With Attorney General, William Barr, going back to the beginning of how the Trump-Russia investigation began, I’ve spent time thinking about the beginning of the 2016 race, back in 2015. Last week, Howard Stern began doing interviews to promote his new book and discussing his relationship with Donald Trump over the years. Stern made a comment stating he believed Trump’s 2016 run for president began as a publicity stunt. I wrote a lot of blog posts along the way, so I’m rereading some of those old 2015 blog posts and also old news articles.
Howard Stern, who has interviewed Trump many times over the years, recently stated that he believes Trump doesn’t enjoy being President and that Trump entered the race as a publicity stunt for his Reality TV career and business. I happen to agree with Stern on this point. Even the Michael Cohen revelation that Trump was still pursuing a Trump-Moscow deal while campaigning for president lends weight, not that Trump was colluding with Russia to steal the election, but that Trump was planning for his personal business after the election. He expected Hillary to win. Another glaring red flag that Trump didn’t expect to win the election was he had made no real plans for staffing and the transition. The oddest aspect of Trump’s win in 2016 were the initial videos of Trump on election night. He did not look happy; he looked pensive and uneasy.
Here are two excerpts from recent Stern interviews:
Stern, who has hosted Trump on his radio show for years, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air in full on Friday that he has “no doubt” it was a publicity stunt. Stern told Cooper that he has “inside information” that Trump started out using rumors that he would run for president as a public relations tactic when he was promoting his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal.””
“Stern also backed up his statement that Trump did not actually want to be president by noting he was hanging around Mar-a-Lago with Trump and his team when the run was being plotted.
“I know people who orchestrated some of these things,” Stern said. “I was at Mar-a-Lago around when it was announced that Donald was going to run for president, and like everyone else, I thought, Ha-ha-ha. So, knowing Donald, I can tell you with some assurance that I don’t believe that he thought anyone would buy in. Lo and behold, people did. But I’m pretty sure that there was no intention of actually being president.””
Donald Trump began an exploratory committee March 18, 2015 and he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. Between those two dates, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were reported to have had a phone conversation. Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy April 12, 2015. So, there were Bill Clinton and Donald Trump having a phone conversation in late May 2015, after Hillary Clinton had announced her candidacy in April. Another interesting date in this 2015 timeline is Jeb Bush announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015 – the day before Trump entered the race.
Let’s throw in another 2015 date:
“A March 2, 2015 New York Times article broke the story that the Benghazi panel had discovered that Clinton exclusively used her own private email server rather than a government-issued one throughout her time as Secretary of State, and that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts as required by law. ”
So, in early 2015 the Clintons were dealing with the email “controversy”, is how Wikipedia frames it ( not a “scandal”), guess that’s about like Loretta Lynch insisting Comey refer to it as a “matter”, not a criminal investigation…
Hillary entered the 2016 race April 12, 2015, Trump and Bill Clinton had a phone call in late May 2015 and Trump entered the race the day after Jeb Bush entered on June 16, 2015. Jeb was perceived as the biggest threat to Hillary Clinton and he became Trump’s #1 target, from the beginning. Even Trump’s sideshow entry into the race was designed to steal Jeb’s thunder.
By August 2015, plenty of questions began to swirl about Trump’s campaign, especially about the vast amount of free media afforded to Trump over other GOP candidates in the crowded GOP field. So, what was going on with the media? FOX, CNN, MSNBC, the three major cable networks, turned into The Trump Show channels, 24/7 during the beginning months of the GOP primary in 2015. The Trump free media blitz in those beginning months extended to print media too. Here’s a Washington Post article from August 5, 2015:
“Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.”
The WaPo piece has Clinton spokespeople and Trump spokespeople offering differing details about how the call originated and the subject of the call:
“Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.
Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.”
Both camps even offer differing accounts about how the call came about:
““Mr. Trump reached out to President Clinton a few times. President Clinton returned his call in late May,” a Clinton employee said. “While we don’t make it a practice to discuss the president’s private conversations, we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”
One Trump adviser said Clinton called Trump, but the adviser did not provide specifics about how the call came about.”
