Trump calls into Sean Hannity’s show, revives debunked wiretapping claim

Fox News host Sean Hannity dedicated most of his show on Wednesday night to another phone interview with President Donald Trump.

While most of the talking points were familiar to anyone who bothered to tune into Trump’s reelection kickoff speech Tuesday night or any of his other recent interviews on Fox News, Trump did let slip that he still believes his phones were wiretapped during the 2016 campaign.

Repeating his claim that intelligence agencies were “spying” on his campaign, Trump said, “We will have to find out if they were listening on my calls, that would be the ultimate. If they spied on my campaign, and they may have, it will be one of the great revelations in history of this country.”

Trump assured Hannity, who often pushes baseless conspiracy theories himself, that Attorney General William Barr was working very hard to investigate whether there was any wrongdoing during the lengthy investigations into Trump’s campaign. At no point did the conversation address the fact that six Trump campaign officials were indicted as a result of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year long investigation, five of whom pleaded guilty, nor did it address the many outside investigations referred by the special counsel’s office.

Two months into Trump’s administration, he declared on Twitter, without any evidence, that “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer even suggested at the time that British intelligence may have wiretapped the Trump Tower phones at President Barack Obama’s request.

Since then, the Department of Justice has said on at least two different occasions that it has no records of such wiretapping while Trump was a candidate.

Trump said earlier this year that his 2017 wiretapping claim was based “just on a little bit of a hunch and a little bit of wisdom maybe.” He appeared to believe that because the brazen accusation received so much attention, that actually proved that he was onto something.

“It blew up because they thought maybe I was wise to them,” he said, speaking to Hannity at the time, once again without presenting any evidence to back his claim. “Or they were caught. And that’s why. If they weren’t doing anything wrong it would’ve just gotten by, nobody would’ve cared about it.”

In his interview with Hannity, Trump reiterated Spicer’s claim that “other countries were involved.” Admitting it was pure speculation, he said, “I think perhaps, just based on what I’m seeing, they used other countries because they didn’t want to get caught doing what they were doing in this country.”

It is true that U.S. investigators wiretapped Carter Page and Paul Manafort, former officials on Trump’s campaign, to investigate potential wrongdoing and their connections with foreign governments. But Trump seems to think that there was some greater conspiracy that targeted him directly, and he expects Barr to find proof that he was the real victim.

“I think he’s a very honorable gentleman who wants to do the right thing,” Trump said Wednesday night.

[ThinkProgress]

Reality

Trump’s DOJ admitted in a “court filing notes two separate instances in which the Trump administration has rubbished the claims made by its own executive.”

The DOJ also admitted it has “no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets” in a September 2017 court filing.

Trump said earlier this year that his 2017 wiretapping claim was based “just on a little bit of a hunch and a little bit of wisdom maybe.” He appeared to believe that because the brazen accusation received so much attention, that actually proved that he was onto something.

Media

Trump Plugs Hannity’s Program: ‘DEEP STATE SHOW’ Tonight With ‘Tremendous Guests’

President Donald Trump once again plugged Sean Hannity’s show on Twitter today, promising “tremendous guests” on a “must see” episode.

Hannity talks nightly on his show about the real corruption that will come to light, but Trump tweeted that the Fox host’s show tonight will be a big “DEEP STATE SHOW”:

On Wednesday, after Robert Mueller spoke, Hannity said the special counsel is “full of crap.” That night, before Hannity’s TV show aired, Trump tweeted praise for a “great show tonight” and said, “That’s why you’re Number One (by far)!”

Sean Hannity assembled a big panel of regular guests to rail against the “deep state” and the investigation into President Donald Trump, saying the “day of reckoning” is coming for the real criminals.

Hannity asked where the “media hysteria” is over “real obstruction, real crime” from Hillary Clinton, said there must be equal application of the law, and brought up the infamous Steele dossier.

“Night after night, we have literally been unpeeling the layers of this onion and ripping the mask off all of this corruption trying to get to the truth to expose what has happened here,” he said. “This was an attempt to literally fix a presidential election and destroy a duly-elected president. There is a deep state, and now their day of reckoning has come.”

