How Leftists Treasonously Twist Facts

Posted: February 20, 2018 in Body Politic

Recently, John Greenburg of  Politifact (a Tampa Bay Times project) rated President Trump’s public denial of his denying Russian meddling in our election as a “Pants on Fire” lie.

Trump Interrogation Mueller Russia Collusion by Sean Delonas, CagleCartoons.com

Politifact has repeatedly been called out for it’s blatant bias over and over and over again. While this is not surprising, it presents a good example and an opportunity to show the exact methodology used by it’s writers to turn a fact squarely on it’s head in what I call, “Operation Opposite Day” (which is a concerted effort by media outlets to mislead the public into believing the opposite of what’s happening in our society on a daily basis).

So let’s break down their own assessment step by step.

#1 The lead headline of the article is as follows:

“Donald Trump falsely says he never denied Russian meddling.”

The key assertion here is “Russian meddling.” This is important to note because much of their methodology in assessing this will rely on statements that actually have nothing to do with “Russian meddling”. So what does “Russian meddling” mean? In the larger context there are two events being discussed; one overtly and another subversively.

The former, is the well established fact that the Russian government enlisted and deployed operatives to run a (dis)information campaign against American interests in the 2016 election. It is the assessment of our intelligence community and federal agencies that the purpose of this campaign was to sow discord, distrust and chaos in our electoral process, governmental bodies, political process and society at large. This is a fact.

The latter is the unproven conspiracy theory that members of the Trump campaign or even Donald Trump himself were knowing, willing collaborators with the Russians to achieve these goals in order to win the election. Ironically, this very idea is presented, in part, or originates in part as part of the former information campaign originated by the Russian operations. This is a theory.

Let me be clear, while the former fact of Russian meddling is significant, important and should be addressed directly, the implication of the latter theory of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign would be catastrophic to our social and political system. It supports the idea that Trump or his campaign committed treason, a crime punishable by death, if not impeachment and the invalidation of a Presidential election. However, like most conspiracy theories, there are no objective facts that support it. It is however, the goal of leftists to present arguments to convince people that there are facts that support it, such as the assertion that Trump denies Russia meddled at all; the inference being, that if he denies this fact, he must be a collaborator.

Just because you believe in the existence of God does not believe you don’t believe in global warming; is a common example of this kind of illogical and inaccurate inference.

The important distinction between the two aside from their factual basis is which one is being referred to when the phrase “Russian meddling” is used. It would be completely disingenuous to factual accuracy to include the latter theory in “Russian meddling” when it is more widely described as “Russian collaboration”. So it’s important to understand that any reference to the theory of U.S. persons collaborating with Russia in the former fact of “Russian Meddling” is an attempt to convolute the discussion out of context. Meaning, when we’re discussing “Russian meddling” we’re not talking about the accusation of Trump colluding with Russia but rather the efforts of Russia to meddle in our society.

The goal of convolution is to use two connected but distinctly different issues indistinguishable from one another in order to confuse the reader by making the issue too complex to easily comprehend and thus, making it easy for logical mistakes to be made in the readers comprehension. It is a direct attempt to deceive. A knowing and intentional attempt to deceive someone is a lie. So let’s see how many there are in this assessment of Trump’s statement.

Now that we’ve set the stage for understanding what’s being discussed, let’s look at the preceding event that triggered the discussion. Politico asserts that:

The indictments of 13 Russians detailing how they used Facebook and Twitter to undercut Hillary Clinton and promote President Donald Trump spurred a flurry of tweets from Trump over the weekend.

On it’s face, this may seem like an unbiased, factual statement. However, it’s loaded with bias from the beginning by excluding basic, important and significant information. It’s a lie of omission that would significantly impact the reader’s comprehension of the events impacts on both the former fact (Russian meddling) and the latter theory (Russian collusion).

