Sebastian Gorka, Donald Trump’s creepy anti-Muslim aide, went on the BBC following Trump’s Thursday press conference to spread the word: Trump was “fabulous.” Gorka used the word repeatedly, including in acting outraged that the interviewer would ask if Trump read any of his remarks despite Trump visibly opening a folder as he arrived at the podium and frequently looked down and appeared to read. But who are you going to believe—your lying eyes or a Breitbarter-turned-Trump-aide?
Asking why Trump keeps revisiting his popular-vote-losing Electoral College win basically every time he speaks in public, including Thursday’s claim to having had the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan? “I think you’re getting a little bit obsessive yourself.”
Asking why Trump claimed, late last week, to know nothing about Michael Flynn having discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador when it turns out he had known for weeks? That’s “obsessing on issues that aren’t the point.”
The interview quickly fell into a pattern: Factual question from BBC interviewer. Condescending chuckle and accusation of “fake news” from Gorka, followed by flat denial that the facts are facts and further accusation of “fake news.”
A question about what Trump meant in one of his attacks on the media, for instance, got the response “This is fake news. You have just committed fake news.” It was a question. At the end, Gorka laid out the strategy he was following in his own interview, one that can be clearly seen in Trump’s press conference:
We are going to continue to do what we did so very very successfully, and the thing that put the former real estate billionaire into the White House, which is to break your sense of monopoly on the news. The mainstream media no longer gets to monopolize news and we are going to go straight to the audiences, whether it’s through Twitter, whether it’s through YouTube, it doesn’t matter. We are not going to put up with distortions and people who believe they have a monopoly on the truth simply because they have 60 years of a letterhead above them. Not going to happen. We are going to communicate with our audiences, domestic and international.
Not that there’s anything wrong with going around the media! But Trump and Bannon and Gorka are going around the media to spread lies. When they talk about “distortions,” they’re talking about things like “Donald Trump lost the popular vote fair and square and his Electoral College win wasn’t all that impressive.” Or “Michael Flynn was carrying out illicit conversations with a Russian official and Donald Trump denied knowing about it when his White House had been informed.” Or “Donald Trump says he ‘inherited a mess’ when in fact he inherited low unemployment.” It’s not about attacking “a monopoly on the truth,” it’s about attacking the idea that truth or facts exist at all.