Hannity then brought on his big panel, which included several familiar faces: Gregg JarrettSara CarterJohn SolomonVictoria ToensingJoe diGenovaMatt SchlappPam BondiGeraldo RiveraTom Fitton, and Doug Schoen.

Hannity started by telling them, “We wouldn’t be here today––they probably would have succeeded had it not been for every single one of you, and I applaud all of you for your deep digging, your investigative reporting, the hard work, the tough analysis.”

[Mediaite, Mediaite]

Donald Trump: Investigations Against Me Were a ‘Coup’ to ‘Overthrow the United States Government’

Throughout his interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday night, President Donald Trump raved that Robert Mueller‘s probe and the investigations into him were nothing less than an attempted “coup” to depose his administration.

As Trump lashed out at his various political foes and spoke to Hannity about his 2016 opponent who has been vanquished for about 2.5 years now, he said the counterintelligence investigations into his campaign’s possible Russian collusion was a scandal “far bigger than Watergate.”

T”his was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government,” Trump said. “This was an overthrow and it’s a disgraceful thing…I think it’s possibly the biggest scandal in political history in this country.”

Trump continued by referring to the FBI and intelligence figures who’ve spoken against him as “sick people.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Rage Tweets About Mueller’s ‘Illegal’ Investigation After Hannity Monologue Blasting Comey

It’s Monday night and it appears President Donald Trump is watching Sean Hannity. How do we know this? Well, the president blasted out a tweet attacking Robert Mueller‘s “witch hunt” on Twitter for the umpteenth time, and it just so happens that the Fox News host just finished talking about the exact same subject.

Trump’s tweet came minutes after Hannity finished a section his monologue in which he addressed James Comey‘s testimony before Congress last week. Hannity blasted the former FBI director for his “selective amnesia” while answering questions, but he especially honed in on what Comey said about how the controversial dossier prepared by Fusion GPS wasn’t verified by the FBI before it became the foundation of a FISA warrant issued to investigate Trump’s campaign.

[Mediaite]

President Trump Plugs Hannity’s Show on Twitter: ‘Enjoy!’

After a big day at the G20, President Donald Trump went back to tweeting about domestic concerns tonight.

As Sean Hannity kicked off his show, Trump tweeted out to people to tune in and watch:

Hannity’s show opened tonight with another lengthy monologue on the Mueller “witch hunt.” At one point he called it “political persecution.”

[Mediaite]

Fox News Hosts Hannity, Pirro Shill For Trump at Rally: ‘All Those People in the Back are Fake News’

Fox News host Sean Hannity denied that he would campaign on stage during President Donald Trump‘s final rally before the midterm elections, but as it turns out… that’s exactly what happened.

Hannity was billed by the Trump campaign as a “special guest” for the president’s speaking engagement in Missouri, even though he originally insisted that he would only interview the president backstage and host his show from the venue.

A Fox News spokesperson also told Mediaite that “Hannity will only be hosting his show from that location and interviewing the president.”

Hannity mingled with the crowd and hosted his show in front of the rallygoers, before interviewing the president. Eventually, he was summoned to the podium by Trump, where he started by taking aim at media covering the rally.

“All those people in the back are fake news,” Hannity said.

Hannity insisted that he had no idea Trump was going to invite him up, nonetheless, he showered Trump with the praises he had in his opening monologue from earlier in the evening.

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was also at the rally as part of Hannity’s show, so Trump eventually invited her to the stage as well, and she too delivered litany of compliments for the president.

“If you like the America that he is making now, you’ve got to make sure you get out there tomorrow if you haven’t voted yet, everyone you know…get them out there to vote for Donald Trump and all the people who are running for the Republican Party,” Pirro said.

Interestingly, Fox News did not carry the speech live.

[Mediaite]

‘Gina is Great’: Trump endorses book declaring him possibly the ‘most sound-minded’ president ever

As Hurricane Florence barreled closer toward the Carolinas Thursday, President Trump had time to endorse a book by a booster who called him the “most sound-minded” president ever.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Sept. 5 to promote her new book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the “Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board,” proceeded to call the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior official within the Trump administration part of the “Trump derangement syndrome.” She then explained how she used her background in psychology to determine the commander in chief’s mental fitness.