13 indictments were handed down. However, they were not limited to the use of Facebook and Twitter to undercut Hillary Clinton and promote Donald Trump. What is excluded, and is of great significance, is that they were also organized, in opposition of Trump both before and after the election. Excluding this equalizing fact is a lie of omission (Lie #1). Most significantly, the majority of advertising money was spent in opposition of Trump after the election and that rallies were organized both in favor of and in opposition to Trump on the same day, in the same city, which contradicts the entire premise of the presented assertion (Lie #2). This gross mischaracterization is promotes the idea, as an accepted fact, that Trump won the election because of Russia which infers credibility of the latter theory of collusion. However, the indictment itself, explicitly states that there is no evidence that there was any impact on the outcome of the election (Lie #3).

The second factual misrepresentation is that the indictments are what spurred the Tweet by Trump which they site. However, it is more likely to be accurate to say that the mischaracterization of the indictments by the press themselves, as is highlighted above, is what spurred Trump’s Tweets. Regardless, they provide no evidence to support the assertion that the indictments themselves were responsible for spurring Trump’s tweets directly. This is a factually unsupported claim (Lie #4).

Now, Trump claimed:

“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election,” Trump wrote Feb. 18. “I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

Before I move on to analyzing Politico’s analysis, let’s stop and look at what Trump said, since it’s the focus of the debate here.

Trump makes four separate claims here.

  1. That he never said, “Russia did not meddle in the election“.
  2. That he said, “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.”
  3. The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
  4. The Trump campaign never colluded with Russia

The first two claims are pretty easy things to fact check. He either did or did not say those things. These are objective truth’s, that due to the fact that he’s the President, every word he utters is part of the factual record. So I would expect, the first attempt to discern that his claim is an outright “Pants on fire lie”, would be to provide the evidence of when he did say “Russia did not meddle in the election.” Because a reference of that quote would clearly, and without a doubt identify his lie.

No such claim is made in the entire Politifact assessment of this statement. Greenburg never directly refutes Claim 1, which is the entire focus of his assessment. What he dies instead is attempt to discredit the statement as I will show later.

Claim 2 is an irrefutable fact of the record from the first Presidential debates against Hillary Clinton.

Claim 3 is an assertion by Trump and a clarification of what he means when he says, “hoax”. Meaning that he believes that the latter theory is a hoax. While this can’t be proven as an objective fact, we can presume that he is stating a fact of his meaning, which can’t be refuted since you can’t tell someone else what they mean when they say something.

Claim 4 is an assertion by Trump which, there is currently no factual evidence to support. More importantly, it’s usually difficult if not impossible to prove a negative; that something didn’t happen. Thus, the absence of evidence to the contrary is the only evidence that something did not occur which makes this a known fact which future evidence may change.

Now, I’m not concerned with whether what Trump said is accurate or not other than to discern whether or not the analysis of what he said is being done in an honest way. The lack of this clear refutation of his statement immediately makes me question the method and bias of any analysis of it.

Greenburg begins his attempt to discredit Claim 1 with the following assertion.

Trump might want to focus on collusion, but his blanket denial that he ever questioned Russian meddling runs up against his own words.

This assertion is misleading (Lie #5). The claim that the statement made by Trump is a blanket denial that Trump ever questioned Russian meddling is blatantly false. There is a significant difference between questioning Russian meddling and making the factual claim that “Russia did not meddle.” Also, Trump has not denied questioning Russia’s involvement, which he himself acknowledges having done so, in his quote from the first Presidential debates.

It’s also important to note the context here. The quote Trump provides from his own debates precedes both his Presidency and his classified briefing on the Russian interference in the election as well as over a year prior to the recent indictments. Not knowing all of the facts, he made no assertion as to who was responsible for hacking into the DNC’s computers, which was the context of his conversation. At the time, nobody in the public knew for sure who was responsible for that action and to this day, no public, formal charges have been brought. The facts still remain undetermined in this area, though it is clearly likely it was Russian hackers. However, at the time, it was not as clear. So at the time, what Trump said was factually true.

