Fact Check: Four Major Holes In Rep. Adam Schiff’s Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory

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By Aaron Klein

On Monday, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on a House intelligence committee, delivered his opening statements at a hearing where he laid out the case for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Schiff repeatedly raised questions about alleged collusion between Moscow and members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Here are four serious problems with Schiff’s charges, which include wild conspiracy theories and heavy reliance on a questionable source:

1 – Throughout his opening statement, Schiff repeatedly relied on information provided by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who was reportedly paid by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans to investigate Trump and was the author of a controversial, largely discredited 35-page dossier on Trump.

Schiff ignores the fact that Mike Morell, who served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and twice as acting director, has questioned Steele’s credibility. Morell currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Beacon was founded by Phillippe Reines, who served as Communications Adviser to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. From 2009-2013, Reines also served in Clinton’s State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications. Reines is the managing director of Beacon.

Here are a few of the times Schiff openly cited Steele in his committee speech to support various anti-Trump charges involving Russia. Indeed, many of the charges seem to center on Steele:

*According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin (SEH-CHIN), CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft. Sechin is reported to be a former KGB agent and close friend of Putin’s.

*According to Steele’s Russian sources, Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company. According to Reuters, the sale of a 19.5 percent share in Rosneft later takes place, with unknown purchasers and unknown brokerage fees.

*Also, according to Steele’s Russian sources, the Trump campaign is offered documents damaging to Hillary Clinton, which the Russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability, like Wikileaks.

*In the middle of July, Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager and someone who was long on the payroll of Pro-Russian Ukrainian interests, attends the Republican Party convention. Carter Page, back from Moscow, also attends the convention. According to Steele, it was Manafort who chose Page to serve as a go-between for the Trump campaign and Russian interests. Ambassador Kislyak, who presides over a Russian embassy in which diplomatic personnel would later be expelled as likely spies, also attends the Republican Party convention and meets with Carter Page and additional Trump advisers JD Gordon and Walid Phares. It was JD Gordon who approved Page’s trip to Moscow. Ambassador Kislyak also meets with Trump campaign national security chair and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions would later deny meeting with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearing.

*Is it a coincidence that the Russian gas company Rosneft sold a 19 percent share after former British Intelligence Officer Steele was told by Russian sources that Carter Page was offered fees on a deal of just that size? Is it a coincidence that Steele’s Russian sources also affirmed that Russia had stolen documents hurtful to Secretary Clinton that it would utilize in exchange for pro-Russian policies that would later come to pass?

NBC News reported on Morell’s questions about Steele’s credibility:

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. …

Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.

Regarding Steele’s dossier, Morell stated, “Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t.”

Morell charged the dossier “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.”

Morell continued:

And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, “Hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,” because they want to get paid some more.

I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.

2 – There is no evidence that so-called fake news actually influenced the election, and Schiff fails to make the case that Russia was behind the release of emails from Democratic officials and operatives.

Schiff charged:

While at first, the hacking may have been intended solely for the collection of foreign intelligence, in mid-2016, the Russians “weaponized” the stolen data and used platforms established by their intel services, such as DC Leaks and existing third party channels like Wikileaks, to dump the documents.

The stolen documents were almost uniformly damaging to the candidate Putin despised, Hillary Clinton, and by forcing her campaign to constantly respond to the daily drip of disclosures, the releases greatly benefited Donald Trump’s campaign.

None of these facts is seriously in question and they are reflected in the consensus conclusions of all our intelligence agencies.

Firstly, there has been no concrete evidence linking Russia to Wikileaks or DC Leaks.  Wikileaks has denied any ties to Russia and has claimed that Moscow was not the source for hacked Democratic emails.

Second, data shows so-called fake news stories did not significantly impact the 2016 presidential election. Even the Poynter Institute, the group helping Facebook determine whether certain news stories are “disputed,” has stated that it is worth considering the possibility that “fake news” stories did not sway the election.

Poynter’s Chief Media Writer James Warren reported on a study concluding that while “fake news” stories favoring Trump far surpassed those in favor of Clinton, such stories didn’t significantly affect the outcome of the election. “Did fake news help elect Trump? Not likely, according to new research,” was the title of the Poynter article.

The study, titled, “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election,” was co-authored by economists Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford University and Hunt Allcott of New York University. The paper utilized web browsing data, a database of so-called fake news stories, and a 1,200-person online survey about news trends.

Warren reported on the survey results:

In sum, they conclude that the role of social media was overstated, with television remaining by far the primary vehicle for consuming political news. Just 14 percent of Americans deemed social media the primary source of their campaign news, according to their research.