“My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House,” Loudon told Hannity on Sept. 5.

The Fox News host had a response ready for the sound bite for Loudon, who was one of the president’s most reliable on-air talking heads in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

As Hurricane Florence barreled closer toward the Carolinas Thursday, President Trump had time to endorse a book by a booster who called him the “most sound-minded” president ever.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Sept. 5 to promote her new book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the “Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board,” proceeded to call the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior official within the Trump administration part of the “Trump derangement syndrome.” She then explained how she used her background in psychology to determine the commander in chief’s mental fitness.

“My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House,” Loudon told Hannity on Sept. 5.

The Fox News host had a response ready for the sound bite for Loudon, who was one of the president’s most reliable on-air talking heads in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

“Literally, liberals’ heads are going to explode at what you just said,” Hannity said to a laughing Loudon.

“That’s the fun part of the madness is just watching them go crazy over the fact that he’s really pretty unfazed by them,” said Loudon, referring to Trump, “and I believe that. And I know him.”

“And that’s what drives ’em nuts,” said Hannity, referring to the president’s detractors.

“And that’s what drives them crazy,” said Loudon, who refers to herself as “Dr. Gina.”

A little more than a week later, the president co-signed an endorsement of Loudon’s book given earlier by Kayleigh McEnany, the national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. McEnany, the former on-air pundit, tweeted, “Keep up the great work you do for the @realDonaldTrump movement, Gina!”

It got the attention of the president, who has praised or congratulated other supportive Fox News personalities, such as Judge Jeanine Pirro and Gregg Jarrett, for recent books that went on to be bestsellers. “Gina is Great!” Trump tweeted Thursday.

Her book, ranked No. 436,949 in Amazon’s bestsellers rank as of early Friday, refers to her as “America’s favorite psychological expert.” Her website says she has a PhD, but it doesn’t say in what field.

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that Loudon obtained her PhD in “human and organizations systems” from Fielding Graduate University, an online school headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif. On her LinkedIn profile, Loudon lists her PhD from Fielding Graduate being in “human development,” adding that she has certification in “Body Language Interpretation, and Hypnotherapy.”

Jason Browning, a producer and spokesman for Loudon, told The Washington Post, “She has many degrees, including a PhD, all in the field of psychology. I see it as a distinction without a difference. Similar to how someone with a PhD in Design Science might also say they have an Engineering PhD.”

Regnery Publishing, which describes itself as “the leading publisher of conservative books,” touted Loudon, its client, as a “PhD level psychological expert” in a Thursday tweet.

Loudon, who describes herself as one of the founding writers at Breitbart, a right-leaning news site once led by Stephen K. Bannon, said she has used her “psychological expertise” as part of the Trump administration’s fight against the opioid epidemic, according to the biography listed on her website. In October 2017, she recorded a video from Trump Tower for the president’s Facebook page in which she introduced herself as Dr. Gina before talking about the crisis.

“In my professional experience, I’ve seen this devastating plague hit unsuspecting victims who didn’t know they were doing something dangerous,” she said, “and once they’ve taken the drugs, the addictive mechanism can lead a victim to heroin use or even death.”

In “Mad Politics,” Loudon makes several claims supporting her stance that Trump is the “most sound-minded person” to be president. Browning told The Post that Loudon “gives credit to his [Trump’s] upbringing, life experience, personality, birth order, and more.” One is how she concluded that the president’s Myers-Briggs type, the questionnaire that assigns letters to human traits, is ENTJ — Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging. In that part of the book, Loudon points to a description on a website called 16Personalities.com that lists the ENTJ type as “the Commander,” according to the Daily Beast.

“The ENTJ has mad presidential skills!” she wrote, the Beast reported.

Whether Trump’s endorsement of Loudon signals a spike in her book sales remains unclear. However, the Amazon customer reviews for Loudon’s book, which was published Sept. 4, offer a glimpse on the nation’s current state of political discourse: deeply divided. In the 40 customer reviews, the partisanship shows: 60 percent of customers gave the book a five-star ranking, while 35 percent entered in a one-star rating. Those who gave it high marks tend to be more favorableto the president.

