This came up in the morning thread, but I’m sure it’s emblematic of a pattern we’ll see repeated nonstop until the Trump Error is no more; via WaPo:
LONDON — In a highly unusual move, Britain’s main surveillance agency slapped down allegations that the Obama administration used it to spy on Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, saying the claims were “utterly ridiculous.”
The unit, known as the GCHQ, is the British equivalent of the National Security Agency and usually remains tight-lipped on allegations related to intelligence matters. Its normal practice is to neither confirm nor deny claims.
Not this time.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,” GCHQ said in a statement.
The agency’s public denial followed a contentious press briefing in Washington on Thursday where White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted that Trump stands by his explosive charge that Obama spied on him during the 2016 presidential election. Spicer has, however, attempted to soften Trump’s initial allegation, saying that that Trump’s use of the word “wiretap” was not meant to be taken literally, but to refer to surveillance more generally.
During the briefing, Spicer cited claims made earlier this week on Fox News by Napolitano. The former judge told the broadcaster that sources had informed Fox News that Obama used Britain’s GCHQ so “there’s no American fingerprints on this.”
Trump will never stop spouting absurd, easily disprovable lies, so his minions will continue to craft ridiculous post-hoc rationales for those lies (e.g., the Brits did it!), and the White House will keep trotting Spicer out to disseminate the lies. I hope the media peeps never stop hounding him about it and that our exasperated allies continue to call bullshit when they’re drawn into Trump’s vortex of mendacity.
There are so many scandals and absurdities floating around this defiled, dysfunctional White House at any given moment — issues that in pre-Trump America would have ground a normal administration to a halt until resolved. There are too many for anyone to handle at once, so the media will continue to fixate on One Big Lie at a time. This week, it’s that the marmalade hairball in the Oval Office accused his vastly more popular predecessor of a felony.
I don’t think the Trump people are masterminds who are deliberately distracting us; I believe they are hapless shitlords who are stepping on their own dicks as they lurch from one catastrophic fuckup to another. However, the effect reminds me very much of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack — let’s call it a distributed denial of truth (DDoT) attack.
The DDoT is the effect, but the cause has been clear throughout Trump’s turn in public life: He’s a compulsive liar who cannot admit fault when called on his lies. That was one thing when Trump was merely a loudmouthed crook who bilked rubes and shook down municipalities in the real estate / education scam / name licensing business.
It’s quite another now that he’s got minions entrenched in positions of great power who are willing to squander the international prestige of the United States of America in a lame attempt to clean up after the boss. I try to remain optimistic, but I don’t see how this ends well, to be honest. But hey, at least it’s Friday! Open thread!