Donald Trump’s Helsinki remarks proved not only his preference for Russia over U.S. intelligence systems but a preference for Fox News and right-wing media over U.S. intel as well.
A Washington Post column by Julian Sanchez, of the Cato Institute, lays out how trafficking in conspiracy theories demonstrates Trump’s reckless disregard for the truth:
If Trump sincerely believes these stories, that ought to be cause for intense concern: We expect a president to rely on solid intelligence, not blogs and cable news, when making life-and-death national security decisions. But a more cynical interpretation is that the truth or falsehood of these claims is beside the point for Trump: His symbiotic relationship with right-wing media permits him to have it both ways in his public pronouncements.
Officially, the president proclaims “great faith” in his intelligence community, giving cover to Republican elected officials — who can point to Trump’s professed acceptance of the intelligence consensus — and Trump’s own appointees, who might feel compelled to resign if he made his distrust of their work more explicit. Yet his dog-whistle references clearly tell his base not to take this official faith seriously — and guarantee that his media allies will follow his lead with another round of stories reinforcing the narrative of deep-state perfidy.
Sanchez continues by calling on “Trump’s allies” to “stop indulging this dishonest performance” and to hold him accountable. Maybe some will have the moxie and the ethics to do so. The chances of Fox News or its BFFs in the Cover-Up Caucus in Congress of doing so? Somewhere between slim and none.
Still they must have gotten some hate-mail over that.