Trump began his campaign by hurling ad hominem attacks at his opponents, to steal the stage and neutralize his opponents. He had no real policies, just hollow slogans. Trump showed up for the primary debates loaded with petty smears prepared, but did no policy prep to be prepared to actually debate any issues. Everything about his performance looked like a publicity stunt. However, it’s these other machinations of the corrupt media, which ran the 24/7 Trump Show giving Trump, estimated to be billions of dollars worth of free media that speaks to vast corruption with the American media colluding to run partisan political spin efforts. These coordinated spin efforts work in tandem with public opinion polling, to manufacture public opinion in America. When the media hypes (spins) stories, those stories in turn result in manufactured public opinion, which reflects the spin hype.
The rise of Donald Trump in 2015 was the result of not only a populist mood, discontent within the Republican base with Washington politics as usual, it had the massive boost of billions of dollars of free liberal and conservative media selling Trump.
Billions of dollars of free media promotion of Trump’s GOP insurgency speaks to massive media corruption.
Back in October 2015, I wrote a blog post: A triangulation theory?:
“Do you ever let your mind wander and think about “what ifs”? Well, as Donald Trump continues to keep the GOP race in disarray and feeds the worst bigots, xenophobes and racists at the base, well, I wonder, would the Clinton political machine be able to orchestrate a more perfect triangulation than to have far-left kook, Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right. Trump’s single-handedly throwing the election to Hillary with his “deport them all”, which threw the Hispanic vote in the toilet for the GOP, if he is the candidate, then it was the attacks on women, or how about his “closing mosques” comment yesterday? That would leave the Queen sitting snugly in the “middle” – calm, grandmotherly and looking “moderate”…”
Stern stating he was hanging around Mar-a-lago when Trump announced he was running and Stern knows people involved in orchestrating this, as Stern describes it “a publicity stunt” reminded me of a National Review piece from March 3, 2016:
“Last August, Moonves even foreshadowed the oncoming media-induced Trump when, in a CBS quarterly-earnings conference call, he declared, reportedly to applause: “The coming election cycle will clearly ‘Trump’ anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Perhaps this would be a good place to mention that Les Moonves is also a self-declared Clinton friend. In 2001, CBS quoted Moonves as acknowledging, “I’ve had numerous chats with President Clinton over the past few years. . . . He is a friend of mine.”
Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most: the Clintonistas of network media.
Moonves is signaling very clearly that his intention is to saturate the market with Trump, which translates to Web traffic and eventually to votes. He’s not interested in what conservative candidates have to say policy-wise or politically. The casual Kardashian voter isn’t attuned to an endorsement by Jeff Sessions or a hashtag on Twitter. They are paying attention to outlets such as ET!, TMZ, Inside Edition, the CBS evening news, CNN, and MSNBC, where Trump’s quotes about shooting voters on Fifth Avenue are played ad nauseam.
Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most — the Clintonistas of network media. Not only are these people generally hostile to conservatism. They also are not content to simply sit on the sidelines and objectively report what candidates say and do.”
Along the 2016 trail Trump built a loyal fan base and his poll numbers grew (along with his ego), but the mainstream media, all of those people Trump believed were his friends, pivoted in late 2015/early 2016 to unleash the Clinton-orchestrated massive smear campaign to bury Trump (their general election strategy). It would be interesting to know which Clinton-aligned mainstream media bigwigs were hanging around Mar-a-lago or involved in that 2015 “orchestration” Stern recently mentioned.
Trump’s constant attacks on the mainstream media, especially calling CNN and MSNBC “fake news” don’t seem to me like Trump the authoritarian trying to silence the media. From the beginning, it has sounded to me like Trump lashing out at his former friends in the media, who encouraged him to run, gave him fawning coverage in the beginning months of his campaign in 2015, then turned on him. Those former friends were, like Trump, old Clinton friends… How much Trump knew about Bill Clinton’s Pied Piper strategy (his classic triangulation strategy), I can’t say. However, I can say the media corruption of running partisan spin efforts continues unabated with the mainstream media and FOX head honchos running this endless scorched earth American media spin information war.
It would be interesting to know which media bigwigs Trump was consulting in 2015 about a presidential run and who these people are Stern says were involved in orchestrating, what he refers to as – a publicity stunt. However, like all the rest of the Clinton, Trump and media corruption in 2016, none of them will ever tell the truth. It would also be interesting to know the truth about the Bill Clinton-Donald Trump phone call in May 2015, but here again, that is as likely as Loretta Lynch ever telling the truth about what was discussed in her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in June 2016.
These media bigwigs, most of them overtly aligned with the big partisan political factions, control all of the information highways in America…
Aren’t we so lucky in America to have a “free” press…