So assertion #1 by Greenburg that Trump made a blanket denial of Russian meddling remains unproven.

Greenburg then makes assertion #2 but provides two arguments to support his claim.

Early on, Trump treated any mention of Russian interference as an attack on the legitimacy of his victory.

In a May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump said “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” Trump continued in that interview to say, “It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

That statement earned him PolitiFact’s 2017 Lie of the Year.

Greenburg’s first argument for Assertion #2 is that Trump treated any mention of Russian interference as an attack on the legitimacy of his victory. The key here is to understand the hyperbolic nature of this assertion, which is important because it is the very nature of it’s absoluteness, it’s all encompassing scope, that presents Trump in such a negative light. “Any mention” can easily be disproved by any mention to the contrary.

The quote provided is in the context of a discussion regarding the former theory of collusion and not the latter fact of meddling. It is a clear misrepresentation as it involves “Trump and Russia” as being the “made-up story” (e.g. “hoax”). This is consistent with Trump’s assertion rather than supporting the argument that any reference to Russia is a reference to his legitimacy as President.

Moreover, the “It” Trump is referring to, in context, is the “Trump and Russia” hoax not the Russian meddling. Again, this is an attempt to convolute the two issues together and confuse the reader.

However, I would note, that one could argue that the attempt by Greenburg here is to create this correlation in the reader because Greenburg is doing the very thing he is accusing Trump of doing, which is to falsely associate the latter fact with the former theory. An assertion that is reinforced by Politifact’s 2017 Lie of the Year (which I think Politifact should have won for having twisted this quote on it’s end last year).

In September 2017, when reports of Russian-backed Facebook ads came out, Trump tweeted, “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?”

Greenburg’s second argument for assertion #2 is that the above statement proves his point. While it does prove that Trump sometimes, often or even frequently does redirect Russian interference to a defense of his Presidency, one could argue that this is the normal response to the convolution of the issue by the media itself. It is convenient to accuse someone of something and then complain about their denial of the accusation. However, this does not reinforce in any way the principle assertion that Trump denies Russia meddled; in fact it confirms his belief that they did. Lastly, note the reference to “Russia hoax”, as the actual ads on Facebook promulgated the idea that Trump was collaborating with Russia. Trump himself clearly identifies the latter theory as being part of the former fact here (which is true when one understands that the collusion theory itself is part of the Russian meddling and that those promoting the theory are actually themselves unwitting or knowingly supporting the Russian meddling.).

When the Washington Post reported in December 2016 that the CIA had concluded that the Russians wanted to boost Trump’s chances, Trump rejected it.

“We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College,” he said on Fox News Sunday on Dec. 11, 2016. “I guess the final numbers are now at 306. She’s down to a very low number. No, I don’t believe that at all.”

The third claim to support assertion #2 is a false representation to present a statement made by Trump as if it were in response to or in objection to the CIA’s conclusions. Just as is done previously with the current indictments, the conclusions of the CIA regarding wanting to boost Trump’s chances are also misrepresented here. The CIA in fact concluded that it wanted to achieve deligitimizing both candidates as well as undermine the winner with the hopes that Trump would win as he would be the easiest to undermine post election making this a lie of omission again (Lie #7). The date, title and source of the referenced Washington Post article is not provided, making this an unsubstantiated claim (Lie #8) as is any direct reference to Trump rejecting the CIA’s conclusions (Lie #9).

As such, the comments made by Trump from the Fox News Sunday bare no context to the CIA’s statements and simply don’t support assertion #2 in any way (Lie #10).

While assertion #2 can clearly be refuted without any valid supporting evidence, as I’ve already shown it is more easily refuted by even a single mention of Russia interference that lacks treating it as an attack on the legitimacy of Trump’s victory as I originally stated.

“I also support making clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization.” ~ Donald Trump, Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Signing the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, August 2, 2017.

