Reports broke Wednesday that Donald Trump changed things up in his campaign team, following accusations against his campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s name was found on an off-the-books ledger from a pro-Russia political party he used to work for in the Ukraine. Manafort has also been linked to illegal foreign lobbying; he reportedly helped that same political party transfer over $2.2 million to two prominent Washington lobbying firms 4 years ago. He helped the political party cover their tracks and hide the fact that they were trying to influence US politics.
Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he had hired controversial Conservative news site, Breitbart News’ executive chairman Steve Bannon to run his campaign. Manafort was not fired but it is unclear what his role will be following this change.
Bannon and Breitbart have been strongly pro-Trump since Bannon took over the site in 2012. It has become essentially a Trump cheerleading squad, moving away from what Republicans’ describe as the original intent of the site, as being a sharp, anti-establishment news source.
This is a site that is more right-wing than Fox News.
This means that Trump is not trying to restrain his behavior as most GOP members desperately wish he would; he will likely become more extreme and ridiculous, particularly in targeting Democrat Hillary Clinton. Bannon is particularly fond of the Bill Clinton sex scandal, blatantly ignoring allegations that Trump raped his ex wife, the fac;t that he has been married something like 4 dozen times, the fact that he doesn’t like American woman, and the fact that he likes to make jokes about sleeping with is own daughter.
Bannon and Breitbart lost their spokesman Kurt Bardella after two years of representation because of their handling of an assault on one of their reporters by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The reporter, Michelle Fields, now works for HuffPost, and several other staffers quit when the company sided with Trump’s campaign.
Former editor Ben Shapiro accused Bannon of being vindictive and nasty, and said the site has become decidedly more white supremacist since Bannon’s take-over.
Trump has been alternating between railing against “the Media” and Hillary Clinton and adding Bannon to his roster is a clear indication that he’s happy to continue that strategy.
In other news, Trump took his “Make America Great Again” sentiment further by speaking nostalgically about an era when slavery was still legal and prolific in the United States. Then he tried to entice some black voters in a characteristically ironic and ignorant move. He also sided strongly with police in regards to police brutality, racial tension and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Finally, in an essay for HuffingtonPost, Michael Moore has accused Trump of never actually wanting to be president in the first place. He writes authoritatively, even indicating that there are people who can back him up on what he alleges are facts proving this.
His allegations have to do with Trump’s show “The Apprentice.” Reportedly Trump started seriously bandying about the idea of running for president in order to leverage more money from NBC for hosting the reality show. When that didn’t work, Moore alleges, he figured actually running for president was the only way to go.
He announced on June 16, 2015 that he was doing it, with no staff or strategy and not even a prepared speech. That speech was the origin of the infamous “Mexicans are rapists” comments and far from offering the real estate mogul more money, NBC fired him for being offensive.
Trump had other networks in negotiation for the show so despite being, as Moore puts it, “stunned,” he kept going in his effort to get all the money.
Moore says the actual job of president has no appeal to Trump. “The job of being President is WORK and BORING and you have to live in the GHETTO of Washington, DC, in a SMALL 200 year-old house that’s damp and dreary and has only TWO floors!” Moore alleges that Trump never expected to have much support or win any primaries.
Then, Moore says, he did and everything changes. “Trump fell in love with himself all over again” and Moore says he forgot why he’d started running in the first place. The power and position appealed to Trump, he could get on any show to be interviewed, something other celebrities apparently cannot just do.
Moore then points to Trump’s acceptance speech after winning the nomination, calling it downright depressing. “He was going to have to work.”
Moore then gets to his point: Trump is sabotaging himself. This theory has been thrown around by other media outlets, bloggers, and myself on Facebook. Moore says that Trump is not “as dumb or crazy as he looks” and that the “meltdown” of the past few weeks was, in fact strategic. Moore believes that Trump does not want to do this job, that he never intended to, and that he is desperately trying to get out of having to.
Moore ends with a “Postscript” addressed directly to “Don, if you’re reading this, do it soon. Give your pathetic party a chance to pick up the pieces and nominate Ryan or Romney so they can be the ones to lose the White House, the Senate, the House and yes, praise Jesus and the Notorious RBG, the Supreme Court. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re only the logical conclusion to a party that has lived off the currency of racism and bigotry and fellating the 1 percent for decades, and now their Trump has come home to roost.”
I believe him. If it’s not that, then Trump has an actual mental health problem, some combination of an ego disorder and early-stage dementia, perhaps. I’ve been saying from the get-go that there’s no way there is seriousness behind his run or his behavior. He’s playing someone; maybe he’s playing the racist and bigoted Republicans, gullibly following a heinous leader. Maybe he’s playing all of us to get his friend, Clinton, elected against some pretty strong odds. And maybe, as Moore alleges, he tried to play the networks to get the deal he felt he deserved and it got out of hand. And too proud and too far in to admit it, he has to resort to tearing himself limb from limb, hoping that the thing implodes itself somehow.
Don. What Michael said. For the love of every god ever invented, please. Just. Do. It.