Trump’s latest Fox Business interview was an elaborate distraction campaign

President Donald Trump gave an example of his 2020 re-election message with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo in a lengthy interview aired Thursday morning – an interview that amounted to a comprehensive conspiracy-driven attempt to change the subject of the corona virus in his desire to to lock up his political opponents.

That is not to say that the pandemic has not started at all. At the beginning of the interview, Trump again moved the goal posts about what he expects to be the ultimate death toll in the US, saying, “We may lose more than 100,000 there.” But he favorably compared that grim reality to a situation where the federal government took no action at all to slow the spread of the virus, and more than 2 million people died.

Trump has gradually increased his expected death toll as the number of lives lost in the U.S. has increased thanks to the coronavirus. He recently said on May 1 that “hopefully we will be below 100,000 lives lost.” But with nearly 85,000 deaths and the number of daily deaths do not yet show a clear downward trajectory, Trump continues to revise the numbers upwards.

However, instead of putting Trump on the point, Bartiromo – who has the history of letting Trump thrive during interviews on anything and everything – changed the subject to the economy. Trump acknowledged that the US unemployment rate will exceed 10 percent on election day, but expressed confidence that he will win a new term anyway. When that eventually happens, he will become the first president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to win another term in such a difficult job.

With such bad news on a human and economic level, it may not come as a surprise that Trump seemed to be most excited about pushing his new ‘Obamagate’ conspiracy theory over his predecessor, Barack Obama. While Trump himself has been unable to explain exactly what “Obamagate” is, the general idea that Obama was part of a conspiracy to use an FBI counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia is to undermine his presidency before it even started.

There is no evidence that Obama did anything unusual – on the contrary, his administration was cautious about suspecting an error did not favor Hillary Clinton – but that did not stop Trump from suggesting that both Obama and Joe Biden should be in prison now. It seems that for the second consecutive election cycle, Trump plans to make his desire to lock up prominent Democrats a central part of his campaign.

“If I were a Democrat rather than a Republican, I think everyone would have been in prison a long time ago, and I’m talking about 50 years in prison,” Trump said. “People should go to jail for this stuff … this was all Obama. This was all Biden. ‘

Later, as part of his attempt to rewrite the history of the Russia investigation, Trump even went as far as to claim that “actually, [Russia] wanted Hillary Clinton to win. ‘

“No one has been harder – you can talk to Putin or anyone else – no one is stricter in Russian than I am,” he added. “They wanted Hillary Clinton to win.”

This allegation is at odds with the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus conclusion, a two-part investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and even the words of Vladimir Putin himself – all affirming that Russia wanted Trump to win. But if viewers hoped Bartiromo would push back by pointing out the obvious, they were disappointed.

Fox assists Trump in his attempt to turn his 2020 campaign into a referendum on his favorite conspiracy theories

In the course of Bartiromo’s Thursday morning show, “coronavirus” or “Covid-19” were mentioned as often (22) as “Obama”.

This reflects a broader trend at Fox News. According to a Media Matters study Released Wednesday, Fox News coronavirus coverage has fallen more than 40 percent from its peak. In recent days, the network has repeated Trump in an effort to turn “Obamagate,” whatever it is, into a story equivalent in status to a pandemic that still kills about 1,500 Americans a day.

Shortly after Trump’s interview with Bartiromo aired, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce began hearing testimony from Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the federal agency who oversaw the development of a coronavirus vaccine that claims he was removed from his post following clashes with Trump officials over their insistence on unproven and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatments.

“The US health care system is being taxed to the limit,” Bright warned in his opening statement. “Our economy is turning down and our population is paralyzed by fear due to a lack of a coordinated response and a lack of accurate, clear information about the path forward.”

Trump, meanwhile, posted tweets alluding to Senate Republicans’ desire to hold some sort of ‘Obamagate’ show.

Significantly, while Bright made his explosive opening statement, Fox News instead aired a lengthy interview with the White House press secretary. The network then spent the rest of the morning on “Obamagate.”

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