This public statement makes assertion #2 blatantly false (Lie #11) because it is clearly a reference to Russian interference that addresses the overall goals of “subversion and destabilization” which are not mutually exclusive to the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and have broader implications.

Then we come to assertion #3 in an attempt to prove that Trump said Russia did not meddle in the election.

In a December 2016 interview with Time, Trump said two things: He didn’t think Russia meddled, and that it might have.

“I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump said. “That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say ‘oh, Russia interfered.’”

But a moment later he said, “I believe that it could have been Russia and it could have been any one of many other people. Sources or even individuals.”

“I don’t believe they (Russia) interfered” is a pretty close proximity to “Russia didn’t meddle in the election.” but there’s a huge distinction between the two. Keeping in mind that this interview was done only eight days after the election and prior to any classified security briefings on Russia’s actual interference, precedes the publication of the Steele dossier (published January, 10th 2017) and even the public’s knowledge of the extent of Russia’s involvement.

At this point, the only thing the public knew as a fact was that someone had hacked the DNC and, in theory, it was the Russians. So was fully true. His belief, accurate or not, is not the fact but rather his belief (at the time). He also states clearly that while he didn’t believe it was the Russians, it could have been; clearly means that he was not stating the objective fact that they did not do it. This directly refutes the entire premise of the principle assertion that he said they didn’t meddle in the election; yet it’s used as an argument to the contrary (Lie #11).

Not believing something to be true, lacking evidence of it is not stating something didn’t happen as a fact. Assertion #3 is clearly false (Lie #12).

During an overseas trip to Asia in November 2017, Trump spoke of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A reporter asked how Trump brought up the issue of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ ” Trump said. “And I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

Assertion #3 is what I call “The Stretch”. It infers, indirectly, that because Putin denies meddling in the election, Trump’s public statement regarding Putin’s denial is itself a denial of Russian meddling in the election. It is often misquoted by more dishonest journalists as “I really believe that.”

Asked again if he believed Putin, Trump called several top U.S. intelligence officials “political hacks,” and argued that other matters were more important.

“You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that,” Trump said. “Now, you’re not going to get into an argument. You’re going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.”

Any honest assessment of these statements by Trump takes into account some key phrases that either taken out of context or changed, have an entirely different meaning. The first of which is “when he tells me that, he means it.” What Trump is clearly trying to express here is that Trump believes that Putin is being sincere. However, sincerity and honesty are two different things.

The entire purpose of “plausible deniability” is to afford a political leader the ability to tell lies while being totally and utterly sincere. According to all the current evidence, the the conspiracy to meddle in our election was orchestrated by a Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, on behalf of the Kremlin. However, there’s yet no evidence that Putin had any direct knowledge of the program and was himself involved (though such evidence may be forthcoming). Which would make what Trump has said not only factually accurate but subjectively honest as well, especially at the time he made these statements. This is evident by Trump’s explanation of his choice to redirect the topic with Putin to Syria and Ukraine rather than challenge Putin further on the issue.

The sheer fact that Trump recognized the need to pivot in this discussion shows that he does not in fact agree with Putin because if he did agree with him, there would be nothing to argue over. Having to pivot to avoid the argument directly counters the narrative that this is somehow an example of Trump denying Russian interference in the election (Lie #12)

So there are any number of occasions when Trump has denied Russian meddling across the board. But at other moments, he has acknowledged that it is possible.

Here Greenburg makes assertion #4, which is that the previous claims support his first assertion that Trump made an across the board denial, repeatedly. As I have shown his claims to be false, they don’t support the first assertion (Lie #12).

Then Greenburg makes assertion #5, which is to state that Trump has acknowledged it is possible that Russia meddled in the election. I believe, given my previous arguments that this is factually accurate. However, part of the assertion is the use of “But at other moments”. The use of “But” is to countervail a preceding statement, meaning to offset the previous assertion (#4) by the equally opposing force of an argument. The assertion then becomes that assertion #4 must be true because assertion #5 is true. This is like claiming that a cat likes water but sometimes avoids it, when in fact the opposite is true because the cat doesn’t like water and that’s why it avoids it.

