Fact, Not Fake News: Donald Trump’s Dad Was A KKK Leader In New York City

Donald Trump’s Views On Race Should Be No Surprise

 

A child is not guilty of their fathers sins nor is the father guilty of their children’s sins. Yet most of us know from life’s experiences that way to often a child will follow in many, if not all, of their parents ways of living and of their thoughts and flaws. Way to many children who grew up in a family where the parents are present, or even step parents, the children very often tend to emulate their examples. Way to many boys who lived in a home where the Dad physically beat their Mom grow up to beat their wives and girlfriends. Way to many girls grow up to look for a ‘dangerous’ man, like their Dad. Way to many children who are sexually abused as a child grow up to do the same thing to their kids. A lot of kids who grow up in a home with an alcoholic parent become one themselves just as they do if drugs are in the home, they end up being users themselves. When a child grows up in a home where they see that their parent or parents are liars and thieves the child tends to think that same way of life is okay, after all, Dad does it. When you grow up in a home where the parent teaches a child to crave power over other people through any means necessary, many kids do follow the lead they are given. When you are taught to ‘never, ever’ apologize to anyone for any thing, you tend to grow up aloof and cold to other people’s feelings. When you grow up in a home where your Dad was at least at one time a leader in the local (in this case, New York City) KKK, should anyone be surprised that a child would garner a twisted sense of morals and ideas? Donald Trump’s Dad was arrested at least twice in NYC for leading violent KKK marches. So, should it be a shock that our President acts and believes the way that he does?

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is A Complete Idiot

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘NEW YORK MAGAZINE.COM’)

(Is Donald “FAKE NEWS” Trump The Biggest Idiot On Earth?)(TRS)

11:49 am

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

By 

Image
Donald Trump and Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Getty Images

The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.
At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the time I was halfway through it, my brain could not stop screaming at Trump for his failure to understand what Turnbull was telling him.

Australia has a policy of refusing to accept refugees who arrive by boat. The reason, as Turnbull patiently attempts to explain several times, is that it believes giving refuge to people who arrive by boat would encourage smuggling and create unsafe passage with a high risk of deaths at sea. But it had a large number of refugees who had arrived by sea, living in difficult conditions, whom Australia would not resettle (for fear of encouraging more boat trafficking) but whom it did not want to deport, either. The United States government agreed under President Obama to vet 1,250 of these refugees and accept as many of them as it deemed safe.

In the transcript, Trump is unable to absorb any of these facts. He calls the refugees “prisoners,” and repeatedly brings up the Cuban boatlift (in which Castro dumped criminals onto Florida). He is unable to absorb Turnbull’s explanation that they are economic refugees, not from conflict zones, and that the United States has the ability to turn away any of them it deems dangerous.

Donald Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy

President Trump’s efforts to fix his headline-making crises often have the effect of making the situation worse.

Turnbull tries to explain to Trump that refugees have not been detained because they pose a danger to Australian society, but in order to deter ship-based smuggling:

Trump: Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

Turnbull: Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

At this point, Trump fails to understand the policy altogether, and proceeds to congratulate Turnbull for what Trump mistakes to be a draconian policy of total exclusion:

Trump: That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am … Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries.

Trump has completely failed to understand either that the refugees are not considered dangerous, or, again, that they are being held because of a categorical ban on ship-based refugee traffic.

He also fails to understand the number of refugees in the agreement:

Trump: I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

Turnbull: With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

Trump: Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

Turnbull: The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting.

Then Trump returns to his belief that they are bad, and failing to understand the concept that they have been detained merely because they arrived by sea and not because they committed a crime:

Trump: I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

Turnbull: I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

Trump: Well, maybe you should let them out of prison.

He still thinks they’re criminals.

Later, Trump asks what happens if all the refugees fail his vetting process:

Trump: I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make.