“If you are looking for a book making the case for Trump and tearing leftist arguments apart, this book gives you that in a very unique way,” said one positive reviewer. “I have never owned a book with so many endorsements from people I trust.”

Others who are skeptical of Loudon, her background or are against Trump are not as fond of the president’s most recent author endorsement.

“The writing is turgid, which is amazing for a book written at the 6th grade level,” wrote one reviewer, who claimed to be a psychologist. “It is a not a thought piece; it is a political screed. And the ‘psychological analysis?’ I could not stop laughing. It would earn an F in an Intro Psych course.”

[Washington Post]

Trump Says He’s Going to Tell Sean Hannity to Stop Airing His Critics

During a rally in Montana Thursday night, President Donald Trump gave a shout out to a Fox News host.

“Do we love Sean Hannity, by the way?” Trump asked the raucous crowd.

He then suggested that he’s going to tell the Fox News host not to air his critics anymore.

“I love him. But here’s the only thing,” Trump said. “He puts up all these losers that say horrible things. I’ve got to talk to him.”

Then pointing to the media pen, he told the crowd, “And by the way, look at all the fake news back there.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Threatens to Pull Clearance For CNN’s Phil Mudd After Seeing Him on TV: He’s ‘In No Mental Condition’

President Donald Trump is adding CNN contributor Philip Mudd to the list of intelligence officials who might lose their security clearance for criticizing him.

Mudd, a former CIA officer, attracted a lot of attention last week over his explosive showdown with pro-Trump commentator Paris Dennard. The two debated whether Trump is using security clearance revocation to punish his foes, and Mudd blew up after Dennard accused officials like him of profiting from their clearance by securing media commentary positions.

As it were, Fox News’ Sean Hannitymade fun of Mudd’s “complete meltdown” on his show tonight, and obviously, Trump was watching.

Should Mudd’s clearance actually be pulled, you can add it to the list of Trump’s decisions influenced by Fox News programming.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Our part-time-president Donald Trump was busy watching Fox News during his “Executive Time” when he saw Fox play a CNN clip of former intel official Philip (not “Phillip”) Mudd becoming visibly frustrated with a lying Paris Dennard.

Trump has added Mudd to his authoritarian-style “enemies list” and threatened to pull his security clearance.

Trump Goes on Tweetstorm While Watching Fox News, Quotes Hannity and Mark Levin

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday evening to share criticism about ex-CIA director John Brennan that he heard on Fox News.

“’John Brennan is a stain on the Country, we deserve better than this.’” Former Secret Service Agent and author of new book, ‘Spygate, the Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump,’ Dan Bongino,” Trump wrote, referring to the conservative commentator and frequent Fox News guest.

He added: “Thank you Dan, and good luck with the book!”

Bongino’s comments came during a discussion of Trump’s decision to yank Brennan’s security clearance just one day after Brennan criticized him on both Twitter and MSNBC citing Brennan’s “erratic behavior.”

Speaking to the Wall Street Journalearlier today, Trump pushed back on criticism of his decision, telling the WSJ, “[I] would put a Republican on, too, if I thought they were incompetent or crazy.”

Brennan also spoke out on Trump’s decision, calling Trump’s move an effort to “intimidate and suppress” his critics.

“I do believe that Mr. Trump decided to take this action, as he’s done with others, to try to intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration,” Brennan said on Wednesday afternoon, after learning he had lost his clearance. “And revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me.”

In addition to using a Fox News quote to slam Brennan, Trump also tweeted out a remark from a Fox News guest who said Hillary Clinton “got a pass by the FBI.”

Then, later on Wednesday evening, he even tweeted quotes from Sean Hannity‘s show from Mark Levin and Hannity himself. Hannity said, “I’d strip the whole bunch of them. They’re all corrupt. They’ve all abused their power. They’ve all betrayed the American people with a political agenda.”

[Mediaite]

1 2 3