IN AN APPARENT effort to make his daily news conferences even more like campaign events than they already are, the White House press office has been packing the briefing room with supporters of President Donald Trump from far-right media outlets who can be relied on to toss him softball questions and initiate attacks on his political rivals.
Trump's happy talk at his daily briefings about the pandemic is so divorced from reality he's having trouble drawing a crowd *at his own golf course.* Here's how absurd these staged events have gotten: https://t.co/NrMvrtYhTb https://t.co/he6qE6U9wD— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) August 15, 2020
Clearly in on the plot, Trump solicited a question each day this week from one of the guests invited by his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, to stand at the back of the room — where representatives of One America News, The Epoch Times and Gateway Pundit compromised the health of reporters by violating social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
Trump Calls on Conspiracy Theorists at Pandemic Briefings https://t.co/QkiEQCISfp— José Luis Aguilar Carbajal (@JosLuis46626426) August 17, 2020
On Monday, Trump called on Chanel Rion, a far-right Republican operative and conspiracy theorist now working as a correspondent for One America News, a San Diego cable channel dedicated to spreading lies about Joe Biden and elderly protesters battered by the police.
Rion gave Trump the opportunity to unleash a familiar riff from his pre-pandemic rallies by suggesting to him that Biden might have been considering President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, Susan Rice, as his running mate because, “she can best cover up a lot of the Obamagate surveillance crimes that have taken place during your campaign.” Trump responded by accusing Obama and Biden of “probably treason.”
The next day, Rion triggered another familiar Trump diatribe by asking for his take on the resignation of Carmen Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle’s police force, after the city council voted to cut her department’s budget. “What does this say about our country?” Rion asked Trump. “And what does this say about the Defund Police movement?” The president replied by repeating the lie that Seattle’s Democratic mayor had let “a radical left group, Antifa and others, take over a big portion of the city.” Read more