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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trump's dirty imagination

by digby

I wrote about Trump's obsession with filthy rumors today for Salon:

I don’t know exactly what Trump is going to say in his highly anticipated Hillary speech today, but we do have some hints. Recall that he announced his intention to deliver this speech on the night of the California primary largely in reaction to Clinton’s scathing recitation of his inane rhetoric in San Diego a few days before. He had scheduled it for the Monday after the Orlando Massacre and postponed it for obvious reasons. We can predict from what he said that night as well as subsequent tweets this week that he will say she’s a criminal who used her position as Secretary of State as a “hedge fund” to steal money from ordinary Americans and sell out the security of the United States. He’ll say she’s being protected from prosecution and a lengthy jail term by an equally corrupt president. And he’ll complain about her “judgment” and her “strength” and her “stamina.” .

It’s possible that the “reboot” everyone’s breathlessly talking about in the wake of the firing of his inept campaign manager has resulted in his focusing his grotesque overwrought allegations only on her official record. But whether or not he goes further than that and launches into the personal attacks he telegraphed on twitter that night is unknown. This was his immediate reaction to her win:

The book to which he’s referring is the latest in the lucrative Clinton-hating cottage industry that dates back to the 1990s. In his Amazon number one bestseller called “Crisis of Character,” this former uniformed Secret Service agent alleges that Clinton is a mentally unhinged, profane harridan, completely off her rocker, nearly frothing at the mouth. Here’s a taste of what he reports:
One day, UD [Uniformed Division] officers met to review events at their respective postS. A bewildered new officer arrived. ‘Hey you’ll never believe it, but I passed the First lady and she told me to go to hell!’ A second young officer responded, ‘You think that’s bad? I passed her on the West Colonnade, and all I said was ‘Good morning, First Lady.’ She told me, ‘Go f— yourself.’ ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Go f— yourself!’ He imitated her, pointing a finger.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, he insists that she hated the Secret Service with a passion:
‘They f—ed us, Bill!’ Hillary screamed. I stifled a laugh. The president tried his best to calm her down. He couldn’t. Hillary Clinton possessed no perspective. ‘We need to get rid of these assholes, Bill!’ She thought she was being tough—in command—but the issue commanded her. She fumed that the Secret Service’s Uniformed Division, my branch, disloyal leftovers from Papa Bush, conspired against the administration. ‘They’ve had it out for us from the beginning!’ she kept yelling.
She also allegedly threw her Bible at the back of an agent’s head in another of her vicious attacks. (No word on whether it was the Wiccan Bible, but I think we can assume it was.)

The Secret Service is not amused by this cheap opportunist. Politico reported that some former agents took the unusual step of disavowing this book yesterday:
The author of a new tell-all book about Hillary Clinton could never have seen any of what he claims — he was too low-ranking — say several high-level members of Secret Service presidential details, including the president of the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service. 
On Tuesday, AFAUSSS, which is strictly nonpartisan, is set to release a statement blasting Gary Byrne author of “Crisis in Character,” saying members “strongly denounce” the book, which they add has made security harder by eroding the trust between agents and the people they protect.

“There is no place for any self-moralizing narratives, particularly those with an underlying motive,” reads the statement from the group’s board of directors, which says Byrne has politics and profit on his mind...The book has rankled current and former members of the Secret Service, who don’t like anyone airing their business in public — but who also take issue with Byrne inflating his role. Byrne was a uniformed officer in Bill Clinton’s White House. But that’s the lowest level of protection within the White House and around the president.
People who know the West Wing say it’s ridiculous that anyone in this man’s position would have been able to witness any of this. The guy was such a cipher that nobody in the actual presidential protective division at the time even remembers him. But you have to give this book’s publicist some serious props for unbridled chutzpah for issuing this statement in response to questions about whether the man could have actually seen the former First Lady of the United States telling Secret Service agents to fuck off and throwing objects all over the White House: “The Clintons always trash the messenger. This is the first of many Clinton-directed media attempts at character assassination.”

You cannot make this stuff up. 

You also can’t blame a bottom-feeding former secret service agent for trying to get his grubby hands on a little of that wingnut lucre. After all, one of the most famous of the Clinton hating “tell-all” best sellers of the 1990s was written by a former FBI agent named Gary Aldrich whose tales of Clinton depravity and decadence in his book “Unlimited Access” caused a sensation and made him a conservative media superstar. Perhaps the most famous of his “revelations” was the story of the Clintons’ White House Christmas tree decorations:
Some of the ornaments were silly and some were dangerous, like the crack pipes hung on a string. We couldn't figure out what crack pipes had to do with Christmas no matter how hard we tried, so we threw them back in the box. Some ornaments were constructed out of various drug paraphernalia, like syringes, heroin spoons, or roach clips, which are colorful devices sometimes adorned with bird feathers and used to hold marijuana joints... 
I picked up another ornament that was supposed to illustrate five golden rings. One of the male florist volunteers grabbed my arm and laughed and laughed. 
"What's so funny? What are you laughing at?" 
"Don't you know what you're holding?" 
No, I didn't, but he was happy to explain it to me: the golden rings I was holding were sex toys known as "cock rings"--and they had nothing to do with chickens. 
Another mystery ornament was the gingerbread man. How did he fit into The Twelve Days of Christmas? Then I got it. There were five small, gold rings I hadn't seen at first: one in his ear, one in his nose, one through his nipple, one through his belly button, and, of course, the ever-popular cock ring... 
Here was another five golden rings ornament--five gold-wrapped condoms. I threw it in the trash. There were other condom ornaments, some still in the wrapper, some not. Two sets had been "blown" into balloons and tied to small trees. I wasn't sure what the connection was to The Twelve Days of Christmas. Condoms in a pear tree?

The male white house “florist” filling him on cock rings was a nice touch. Texas activist "Doc Marquis," wrote a long dissertation about this whole cock ring, crack pipe and condom ornament scandal as "proof positive that Hillary Clinton is a power, practicing witch." Plenty of people believed him.

This is the Hillary Clinton as Lady MacBeth in the febrile imaginations of the right wing heart of darkness: a malevolent, shrieking harpy who treated everyone around her with violent contempt, forcing poor old Bill to coddle and calm her. The man had no choice but to stray --- after all he was living with a madwoman. (Go to a Trump rally and you’ll find plenty of swag featuring that swill today.)

And now Clinton’s rival for the presidency is apparently devouring every crazed right wing conspiracy he can find. This article by Jonathan Martin of the New York Times surveyed his various connections to conspiracy theorists and right wing cranks. He writes:
With Mr. Trump as the Republican standard-bearer, the line separating the conservative mischief makers and the party’s more buttoned-up cadre of elected officials and aides has been obliterated. Fusing what had been two separate but symbiotic forces, Mr. Trump has begun a real-life political science experiment: What happens when a major party’s nominee is more provocateur than politician?
His speech today will certainly be provocative. Whether he rolls around in this personal dirt remains to be seen. But he’s a tabloid kind of guy with a taste for character assassination and you can bet that he’ll find ways to “share” these ludicrous stories at some point. He can’t help himself.