Conservative media had to step their spin game into overdrive after two top Trump campaign aides were indicted and another revealed to be working with investigators Monday.
The Justice Department revealed a 12-count indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top deputy, Rick Gates, on charges related to money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents.
It was also revealed former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was arrested in July for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia and has agreed to a plea deal predicated on his cooperation with the investigation.
“None of this is real,” conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said to open his show Monday in a desperate attempt to distance dear leader from the like-minded crooks he surrounded himself with.
“This is the coup,” Limbaugh declared. “If Hillary had been elected, none of this would be happening, other than they still put Trump in jail as a message to the outsider: Don’t dare try this.”
Limbaugh went on to argue that the indictments were a liberal plot to shift the narrative away from Hillary Clinton’s funding of the Trump dossier, much of which has been proven true.
“Ergo the leak on Friday that Mueller had an indictment,” Limbaugh said. “That totally changed the narrative, it changed the direction, and its purpose was to basically cover up and shift away to the side the Clinton involvement in the Trump dossier. It was a classic case of distraction.”
“And none of it, I can tell you, with ontological certitude, none of the Manafort indictment as we sit here today has a single thing to do with Donald Trump, with the Trump campaign or with Russian collusion,” he added.
Fox News host Sean Hannity took a similar approach, attempting to paint Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and Democrats as the real villains.
“All the people involved in this, from Rosenstein who appointed Mueller, both of them, and Eric Holder and likely President Obama himself. Hillary was up to her eyeballs as was her husband in the Uranium One deal,” Hannity said, insisting that a Russian uranium deal approved under Obama is the bigger Russian scandal.
Fact-checkers at The Washington Post have long since debunked the conservative narrative surrounding the uranium deal.
Radio host Laura Ingraham insisted that the indictments were a “nothing burger.”
“These transactions predate Paul Manafort’s involvement with the campaign,” Ingraham said on her show. “The idea that this is a bad day for Trump because it in any way alludes to a collusion with Russia — you’ve got to be living on another planet if you think that.”
InfoWars host Alex Jones said the indictment is “more sour grapes and it’s not going well,” before he brought on longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.
Stone insisted that the president should appoint his own special counsel to look into the uranium deal.
“That investigation would have to focus on Mr. Mueller, Mr. Comey, Mr. McCabe, the associate director of the FBI and [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein,” Stone said. “Those gentlemen would have to step down if they were the target of a federal investigation.”
Even the news side of Fox News, which they insist isn’t as biased as the “opinion” side, largely ignored the biggest news of the day to focus on millennials ruining Halloween and cheeseburger emojis.
Paul Manafort just agreed to turn himself in to the FBI. What should we report on?
Fox News: Hamburger emoji pic.twitter.com/Wjsvkb2coW
— Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) October 30, 2017
Fox News doesn't even try to hide the fact that they are state television pic.twitter.com/716vhVvXSI
— R. Saddler 📎🗽 (@Politics_PR) October 30, 2017
FOX: KNEELING NFL PLAYERS!! pic.twitter.com/O64LSbr0db
— Nathan McDermIT🤡 (@natemcdermott) October 30, 2017