After several attempts by Turnbull to explain Australia’s policy, Trump again expresses his total inability to understand what it is:

Trump: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Turnbull: Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

Trump: Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

After Turnbull has told Trump several times that the refugees have been detained because they arrived by boat, and only for that reason, Trump’s question is, “But they are arrived on a boat?”

Soon after, Turnbull again reiterates that Australia’s policy is to detain any refugee who arrives by boat:

Turnbull: The only people that we do not take are people who come by boa. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.”

Trump: What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

No, you don’t get it at all! It’s not that they come from certain regions! It’s that they come by boat!

So Turnbull very patiently tries to explain again that the policy has nothing to do with what region the refugees come from:

Turnbull: No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea.

At this point, Trump gives up asking about the policy and just starts venting about the terribleness of deals in general:

I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it — START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

Shortly afterward, the call ends in brusque fashion, and Turnbull presumably begins drinking heavily.

China’s Xi Jinping Is A Master Of Propaganda Which Is “Fake News”

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF VOX NEWS)

 

China is perfecting a new method for suppressing dissent on the internet

America should pay attention.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping 
Getty Images

The art of suppressing dissent has been perfected over the years by authoritarian governments. For most of human history, the solution was simple: force. Punish people severely enough when they step out of line and you deter potential protesters.

But in the age of the internet and “fake news,” there are easier ways to tame dissent.

new study by Gary King of Harvard University, Jennifer Pan of Stanford University, and Margaret Roberts of the University of California San Diego suggests that China is the leading innovator on this front. Their paper, titled “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, Not Engaged Argument,” shows how Beijing, with the help of a massive army of government-backed internet commentators, floods the web in China with pro-regime propaganda.

What’s different about China’s approach is the content of the propaganda. The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

This has allowed the Chinese government to manipulate citizens without appearing to do so. It permits just enough criticism to maintain the illusion of dissent and only acts overtly when fears of mass protest or collective action arise.

To learn more about China’s internet propaganda machine, I reached out to Roberts, one of the authors of the paper. I asked her how successful China has been at manipulating its population and, more importantly, if she thinks this brand of online propaganda will become a model for authoritarianism in the digital age.

You can read our full conversation below.


Sean Illing

How does China use the internet to manipulate its population?

Margaret Roberts

With this particular study, we were motivated by rumors of what’s called the “50 Cent Party” in China [more on this below]. People were convinced that China was engaged in a widespread online propaganda campaign that targeted its own population. But we never had direct evidence that this was ongoing.

Then in 2014, there was a massive leak that revealed what China was doing and how they organized their propaganda machine. So that gave us an opportunity to look at the actual posts the Chinese government was producing and spreading on the web for propagandistic purposes.

We gathered up all the data from the leaked email archive, and that allowed us to explore the content of the propaganda, which is something that no one had done before.

Sean Illing

And what did you find?

Margaret Roberts

We had always thought that the purpose of propaganda was to argue against or undermine critics of the regime, or to simply persuade people that the critics were wrong. But what we found is that the Chinese government doesn’t bother with any of that.

Instead, the content of their propaganda is what we call “cheerleading” content. Basically, they flood the web with overwhelmingly positive content about China’s politics and culture and history. What it amounts to is a sprawling distraction campaign rather than an attempt to sell a set of policies or defend the policies of the regime.

Sean Illing

I want to dive deeper into that, but I want to make sure we don’t glide past the “50 Cent Party” reference. Can you explain what that is?

Margaret Roberts

The 50 Cent Party is a kind of informal branch of the Chinese government that carries out its online propaganda campaign — so these are the foot soldiers who post the content, share the posts, etc. The name stems from the rumor that the members were each paid 50 cents for every post that helped the government. We didn’t find evidence that people were being paid 50 cents, however. It turns out posting online propaganda is just part of a government job.

Sean Illing

Do we have any idea how many members there are or how many people occupy these posts?