In addition, while fake news that favored Trump far exceeded that favoring Clinton, few Americans actually recalled the specifics of the stories and fewer believed them.

“For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads,” they conclude.

Poynter further quoted from the survey itself:

In summary, our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans. For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake news story would need to have convinced about 0.7 percent of Clinton voters and non-voters who saw it to shift their votes to Trump, a persuasion rate equivalent to seeing 36 television campaign ads.

In his speech, Schiff later conceded alleged Russian intervention may not have been a determinative factor in Trump’s victory. He states: “We will never know whether the Russian intervention was determinative in such a close election. Indeed, it is unknowable in a campaign in which so many small changes could have dictated a different result. More importantly, and for the purposes of our investigation, it simply does not matter.”

3 – Schiff pushed the conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign had the Republican Party platform changed on the issue of Ukraine to aid Russian interests.

He stated:

Just prior to the convention, the Republican Party platform is changed, removing a section that supports the provision of “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine, an action that would be contrary to Russian interests. Manafort categorically denies involvement by the Trump campaign in altering the platform. But the Republican Party delegate who offered the language in support of providing defensive weapons to Ukraine states that it was removed at the insistence of the Trump campaign. Later, JD Gordon admits opposing the inclusion of the provision at the time it was being debated and prior to its being removed.

The charge, which comes mostly from a Washington Post opinion piece, remains so unproven that even the left-leaning PolitiFact so-called fact checker failed to reach a judgement on the issue. “So did Trump and his campaign influence the change?” asked PolitiFact. “It’s hard to know for sure, and that’s why we’re avoiding putting this question on the Truth-O-Meter. But the evidence does suggest that Trump’s campaign was involved.”

The entire issue revolved around one platform committee member, a Ted Cruz supporter, who wanted to use language calling for the U.S. to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military. Instead the platform eventually called for “appropriate assistance” to Ukraine – which leaves open the possibility of providing “lethal defensive weapons” – and called for “greater coordination with NATO defense planning.”

That was enough for the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin to pen an opinion piece titled “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow used the tidbit to claim on television that “something weird” happened regarding “that Ukraine and Russia thing” on the platform. She claimed the Trump campaign “jumped right up on that and they insisted that that plank only, that one, had to be taken out, that language could not stand.”

Writing at the Washington Examiner, media critic Byron York noted:

Missing from all the talk is what the Republican platform actually said before it was allegedly “gutted” by Trump. What did the original draft of the platform say about Russia and Ukraine? Was it, in fact, changed? If so, how?

As it turns out, a look at the original draft of the platform — which has never been released publicly — shows that it always had tough language on Russian aggression in Ukraine. And not only did that language stay in the final platform — nothing was taken out — it was actually strengthened, not weakened, as a result of events at the convention. …

Not only that, the later, final platform contained a few additional words on Russia and Ukraine that weren’t in the original draft. To the first passage cited above, after “from the Baltic to the Caucasus,” the GOP platform committee added this:

We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.

4 – To support Russian interference charges, Schiff relies on CrowdStrike, the third-party company utilized by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency never had direct access to the DNC’s servers to confirm the hacking. “Well, we never got direct access to the machines themselves,” he stated. “The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.”

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers also stated the NSA never asked for access to the DNC hardware. “The NSA didn’t ask for access. That’s not in our job.”

As Breitbart News reported, CrowdStrike, led by a Russian expat, was financed to the tune of $100 million from a funding drive in 2015 led by Google Capital.

Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

CrowdStrike is a California-based cybersecurity technology company co-founded by experts George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch.

Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.  The Council takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.

The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department, and NATO ACT.

Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George SorosOpen Society Foundations.

Regarding CrowdStrike, Schiff stated in his speech: “But leading private cyber security firms including CrowdStrike, Mandiant, and ThreatConnect review the evidence of the hack and conclude with high certainty that it was the work of APT28 and APT29, who were known to be Russian intelligence services.”

‘Immigration is a privilege, not a right,’ Trump tells Merkel in first meeting

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US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have met for the first time in Trump’s time in office, discussing many issues on which the two have disagreed in the past, including immigration, defense spending and free trade.

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“Our two nations share much in common, including a desire for security, prosperity and peace,” Trump said. He praised Germany’s training of an industrial workforce, including “harnessing the full potential of women,” as an example the US can look to as it seeks to rebuild its industrial base.