Trump clearly can not both deny and acknowledge Russian meddling in the election. It’s like saying I deny the existence of the sun but I enjoy sunbathing. The acknowledgement of the meddling is a refutation of the idea that he denies it, yet Greenburg is brazen enough to even use this as evidence for his assertion (Lie #13… my personal favorite).

At a January 2017 news conference, he said he thought Russia did hack into the DNC, but he blurred the picture.

“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he said. “But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

Pressed on his apparent acceptance of the intelligence agencies’ findings, Trump backpedaled.

“All right, but you know what, it could have been others also,” Trump said.

Greenburg makes assertion #6 as more of an inferrance rather than any direct assertion, claiming that Trump “blurred the picture” with his statements in regards to Russia’s involvement in the hacking of the DNC servers in the January news conference. This is an outright false assertion (Lie #14). Trump clearly does not “blur” the picture. He emphatically states “I think it was Russia”. He ads, that we also get hacked by other countries and people, which is an absolute objective fact as China has or attempted to hack into nearly every governmental system we have. This is not a blurring of the picture. The reality of foreign involvement in our electoral system is that Russia isn’t the only player in town and other governments such as North Korea, Iran, China, as well as organizations do much of the same thing in a much larger and ongoing cyber-war against the U.S. That’s more accurate clarity not less.

Our Ruling: Trump said that he “never said that Russia did not meddle in the election.”

In reality, he called the matter a “made-up story,” and a “hoax.” He has said that he believes Russian President Putin’s denial of any Russian involvement. He told Time, “I don’t believe they (Russia) interfered.”

Even when he has acknowledged the possibility that the Russians interfered, he has added that it could have been other countries or even individuals.

Trump’s denial doesn’t match what he has actually said.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

The final conclusion of Greenburg’s analysis is a summation of fourteen different lies with a few extra on top.

The conclusion that Trump called the matter a made up story and a hoax, is a convolution of the former issue of Russian meddling and the latter theory of Russian collusion. Trump called the collusion theory a made up story and a hoax, that there is no question of, however he has not called the latter meddling of Russian in the election either of those things. To assert that Trump has made such a statement is a bold faced lie (#15).

There have been many occasions where Trump has acknowledged the possibility of Russian interference without adding that other’s could have been involved. To suggest that this, in conclusion, is always true is another bold faced lie (#16).

Trump’s denial (that he didn’t say “Russia did not meddle in the election”) does in fact match up with what he has said. To assert that it does not is a gross misrepresentation of the facts supported by only lies (Lie #17).

Concluding Trump lied in his statement “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election” is factually disputable and to present it as the truth is a lie (Lie #18).

My conclusion is that John Greenburg and by extension, Politico, is intentionally lying, misleading and dishonest in their analysis. I believe it is important to note that these misrepresentations of the truth are repeated by nearly every mainstream news outlet almost ad-infinitum in one form or another. There are two principle effects of these lies. The first is to support the very theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in order to delegitimize both’s Trump’s presidency as well as undermine our confidence in the electoral system. The second is to allow leftists and Democrats to use this distrust as political leverage against Trump and Republicans during the mid-term elections and throughout his presidency.

This serves the principle goal of Russia’s meddling in our election, which, as the recent indictment states is to “sow discord” in our politics and society.

To me, that sounds like an open, brazen attempt to support the Russian campaign against the President and our country. To publicly and brazenly misrepresent the truth in a way that benefits our enemies is to collaborate willingly with our enemies in an information war against our nation.

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2148.)

While I’ll leave it up to you to come to your own conclusion, that looks a lot like adhering to their enemies, giving them aid (in an information war) and comfort and might be subject to the charge of treason.

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