Margaret Roberts

The rumor before we started studying this is that it’s something like 2 million people, but we simply don’t know for sure. But we estimate that the government fabricates and posts 448 million social media comments a year.

People stage a rare large-scale protest not far from Tiananmen Square in Beijing on July 24, 2017, in connection with a recent crackdown on a company suspected of being involved in a pyramid scheme.
 Getty Images

Sean Illing

So let’s talk about China’s strategy. In the paper, you point out that China’s government actively manipulates its population, but that it doesn’t necessarily appear that way to its citizens. Part of the reason for this is China’s unusual approach to propaganda, which is to avoid refuting skeptics or defending policies and instead flood the digital space with happy news. What’s the strategic logic behind this approach?

Margaret Roberts

We think the purpose is distraction, because these posts are highly coordinated within certain time periods and the posts are written uniformly over time. They’re actually really bursty (meaning lots of similarly themed posts at the same time). The basic idea seems to be to flood the internet with positive noise in order to drown out bad news and distract from more serious or problematic issues.

Sean Illing

And they believe this is the most effective way to control political discourse?

Margaret Roberts

I think they realized that politics is about controlling the narrative and setting the agenda. Politicians and government officials in China want people to talk about the issues that reflect well on them. Their calculation is pretty simple: If they engage critics on issues that are complicated or reflect poorly on the government, they only amplify the attention those issues receive. So their approach is to ignore the criticisms and shift attention to other topics, and they do that by deluging the internet with positive propaganda.

Sean Illing

Are these positive stories actually true, or are we talking about “fake news”?

Margaret Roberts

This is a really interesting question. A lot of what we found in the leaked archive isn’t fake news. What they’re creating are stories that promote patriotism. They want people talking about and responding to content that favors the regime. But they also want people to think that content is coming from civilians and not from the government, which is why most of this is presented as someone’s opinion.

Sean Illing

What form does this cheerleading content take? What kinds of stories do they promote?

Margaret Roberts

The most common articles we found discussed how great it is to live in China or how wonderful Chinese culture is or how dominant China’s sports teams are — that kind of stuff. We’re not really talking about fact-based material here. It’s just positive stories that flatter the regime and the country.

Again, the point isn’t to get people to believe or care about the propaganda; it’s to get them to pay less attention to stories the government wants to suppress.

Sean Illing

Something else that jumped out at me in the paper was this idea that they want to permit just enough criticism to offer the illusion of dissent, but they want to make sure that there’s never enough criticism to spark collective action.

Margaret Roberts

China monitors the online information environment in order to collect information about the public and what they’re thinking. In that sense, they want people communicating freely. But a problem arises when you have too many people criticizing the government at the same time. There’s a constant risk of collective action or mass protest.

China’s government does its best to distinguish between useful criticisms (the kinds of criticisms that help them figure out how to satisfy the citizenry) and dangerous criticisms (the kinds of criticisms that might lead to mass protest events). They usually wait until there is a possibility for major mobilization against the government before they engage in overt censorship.

Sean Illing

Is China’s use of the internet unique or new? Are other governments doing similar things?

Margaret Roberts

I think there are aspects of the Chinese model that are new and unique, and certainly they’ve been at the forefront of trying to figure out how to control the internet. There is some evidence that other countries are learning from China, but nothing definitive.

Sean Illing

In the paper, you suggest this research might lead us to rethink the notion of “common knowledge” in theories of authoritarian politics — what does that mean?

Margaret Roberts

I think historically a lot of people have thought that common knowledge about things the government maybe has done wrong is detrimental to the regime. This is the idea that any criticism is detrimental to the regime. What we find in China is that criticism can be very helpful to the regime because it can allow them to respond.

But the type of common knowledge that’s really dangerous to the regime is knowledge of protests or other forms of collective action activity. That’s a major threat because it can spread so easily. We’ve seen this over and over throughout world history: Regimes are most vulnerable when small protests escalate into something much broader. This is what China’s government is determined to prevent.