On NATO, which Trump has heavily criticized because he feels that other members “don’t pay their fair share,” the president extended an olive branch, but repeated his demands for other countries to step up.

“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO as well as need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense,” Trump said. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from the past years, and it’s very unfair to the US.”

He also thanked Merkel for her commitment to increasing defense spending, as well as for her leadership in supporting NATO in Afghanistan, at the cost of the lives of more than 50 German soldiers, and as member of anti-ISIS coalition.

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“I thanked her for leadership, along with the French president, in resolving the conflict in Ukraine, where we ideally seek a peaceful solution,” Trump said.

Pivoting to immigration, a topic on which the two leaders have vastly different views, Trump said the focus must be on national security.

“Immigration is a privilege, not a right, and the safety of our citizens must always come first,” he said, adding that the US will respect historic institutions and the “right of free people to manage their own destiny.”

Our alliance is a “foundation of a very hopeful future,” he said.

*

Merkel reiterated the points of agreement with Trump, including saying that Germany also needs to increase military spending as the country continues to work in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

“We had a very good first exchange of views,” she said.

She praised Trump for the US commitment to the Minsk process on Ukraine. “There has to be a safe and secure solution for Ukraine, but relationship with Russia has to improve as well,” she added.

Merkel agreed with Trump that “trade has to be fairer, has to be a win-win situation,” adding that  “globalization ought to be shaped in an open-minded way, but also in a fair way.” For his part, the US president stressed that he doesn’t “believe in isolationist policy,” but rather wants free trade as long as it is also fair to the US.

At the same time, Merkel called on the US to “come back to the table and continue [TTIP] talks,” referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is among the free-trade deals that Trump wants to get away from in favor of bilateral agreements.

Merkel argued that the TTIP is, in fact, a bilateral deal because it is only between the US and the European Union. “A free trade agreement with the US has not always been popular in Germany either,” she added.

During the question-and-answer period, Trump discussed the GOP’s American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare. He promised that any Republican lawmakers who had previously opposed the bill for not being conservative enough had come around and would vote for the bill.

He also answered questions about his proposed budget, which calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, saying that the military “will be stronger than ever before, and hopefully we won’t have to use it.”

When asked if he regrets any of his tweets, Trump replied: “Very seldom,” adding that social media allows him to get around the news media when they don’t tell the truth about him. He also joked with Merkel, the target of NSA spying under the Obama administration, saying: “As far as wiretapping by the past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps.”

Trump has repeatedly stood by his accusations that his predecessor wiretapped and otherwise surveilled Trump Tower in New York ahead of the 2016 presidential election. A bipartisan group of lawmakers investigating any wrongdoing by the Obama administration when it comes to spying on Trump have disputed these claims, saying there is no evidence.

 

Senators ask Tillerson to probe US ‘fomenting unrest’ in other countries

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Six Republican senators are demanding a State Department review of US taxpayer money being spent on meddling in foreign countries’ politics via NGOs run by billionaire George Soros, citing Macedonia and Albania as the most recent examples.

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In a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, the lawmakers express concern over reports that US foreign aid has been channeled to support “left-leaning parties” and the “progressive agenda” in places like Albania and Macedonia. The two Balkans countries are just “timely examples,” with reports of similar US meddling coming from Africa and Latin America as well, the senators wrote.

The letter was signed by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), David Perdue (R-Georgia) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana).

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“This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the US government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles,”said Lee, adding that “this behavior is unacceptable and must be halted immediately.”

As examples of US interference, the senators cite the situation in Macedonia, a landlocked Balkans country once a part of Yugoslavia and currently in the throes of a political crisis featuring a restless ethnic Albanian minority.

“We have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the US Mission there has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring left-leaning political groups over others,” the letter says. “We find these reports discouraging and, if true, highly problematic.”

Macedonia currently has a caretaker government, as no party has being able to form a majority coalition following the December 2016 election. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (VMRO-DPMNE) is accusing the US of pushing an alliance between Zoran Zaev’s Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (BDI).

Earlier this month, President Gjorge Ivanov vetoed the proposed coalition between Zaev and ethnic Albanian parties, on grounds that it could potentially “destroy” the country. As a condition of their participation in the government, Albanians are insisting on a seven-point platform – co-written by governments in Albania and Kosovo – that includes a demand to make Albanian an official language in Macedonia.

US meddling in Albania “appears to follow a pattern of alarming activity in this volatile region,” the senators wrote, pointing to Soros organizations in that country promoting specific reforms ahead of the June 18 general election, which the opposition is threatening to boycott as unfair. Such activity is even more concerning “in light of international reports of increasing government corruption in Albania and the renewed power of drug trafficking and organized criminal groups in the country,” the letter said.

