Republicans are getting pretty desperate in their continued attempts to undermine Robert Mueller’s investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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Rep. Matt “DUI” Gaetz is one of those desperate deniers, but his attempts to shrug off the mounting evidence against his precious president were foiled today by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
In a segment on The Lead with Jake Tapper, Gaetz pushed the most commonly used conspiracy theories against the investigation; the Nunes memo and the Steele Dossier:
— AlterNet (@AlterNet) May 22, 2018
Gaetz jumped right out of the gate, confidently leveraging both documents to discredit the investigation:
“We’ve also read the memo from the House Intelligence Committee that the entire house voted to declassify and that the American people have been able to observe and that memo laid out pretty clearly that the principle piece of evidence, the first piece of evidence laid out was this dossier that was paid for by the DNC-“
Tapper, who face grows more incredulous with every word uttered by Gaetz, interjects eventually, fact-checking the Republican in real-time:
“No, no, no, no. That memo made it very clear that it was Papadopoulos’ meeting with the Australian diplomat in which he acknowledged that he had talked to somebody with Kremlin connections about dirt on Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton emails.”
Tapper is forced to interject again time as Gaetz continues to ignore the contradiction in using both the Nunes memo and the Steele dossier as proof the special counsel was started illegally by the Clinton campaign, pointing out that “the Nunes memo said specifically that [Papadopoulos’ meeting] was the reason that the investigation was launched.”
As expected, facts meant little to Gaetz who threw back that it was a memo penned by Peter Struck which launched the initial investigation but “that didn’t lead to the application before the FISA court.”
Tapper shot back one more time, this time pointing to the Justice Department itself and their utter disbelief that Republicans come to these grand conclusions with no actual knowledge of what occurs behind closed doors:
“I have talked to people at the Justice Department who say ‘you keep saying this, and you don’t know what you’re talking about because you’re not on the House Committee of Intelligence.'”
As the interview continued, conversation turned to that of the “deep state”:
Rep. Gaetz says Attorney General Sessions is suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome” from his “captors” at the deep state. When asked who "deep state" refers to, Gaetz says he has concerns about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “playing” Sessions pic.twitter.com/HoILqy0LQb
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 22, 2018
When Tapper inquires as to who makes up the deep state, Gaetz fingered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein is the loophole through which Trump could fire Robert Mueller, and the threat of Trump taking that tack has floated for months now. Republicans jumped on the bandwagon and are constantly looking for opportunities to slander Rosenstein and convince Trump to cut him lose so that his replacement will fire Mueller and end the special counsel.
The scariest part of all is that Gaetz’s comments originated on Fox News, the channel Trump trusts more than his own advisers in making major decisions. Jake Tapper does not work for Fox News, though, so his rational retorts to the Republican slander machine don’t often reach the president.
Fox News has been out-of-touch with reality to sell its propaganda since day one – that was Murdoch’s vision, after all – but now that it is the number one adviser to the American President, their words have weight beyond the small towns across the midwest.
Tapper and the like need to keep speaking up as much as they can in the face of such egregious eschewal of facts, or the world is definitely doomed.