People lie on the ground in Beijing on July 24, 2017, in protest against police for closing the road to a gathering where at least several thousand people staged a rare large-scale rally not far from Tiananmen Square in connection with a recent crackdown on a company suspected of being involved in a pyramid scheme.
 Getty Images

Sean Illing

To be clear, you call China’s approach “strategic distraction,” but it’s really about undercutting the possibilities for organized dissent. Regimes have always tried to capture people’s attention and redirect it in less dangerous directions. The only thing new about China’s operation is its use of the internet.

Margaret Roberts

I think that’s exactly right on.

Sean Illing

Do you think China’s approach to suppressing dissent is uniquely effective in an age of “fake news” and “post-truth”?

Margaret Roberts

The internet has created an environment in which there is a vast amount of information. That means it’s difficult for people to separate out “good” and “bad” information. Because many people have short attention spans online, they can easily be affected by information that looks like something it is not. That’s what China’s online propaganda and fake news have in common — they both take advantage of our short attention spans on the web.

Sean Illing

Is this a model for authoritarianism in the digital age? Should we expect more of this from other governments?

Margaret Roberts

The difficulty with online propaganda, and we’re seeing this in the US and other democracies around the world right now, is that it doesn’t function overtly like traditional forms of censorship. Most people object to blatant censorship. But online propaganda is a form of participation as well as form of censorship, so it’s difficult to know what the right policy is.

People want to introduce information on the web en masse, and that means a lot of noise and opinions and bots and commentators. Are there ways of regulating all of this without censoring ourselves? I think that’s a really hard question, and I don’t have the answers. But I think the world will have to struggle with this new reality of online propaganda, because it isn’t going away.

Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report

(THIS COURTESY OF CNN)

US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.
Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.
The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.
US officials say the Russian goal appears to be to cause rifts among the US and its allies. In recent months, suspected Russian cyber activities, including the use of fake news stories, have turned up amid elections in France, Germany and other countries.
It’s not yet clear whether the US has tracked the hackers in the Qatar incident to Russian criminal organizations or to the Russian security services blamed for the US election hacks. One official noted that based on past intelligence, “not much happens in that country without the blessing of the government.”
The FBI and CIA declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Qatari embassy in Washington said the investigation is ongoing and its results would be released publicly soon.
The Qatari government has said a May 23 news report on its Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation’s ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether President Donald Trump would last in office.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the FBI has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.
“Whatever has been thrown as an accusation is all based on misinformation and we think that the entire crisis being based on misinformation,” the foreign minister told CNN’s Becky Anderson. “Because it was started based on fabricated news, being wedged and being inserted in our national news agency which was hacked and proved by the FBI.”
Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, director of the Qatari Government Communications Office, confirmed that Qatar’s Ministry of Interior is working with the FBI and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency on the ongoing hacking investigation of the Qatar News Agency.
“The Ministry of Interior will reveal the findings of the investigation when completed,” he told CNN.
Partly in reaction to the false news report, Qatar’s neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have cut off economic and political ties, causing a broader crisis.
The report came at a time of escalating tension over accusations Qatar was financing terrorism.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted criticism of Qatar that mirrors that of the Saudis and others in the region who have long objected to Qatar’s foreign policy. He did not address the false news report.
“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”
In his tweet, Trump voiced support for the regional blockade of Qatar and cited Qatar’s funding of terrorist groups. The Qataris have rejected the terror-funding accusations.
Hours after Trump’s tweets, the US State Department said Qatar had made progress on stemming the funding of terrorists but that there was more work to be done.
US and European authorities have complained for years about funding for extremists from Saudi Arabia and other nations in the Gulf region. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.
Last year during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Obama administration officials raised the issue of Saudi funding to build mosques in Europe and Africa that are helping to spread an ultra-conservative strain of Islam.
US intelligence has long been concerned with what they say is the Russian government’s ability to plant fake news in otherwise credible streams, according to US officials.
That concern has surfaced in recent months in congressional briefings by former FBI Director James Comey.
Comey told lawmakers that one reason he decided to bypass his Justice Department bosses in announcing no charges in the probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server was the concern about an apparent fake piece of Russian intelligence. The intelligence suggested the Russians had an email that indicated former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had assured Democrats she wouldn’t let the Clinton probe lead to charges.
The FBI came to believe the email was fake, but still feared the Russians could release it to undermine the Justice Department’s role in the probe.