Back in 2011, Soros himself wrote about unrest in Albania to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying, “My foundation in Tirana is monitoring the situation closely and can provide independent analysis of the crisis.”

The new Trump administration should seize the moment “to review how our tax dollars are being utilized in order to halt activities that are fomenting political unrest, disrespecting national sovereignty and civil society, and ultimately undermining our attempts to build beneficial international relationships,” says the letter.

The six senators are asking for an investigation that would review “all funds associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of US entities involved in such activities.”

Soros’s Open Society Foundation, along with USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, have been accused of fomenting “color revolutions” from Serbia in 2000 to Ukraine in 2014, in order to install in power governments friendly to Washington.

Russian hackers play phone prank on fool Democrat Maxine Waters

Russian hackers called US Democratic representative Maxine Waters and informed her that she is speaking to Ukraine’s prime minister Vladimir Groysman and that Russian army is now occupying all of Ukraine. Also, from this conversation Maxine learned that Russian hackers interfered in elections of a country called Limpopo and installed their puppet president there by the name of Aibolit.

Dianne Foster

Pinned by HX Video
Maxine waters is may be committing an impeachable act by talking to a foreign countries representatives when she is not part of the executive branch or the state department. This phone call may actually be grounds for treason. It is hilarious that she is so ignorant and that she does not even know that there is no Limpopo or Gabon, or that she is being trolled.
Michael G

How does this woman continue to get elected? Seriously!
SomethinJustAintRight

This negro is not even mediocre. She could not get a job without her skin color, like most ‘groids.
Ivan Petrov

Hello from Crimea! Freedom to Limpopo)))
Brood Clip

This is great, she is so utterly clueless. I hope this goes global. Great work exposing this leech for what she is.
Davetex D

Waters is by far the dumbest person in government. Sooo sad for America. She also thinks Russia invaded Korea. Numbskull.
John Sullivan

+Don Blankenship …. It is TRUE Maxine did state about Korea invading … Maxine has the brain power of a squirrel.
Chris

She totally sunk McCain lol….. she just told the world that McCain is working against the President basically. Christ what an absolutely idiot she is….. TOTAL idiot
rongermanjr

fucking idiot, she needs to be put out of our misery
Будаев Вадим

Today we all are Limpopos MacCain(C)

*(FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – ‘Muslim Patrol’ – Sharia Vigilantes in London

Africa for the Africans, Asia for the Asians, White countries for everyone. Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY White country and ONLY into White countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third-worlders and “assimilating” with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY White country and ONLY White countries to “assimilate” with all those non-Whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-Blacks were brought into EVERY Black country and ONLY into Black countries?
How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?
And how long would it take any sane Black man to notice this and what kind of psycho Black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the White race, liberals and respectable conservatives will agree that I am a NaziwhowantstocloneHitler.

kikijay Septon

fuck Islam!!!!!!!!
jemjean100

Come to armed and ready U.S. and try this crap.
milpitas1985

That’s why they have been trying to take our arms! They want more muslims here
koolhandluke59

FUCK ISLAM and the goats you rode in on…..
MNIETEK moje

lazi 2 pedalow i ludzi straszy pedofilstwo posrane sram zadkim gownem na tych pedalow sunow pedofila allaha potomka wielblada i oslicy
Gavin Evans

religion of peace..my arse
Wieslaw Paleta

fucking muslims pussy.Show me your patrol in Poland

George Soros Is Funding ANTIFA: Here’s How

Published on Feb 14, 2017

George Soros Is Funding ANTIFA: Here’s How

Neeboopsh

soros should have been ovened.
Jon the Bastard

George Soros trying to bring down America is the only conspiracy theory I’m starting to believe
IgNasty86

Jon the Bastard … I have a very similar sentiments. It’s well established this guy has made money off economic collapse and calamity. Just set that aside for a moment. A man who doesn’t believe in sovereignty of nations probably has ill intentions. He wants no free range people in any country. I didn’t know this cock dick was a repo man of sorts for the Nazis.
Christopher Das

This is bone-chilling, George Soros makes Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin look like amateurs.
headshotmaster138

As a former anarchist and now libertarian, antifa must be a terrorist group on the terror watchlist.
RandumbNess Gaming

This guy makes the best videos. He is going to explode soon. This was very well done. Thank you
Smoothbluehero

