cristhian Rivera.

On their face, the two stories have little in common. Fox is simply covering the Iowa murder because it distracts attention from a revelation that makes Trump look bad. But dig deeper and the two stories are connected: They represent competing notions of what corruption is.

.. The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion—the corruption—of that “traditional order.” Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from nonwhite men. By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law. He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.
Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense. Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of law nine times in tweets. Seven of them refer to illegal immigration.
.. Why were Trump’s supporters so convinced that Clinton was the more corrupt candidate even as reporters uncovered far more damning evidence about Trump’s foundation than they did about Clinton’s? Likely because Clinton’s candidacy threatened traditional gender roles. For many Americans, female ambition—especially in service of a feminist agenda—in and of itself represents a form of corruption. 
“When female politicians were described as power-seeking,” noted the Yale researchers Victoria Brescoll and Tyler Okimoto in a 2010 study, “participants experienced feelings of moral outrage (i.e., contempt, anger, and/or disgust).”
Cohen’s admission makes it harder for Republicans to claim that Trump didn’t violate the law. But it doesn’t really matter. For many Republicans, Trump remains uncorrupt—indeed, anticorrupt—because what they fear most isn’t the corruption of American law; it’s the corruption of America’s traditional identity. 

How “Fox & Friends” Rewrites Trump’s Reality

The thin fourth wall between the President and his TV.

..Once, while riffing about a Scandinavian scientific study, he shared his opinion that “the Swedes have pure genes,” unlike Americans, who “keep marrying other species and other ethnics.”

..  On cable, where the audiences are smaller and more ideologically segmented, morning hosts are free to be more opinionated; on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” for example, Trump is compared to an autocrat, a thug, or worse. “Fox & Friends” mashes these two genres together, resulting in some whiplash-inducing segues. A few minutes of misty-eyed Christmas nostalgia leads immediately—“meanwhile, switching gears”—to a conspiracy theory about Benghazi. A weather report gives way to a warning about the dangers of chain migration, with little adjustment in tone.

.. However, Earhardt noted buoyantly, “Republican candidate Roy Moore has President Trump on his side.” Trump had just recorded a robocall for the Moore campaign.

.. Turning to a person on the ground named Diane, he said, “So, ultimately, a vote for Roy Moore is a vote for President Trump?”

“Correct,” Diane said.

Hegseth ended the segment and then directed viewers back to his colleagues, the pundits in New York City.

Moore lost. The following morning, both “Fox & Friends” and its No. 1 fan were busy rewriting the immediate past. “The President had said that Roy Moore couldn’t win, and, as it turns out, he was right,” Doocy said.

.. Earhardt, speaking “as a female,” summed up her view: “I think this is a referendum on Harvey Weinstein, not on President Trump.” She delivered the line twice more, with slight variations, at the top of each hour. Earhardt is clearly the brainiest of the three co-hosts, if only because she can get through a broadcast without any notable malapropisms or endorsements of eugenics. Still, inevitably, she plays the role of the down-to-earth Southern gal, asking only the softest of softball questions. (Earhardt, to Ivanka Trump, in July of 2016: “Were you a tractor girl, or were you, like me, the pink Barbie Jeep?” Ivanka: “I was that combination.”)

.. Earhardt, speaking “as a female,” summed up her view: “I think this is a referendum on Harvey Weinstein, not on President Trump.” She delivered the line twice more, with slight variations, at the top of each hour. Earhardt is clearly the brainiest of the three co-hosts, if only because she can get through a broadcast without any notable malapropisms or endorsements of eugenics. Still, inevitably, she plays the role of the down-to-earth Southern gal, asking only the softest of softball questions. (Earhardt, to Ivanka Trump, in July of 2016: “Were you a tractor girl, or were you, like me, the pink Barbie Jeep?” Ivanka: “I was that combination.”)

.. At one point, using some mind-bending rhetorical dark magic, he managed to imply that the real loser in Alabama was neither Trump nor Moore but Hillary Clinton.

.. The Bush Administration was mendacious, but at least it was predictable—the co-hosts had to work hard to build a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, but they didn’t have to worry that they’d wake up one morning to find that the Administration was now blaming the attack on Sudan. These days, hosting “Fox & Friends” is like cheerleading for a player who misses an open shot on goal, then doubles back to score on his own goalie, then storms off in a fit of petulance, complaining that the ref is a loser.

Fighting the Politicized, Evidence-Free ‘Collusion with Russia’ Narrative Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447915/trump-russia-collusion-john-brennan-testimony-how-fight-politicized-narrative

If police believe bank robbers were hoping for inside help on a heist, they don’t hold a press conference to smear the bank manager with their suspicions about “collusion.” They go about the quiet police work of building a conspiracy case.

.. Brennan’s story can be summed up as follows: The Russians are insidious, and they plot to manipulate Americans into helping them, wittingly or unwittingly. The Russians interfered with the American election by orchestrating the publication of unflattering information (mainly, Democrat e-mails), hoping either that Donald Trump would win, or that the likely winner, Hillary Clinton, would be badly damaged. While carrying out this plan, Russian operatives reached out to some people who were connected to the Trump campaign. Brennan supposes that the Russians must have attempted to “suborn” those people because . . . well . . . um . . . that’s “what the Russians try to do.” But he can’t say whether they actually did.

.. That’s a weasel’s way of saying he’s got nothing.

.. the president cannot resist the bonehead moves that make him look culpable: the alleged effort to persuade his then–FBI director, James Comey, to drop the investigation of Trump’s friend and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn

.. Trump’s foolish meeting with Russian diplomats, right after firing Comey, during which he allegedly cited pressure from the Russia investigation as the rationale for Comey’s dismissal

.. In each instance, Trump’s behavior can be explained by exasperation and amateurishness rather than consciousness of guilt.

.. the real collusion here: between Democrats and the media.

.. stress that the probe is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation.

.. First, the subject of the investigation is the foreign power (in this case, Russia), not those Americans whom the foreign power may seek to trick, coopt, or recruit. If those Americans were suspected of criminal wrongdoing, they would be made the subject of a criminal investigation

.. It may be called a “counterintelligence investigation,” but the objective is to undermine Trump, not Russia.

  1. .. First, the Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate the potential abuse of government surveillance powers for the purposes of political spying and leaks to the media. The investigation should scrutinize all unmasking of Americans to determine whether it conformed to court-ordered restrictions.
  2. .. Second, the appropriate committees of Congress should convene hearings on whether the Obama Justice Department sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, and whether it colluded with the Clinton campaign toward that end.   .. The committees should examine, compare, and contrast the Justice Department’s treatment of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information
  3. .. Third, the appropriate committees of Congress should convene hearings on collusion between the Clinton Foundation and Russia, focusing especially on payments by Russian interests to Bill Clinton and to the foundation, and actions taken by then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton that benefited Russia (including approval of the sale to a Kremlin-tied energy company of major U.S. uranium assets). The committees should compare and contrast the concrete evidence of Clinton Foundation collusion with Russia versus unproved suspicions of Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

John Brennan: as a national-security official throughout the Obama years, his principal job was to appease Islamist regimes and organizations. He wanted to engage the “moderate elements” of Iran and Hezbollah, while airbrushing the concept of jihad (“a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community”) and purging agent training materials of background information of sharia-supremacist ideology.