Fake News Comes From Within The White House, Mostly From The Fake/Fraud In The Oval Office

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

The fake news comes from within the White House

May 29 at 7:30 AM

To believe Donald Trump, you must believe two largely contradictory things.

You must believe that there are a slew of leakers in the executive branch who are providing damning details to the press illegally, and who must be rooted out and punished. (See tweets here, here, here, here and here.)

You must also believe that the press makes up imaginary leakers simply to slowly and incrementally report false stories that are tangentially embarrassing to the president. The most recent examples of Trump making that case came on Sunday (“Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names,” he said on Twitter, “it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”), but he’s been railing against this idea that some media sources are not real since the campaign. (See tweets here and here.)

The result is that we end up with a president who at 8:33 a.m. says that it’s his opinion “that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” and then at 10:43 a.m. says that the prime minister of the United Kingdom was mad about information that was leaked.

Trump, unlike most politicians and, frankly, most people, will nonchalantly argue two logically inconsistent points at the same time. On the campaign trail, he mastered the art of vague assurance that he stood for whatever his audience stood for, and, in office, that skill doesn’t seem to have faded. If it is best that people think a leak was made up by the media — like The Post’s report that Jared Kushner asked Russia to help set up a secure communication system with the Trump team — then Trump will argue that the media made it up. (We didn’t.) If the leak is incidental to him or if he’d like to put the heat on someone else, he’ll argue that the leakers need to be caught.

As Trump knows, though, there are many reasons for someone to provide information without wanting to be identified. Trump himself used to call news outlets pretending to be his own publicist so that he could share details without revealing the source. And while Trump administration officials often speak on the record to the media, they nearly as often speak only on background as so-called “senior administration officials,” faceless voices praising Trump without being able to be held accountable for what they said. It happens so often that the abbreviation “SAO” is understood immediately by the press.

Here, for example, are a number of things that the White House has provided to the White House press corps using sources who refused to be named. (All quotes are from pool reports filed by members of the media.)

Remember, don’t believe “sources said” by the VERY dishonest media. If they don’t name the sources, the sources don’t exist.

Jan. 28: About the immigration ban.

The official said that Trump advisers had been in contact for many weeks with key State Department and Department of Homeland Security officials about Friday’s executive order. “Everyone who needed to know was informed,” the official said.

When the administration was forced to craft a second attempt at the ban a month after this, press secretary Sean Spicer told press that the first attempt was flawed by not having enough people in place to vet it.

The official said green-card holders from one of the seven affected countries who are currently outside the United States will need a case by case waiver to return to the United States, according to the official. Those green-card holders in the United States will have to meet with a consular officer before leaving the country, the official said.

Jan. 29: Immigration ban.

The SAO said there was no “advance notice” of the order going out for clear reasons that he did not explicitly outline. “I think everybody here can use their imagination to imagine 25 reasons why that wouldn’t make sense from a security standpoint,” SAO said.

The SAO said that “the guidance from the beginning” has been that legal permanent residents (LPRs) were exempt from the immigration EO, although there was some discussion about that in the room.

Notice that the comment about LPRs contradicts the statement from the previous day about green-card holders.

SAO praised the implementation of the order as having been done “seamlessly” and with “extraordinary professionalism.”

A common thread: Praise for whatever the administration is doing.

Feb. 14: On peace in the Middle East.

