Of course, Donald Trump has been using this Big Lie method of simply endlessly repeating a Big Lie and successfully so with his claim that last year’s presidential election was “rigged” or “stolen,” according to the latest poll I just saw on the order of 70% of Republicans accepting this Big Lie.
But this practice seems to be spreading for yet more degeneration happening as figures who have not done this like Trump now seem to be imitating him also. The latest is Hugh Hewitt, a conservative who is a columnist for WaPo and usually avoids this sort of flagrant lying. But he seems to have caught the bug.
I rarely listen to his radio show, but yesterday (Nov. 15) I inadvertently heard it when it was turned on for a while and got quite an earful. I thought it was one of his guests but it was him. He was repeating over and over and over way more times than I could count, “Everyone knows Adam Schiff is lying. Everyone knows Adam Schiff is lying…” It was weird, so many times without a break or explanation, and even after a break, he did it again and again. It was obviously an effort to convince his listeners of something he knew they did not necessarily believe. Heck, near as I can tell, at least among most Dems and non-GOPs, Schiff has a very high level of credibility. I have always found him one of the most credible people in the entire Congress with a substantial grasp of a lot of fairly complicated information and never have seen him appear to knowingly lie.
So what had Hewitt on this binge of repeated lying? It was Schiff’s response to the indictment of Ivan Danchenko by John Durham, the Special Prosecutor appointed to the DOJ during the Trump era that Merrick Garland has left in place to do his thing. Danchenko has been indicted for lying to the FBI about who his sources of information were when he provided information to Steele of the famous Steele dossier. This is all part of a long-running campaign by Trump allies to somehow discredit the Steele dossier, which Hewitt, following the likes of Sean Hannity and others on Fox News, described as “totally discredited” and “shown not to contain a shred of truth.”
Well, first of all, Danchenko was not indicted for actually saying anything false to Steele, only lying about who his sources were to the FBI, a point Hewitt did not mention. Indeed, and I have checked on this numerous times after hearing some of the more perfervid claims against the Steele dossier, over 70% of it has been confirmed, with some of those confirmations actually in the Mueller Report. Most of it was/is true. Only about two items in it have been shown to be false, a claim that Cohen visited Prague and that Carter Page was going to get some huge sum of money from Gazprom. Otherwise, most of it has been found to be true, with some items still in the undetermined category. That latter includes its most notorious item, the infamous “golden shower” story about Trump, which seems increasingly likely to in fact also be true, given all the stuff that just seems to keep coming out about Trump, and which may be why so many of Trump’s followers are so keen on just totally discrediting the whole dossier.
As for Schiff supposedly being disbelieved by “everyone,” supposedly even including people like Nancy Pelosi according to Hewitt, the only evidence he seemed to supply for this is that Schiff’s recent book has not been a bestseller, #357 on some list or other. That it is not a big seller is obviously not at all evidence one way or the other about whether what is in the book is accurate or not. It is evident that people are not all that interested, and in fact at this point, most people are not much interested in this leftover 2016 election stuff, which the Steele dossier is. But the Trumpistas are still desperate to somehow discredit that dossier, even as it has largely been verified. So Hewitt and his ilk are the ones making a big fuss about his latest indictment and trying to dump on Schiff for his showing the dossier is largely accurate, in an effort to stir their own base up. But not that many care any more. They are too busy believing Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election to be all that worked up about leftover stuff from the 2016 one.