I literally despise antifa. Before I thought I might’ve hated blacks, maybe protestants or atheists or maybe liberals. But no, what I felt before wasn’t hatred. What I feel about Antifa. That is true hatred. I would love to see these people run over by cars.
Kevin Hornbuckle

You forgot to mention the Colors Revolutions used by the CIA and Soros to turn out/overthrow leftover communists after the fall of the USSR – which itself was a pseudo-left operation. Recall the puppet Boris Yeltsin? Go back and read about how he came to power and how easily he was disposed of when he became a liability. You could also have a look at the CIA funded labor union in Poland, Solidarity.
IgNasty86

This Soros is like a real life super villain rubbing elbows with the political bobble heads as the useful idiots dance for what they “feel” is for the better. Scary times my friends. It’s shit like this that makes me second guess starting a family. I’m sure many of you guys feel the same. Don’t think that means I’ve lost hope. The wind is blasting both sides of the sail. 10 years ago, the majority of the wind was in one direction. So many are getting the picture.

‘Hitlerization’ of Donald Trump an effort to ‘equate populism with fascism’

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In America, we apply the term ‘Hitler’ to make the aggressor appear like the victim. Certainly, this would be the case in Europe and US foreign policy in terms of Ukraine and Russia, says Patrick Henningsen, geopolitical analyst at 21st Century Wire.com

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There have been many attempts by the mass media and some politicians to vilify US President Donald Trump, including labeling him as Adolf Hitler.

One historian has gone so far as to suggest that some of the US President’s views might have been drawn from Mein Kampf, the autobiographical book by the Nazi Party leader.

RT: In recent months President Trump’s critics haven’t been able to resist this particular comparison. What do you make of that?

Patrick Henningsen: Well, the ‘Hitlerization’ – for the lack of a better term – has become a type of celebrity reporting. In other words, the term has become almost meaningless. It is a kind of comical characterization of someone in the past. There have been many Hitlers. Right now it’ll be Donald Trump; in Europe, it’s Vladimir Putin; Viktor Orban from Hungary has been called Hitler. Anybody who is populist, or leaning nationalist – Nigel Farage, another Hitler; Marine Le Pen, a potential Hitler there, as well.

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And the US has branded many Hitlers recently [Bashar] Assad, another Hitler; [Muammar] Gaddafi… Manuel Noriega. We can go back to the 80’s: Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali. Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine – another Hitler; Slobodan Milosevic… And the list goes on and on.

In the case of America, through the media people are told every day that Trump is threatening their American identity, as it were. So again, the Hitler appropriation is made toward Donald Trump. So it is equating populism with fascism, but then it is not really related to fascism in a historical sense or political sense, and again a label. It doesn’t address National Socialism, which was what Hitler’s party was. Hitler was a fascist.

It all becomes meaningless very quickly. ‘Hitlerization’ – the term has been weaponized. The term fascism has been weaponized. In the case of America, we apply the term ‘Hitler’ to make the aggressor appear like the victim. Certainly, this would be the case in Europe and US foreign policy in terms of Ukraine and Russia. In other words, the US has orchestrated a coup in Kiev: tremendous backing, covert and political to topple an elected government there. But then we’ll use this ‘Hitlerization’ of Vladimir Putin to make it look like Russia was the aggressor when it was the opposite – the West was the aggressor and destabilized Ukraine and created this situation, which it is today.

RT: The mainstream media hasn’t pulled any punches when it comes to President Trump’s policies from front pages depicting him beheading the Statue of Liberty to news pundits pondering the impact of his assassination. Do you think people buy into these stories?

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PH: In terms of the people who believe or buy into the Hitler label, or buy into the fascist label, as it is universally applied these days in a kind of commercial sense, there is validity to it. In other words, they do believe Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Hitler, because the media tells them that every day. And certain politicians are using that as a sort of a term of scorn against Donald Trump. So for them it is very real.

But the reality is when you dig down, and you scrape away all the rhetoric and the hyperbole, we have a President Donald Trump in America now, who is basically courting labor unions. This is the antithesis, some might say, of fascism – certainly something that Hitler didn’t do in his rise to power in Germany. So Trump is basically recapturing a portion of the electorate, in this case you could say the white-working class, but really any working class union people that were basically cast aside by the Democratic Party over the last 20-30 years in favor of an expedite corporate policy, or the corporatization policies that created off-shoring of US jobs, which gave credence to what Trump’s campaign was all about. The media has completely inverted – they have basically turned reality on its head by using these terms like “the next Hitler,” or “Fascism.” The language has been rendered completely meaningless now; it’s just a hyperbolic label.