The official said a possible meeting between the Israelis and Palestinians would be part of the discussions tomorrow. “He’s hopeful to bring the two sides together to discuss peace,” the official said of the president. How quickly would he like to get a Middle East peace process going? “I do think it’s a very high priority for the administration,” the official said, who would not be pinned down on timeline.

Feb. 24: A response to reports that the White House had tried to get intelligence officials to deny reports about FBI investigations.

[FBI assistant director] Andrew McCabe said ‘I want you to know story in NYT (in FBI investigating contacts between Trump campaign people and Russian intel) is BS.’ (Some question whether he said bullshit or simply BS although officials best recollection is ‘bullsh-t.’) Preibus asked ‘what can we do about this?’ McCabe demurs and says he’ll get back to Preibus. Preibus’ can concern is he’s ‘getting crushed’ on the story. ‘What an I supposed to do?’

An unnamed official relaying a conversation held within the White House is the sort of thing that Trump in other contexts has harshly criticized.

Mar. 10: Conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Trump has been “heartened” by what he has heard from Berlin about devoting more resources to the annual NATO military budget. POTUS intends to talk with Merkel about her government crafting a “concrete plan,” the senior official said. POTUS is “very interested” to get Merkel’s insights about working with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the senior official said.

As is an unnamed person offering insight into Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders.

Apr. 12: Trump had a good week.

The main theme was that this has been a successful week or so for Potus on the international stage, including the retaliation against Syria, the summit with President Xi and today’s U.N. vote. “It’s difficult to portray this as anything but a really great week” for the United States.

May 23; From the early part of Trump’s first foreign trip.

So I think this trip was a big success because it was unexpected. It went in the heart of one of the, I always say that the president is always at his best when he’s doing big things that are unexpected. … He was able to really go into Saudi Arabia, the custodian of the holy mosques, and then Donald Trump united the entire Muslim world in a way that it really hasn’t been in many years. So it really was very historic in that regard.

The official then talked about peace in the Middle East again.

You can’t just walk in on Day One and sign a deal that no one has gotten done in 35 years but we thought it was very essential to look at the work over the last 100-odd days and this trip is to do a lot of listening, build very strong relationships with all the different people, not just the parties involves, but all the people in the neighborhood.

May 25: The trip, continued.

This official continued, “What Trump’s doing really is increasing NATO’s ability to deter any kind of aggression on its borders, including from Russia.”

May 27: The end of the trip.

I feel more than comfortable to say that the President had built an extraordinary rapport with the other leaders. He developed great friendships. It was extremely productive. … This trip has left no one with any doubt about who America’s friends are and who America’s allies are, and our resolution in determining the course of our future based upon upholding those alliances and friendships. But ultimately, we also formed new partnerships and new friendships, and have created a growing consensus around the world about the need to combat the shared threat of terrorism.

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The SAO offered a summary.

I’ll just implore you all, whether you’re talking about our successes on trade and migration in the G-7 or summit in Saudi Arabia, to tell the story back home about what an unprecedentedly and historically successful trip this was by an incredible leader and an amazing man who has done extraordinary things in a very short time for the country he loves and the people of America that he serves so faithfully.

Again, these are the anonymous comments of senior officials reported by the press, precisely what happens in situations that lead to stories Trump doesn’t like. But since Trump doesn’t like those stories, those anonymous sources are decried as criminals or imaginary. The guys telling the press how well Trump’s trip went? They’re just regular old unnamed senior officials, and their word is unimpeachable.

Couple those SAOs with Trump’s hundreds — literally — of untrue statementssince he came into office and his tendency to have staff make claims that he later undercuts (something he himself admits), it seems pretty clear where the fake news originates, if Trump is to be believed.

Incidentally, for those curious about why Trump might think that someone would create a fictitious source to make a ridiculous claim, we return to the same well we’ve visited so many times before: His tweets.

An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud.

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