* Trump read a Breitbart article by Pollack, expanding on a Mark Levin call that Congress should investigate "the Obama administration" for "monitoring" Trump Tower.
* Trump, apparently (or acting) unaware of previous reporting of leaks that FISC approval for a FISA warrant had been sought and granted in October, tweets about it as if "the Obama administration" means Obama personally, and at least appears to accept, gullibly, everything in the Breitbart report as being true. (Such as the line "No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons..")
* In fact, in previous leaks, it was said that the FBI sought and obtained the FISA warrant. Other reports say "The Justice Department and the FBI". In any event:
a. The Justice Department is not "Obama";
b. The fact that the FBI - whose Trump friendly announcement of the nothing burger of a further investigation of Clinton emails should surely be compelling evidence of it not being in the pocket of the Obama administration - was asking for it shows that an independent investigative body thought there was serious evidence making it worth getting the warrant.
* Nonetheless, Trump, either deliberately, or through his dumb, carefree attitude to facts and a willingness to say anything to shore up his base, claims it was all about Obama, personally, wiretapping "his phones".
* His dumb, gullible, couldn't care about facts, base, swallows this whole, and are about to go on Sunday rallies to support their dangerous cult leader.
Here's why this is dangerous:
This may well blow over as a case of Trump carelessness and his easy manipulation into making claims by the Right wing media. (Whether it is also a case of him deliberately manipulating his base - who knows?) He will be challenged to produce the evidence that Obama was personally involved (and that he managed to sway the FBI to join in) and it will not be there. He and his Right wing conspiracy mongers - they've been doing this for over 20 years - will just go down muttering that they still think he did it.
But the thing is - when he faces a real life crisis in his administration, say, a serious terror attack, who can possibly trust that he will not take the same careless, fact free lines in his response, and encourage the same to his stupid base, and that this will cause real trouble?
Comment by nutty Australian Trump conspiracist noted:
Update 2: The American Right has brainwashed itself into believing and promoting conspiracy for nearly a couple of decades now - who can forget that as late as 2015, 43% of Republicans still believed Obama was a secret Muslim; in 2010-2011, polling showed between 31 to 45% believed he had been born outside of America; in 2016, Gallop showed Republicans hitting a new high in believing that climate change is happening and is caused by humans - but it's still only around 40% holding that view compared to 85% of Democrats. (Furthermore, only 20% of Republicans think it will be a problem in their lifetime.) And let's not bother looking at all the cynical use of Benghazi claims and conspiracy by Republicans, that went no where but are doubtless still believed by their base in large numbers.
It is unhealthy for any society or group of people to be so prone to believing nonsense conspiracies - I've complained before about the unusual degree to which it seems the residents of many Muslim countries will accept conspiracy.
So it is with America (and Australia, for that matter) too - but Trump is exactly the wrong person to lead the country out of the corrosive effect of conspiracy belief, with his attitude that he can say anything, regardless of facts.
Update 3: Here's the succinct version of my post, from The New Yorker News Desk:
It would seem that Trump, in the same spirit of diversion, has conflated the work of the courts, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies with “Obama.”That article also gives a good summary of a favourite Trump tactic:
One of President Trump’s most consistent rhetorical maneuvers is a fairly basic but often highly effective one—the diversionary reverse accusation. When he is accused of benefitting from “fake news,” he flips the neologism on its head; suddenly CNN, the Times, and the rest are “fake news.” When Democratic politicians such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi call for investigations of his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials, Trump posts pictures of those critics meeting publicly with Vladimir Putin and calls for an investigation. This happened on Saturday. He fogs the language and clouds the issue.(Those of my readers who are familiar with CL, who has long commented at Catallaxy, will recognize this as his constant tactic over the years, too. It's always hard to tell, when people use such an obvious tactic repeatedly, whether they have managed to convince themselves that it's really a convincing response, rather than just a transparent debating trick to show "winning".)
Update 4: Gary Kasparov sounds very accurate in this series of tweets (read from the bottom up):
And for Jason Soon: I just noticed this in Kasparov's Wiki entry:
Kasparov collaborated with Max Levchin and Peter Thiel on The Blueprint, a book calling for a revival of world innovation, planned to release in March 2013 from W. W. Norton & Company. The book was never released, as the authors disagreed on its contents.Update 5: you could almost feel sympathy for the Trump clean up team; except for the fact that if they had any moral and decent judgement, they would never have taken their jobs in the first place: