Is Donald Trump preparing us for the release of a very naughty tape?

Suspected Trump/Russia connections

Donald Trump has spent much of this year attacking mainstream (non-Murdoch) news media outlets, calling them “fake news.” The term apparently means real news that isn’t flattering to Trump. This can be seen as a strategy to influence us not to believe what we see, hear and read, unless it comes from a pro-Trump media outlet like Fox News. But now Trump seems to have taken his propaganda strategy one step further: he is saying that the Access Hollywood” tape released in October 16, in which Trump tells host Billy Bush that he likes to “just start kissing women” and “grab them by the pu*sy. You can do anything” is not authentic. What’s going on?

The “Access Hollywood” tape isn’t just an audio recording; the second half of it captures Trump on video as well. At the time, Trump and his campaign staff never denied the obvious authenticity of the tape. Rather, back in October 2016, Trump offered a weak half-apology, expressing “regret if anyone was offended” by the tape, and dismissed his recorded comments with the overbroad, false and insufficient description of “locker room banter.” Since then, Billy Bush (who was fired for encouraging Trump on the tape) has apologized and said Trump’s descriptions of past sexual assaults against women that were part of the tape were not “locker room talk.” And more recently, current “Access Hollywood” host Natalie Morales confirmed the obvious: “Let us make this perfectly clear: The tape is very real.”

So what is Trump doing by trying to claim now that his “Access Hollywood” tape is fake? There really are only two possibilities: First, that Trump is suffering from dementia and literally doesn’t remember being on the “Access Hollywood” bus with Billy Bush, making those remarks and stepping off the bus for all to see, even after being presented with the tape. That seems unlikely. The other possibility is that, in claiming both that mainstream news outlets and the “Access Hollywood” tape are “fake,” Trump is trying to prepare Americans for the release by news organizations of another tape that is much worse. That is the opinion of a number of people, including author and advertiser Brian Krassenstein:

What could Trump have done that was caught on tape and which is so bad that he now has to tell people in advance that, like news stories, video and audio tapes unflattering to him are fake? Logically, it can be only one of two things (or maybe both, on separate tapes): either Trump was caught conspiring with Vladimir Putin or one of Putin’s lieutenants to commit espionage (essentially treason) against America and fix the 2016 election for Trump and against Hillary Clinton, or the infamous Trump Russian hooker/pee tape that is rumored to be part of the “Steele Dossier” prepared as opposition research for the 2016 election is real, and will soon be released by the news media. Either type of material would be extremely compromising to Trump and could have been used by Russia to blackmail Trump, which is why Russia is reported to have collected such material (which the Russians call “Kompromat”) on Trump, as it is said to do against others.

As reality TV show host Trump himself might say, “stay tuned.”

Photo by Mike Licht, used under Creative Commons license.


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