During both the 2016 campaign and the first months of his presidency, one of the trademark aspects of Donald Trump’s campaign has been to manipulate both the media and the public via a campaign of distraction. Using social media and press briefings, Trump and his advisors essentially “overload” the media by committing a nonstop series of gaffes and making wildly inappropriate remarks, which serve to take attention off of his more serious policy flaws and make it difficult to focus on one particular issue at a time.
This has the effect of keeping his opposition constantly occupied while consistently energizing his base. This insidious form of manipulation hasn’t kept his popularity numbers from plummeting and certainly hasn’t helped him get any policy passed, but that hasn’t stopped him from constantly engaging in deflection.
An analysis of a series of events and statements by Trump officials in late July shows that he engaged in this practice in late July. At this time, the special investigation into Trump’s Russian connections was escalating rapidly, as the secret meetings between Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and.a Russian lawyer that took place during the 2016 campaign had just come to light.
As a result, Congressional committees began to hand out subpoenas. Paul Manafort, Trump’s corrupt ex-campaign manager with ties Russian money and organized crime, was hit the hardest in these investigations in a series of inquiries that culminated in an FBI raid on his house early in the morning on July 26. Investigators seized hundreds of pages of documents pursuant to a search warrant that was issued due to the belief that Manafort would attempt to hide evidence.
Obviously, this was something the Trump administration would want to hide, as he’s still trying to convince his supporters that these investigations are going nowhere. In a classic media-overload, Trump began firing off Tweets about a variety of subjects, starting with disparaging remarks about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ending by complaining about Hillary Clinton’s emails, a fake scandal that had been closed and done with for almost a year.
Interestingly enough, this was also the same time that then-communications director Anthony Scaramucci gave his absolutely bizarre interview to the New Yorker. In what was clearly an attempt to hog media attention, Scaramucci fired off a slew of vile remarks about Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, and finished by threatening to fire the entire White House staff.
Were Trump’s remarks and Scaramucci’s coordinated to take attention off of the Manafort raid? It certainly seems like it given the timing of the events, and this would fit with the way Trump’s administration has behaved in the past. The only way to fight back against these tactics is to share the information Trump’s administration wants to be buried, so like and share this article in order to get the word out about this tactic.