Kellyanne “alternative facts” Conway was not available this weekend for the Sunday morning bobblehead shows because she violated ethics rules by promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing line in a Thursday morning interview with Fox News — “I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody; you can find it online” — for which she is allegedly being “counseled” (a “time out”?) Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns:
Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Ms. Conway’s comments were ‘wrong, wrong, wrong, and there’s no excuse for it.’ Chaffetz and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, formally asked the Office of Government Ethics for an inquiry.
For a brutal takedown of Kellyanne Conway, you have got to watch Saturday Night Live’s “Fatal Attraction” parody entitled Jake Tapper. Wow!
With Kellyanne in “time out,” the Trump administration trotted out the other half of its updated version of The Daily Show’s Even Stevphen act, Steve Bannon’s counterpart Stephen Miller, who was featured in unflattering background pieces over the weekend in both the New York Times, Stephen Miller Is a ‘True Believer’ Behind Core Trump Policies, and the Washington Post. Stephen Miller: A key engineer for Trump’s ‘America first’ agenda.
I happened to catch Miller on ABC’s This Week with George “Snuffleupagus.” (He also appeared on NBC’s Meet Chuck Todd). What a raging asshole!
This guy was like a pez dispenser spewing out lie after lie with an angry attitude of “how dare you question my alternative facts!” Whenever “Snuffleupagus” pointed out he had presented no evidence to support his lies, Miller had a look on his face that said “how about I come over there and kick your ass!” This guy needs anger management.
The Washington Post Fact Checkers took apart two of Miller’s most audacious lies. First, they award three Pinocchios to Stephen Miller’s claim that 72 from banned countries were implicated in ‘terroristic activity’:
Trump’s executive order applies to migrants, refugees, visitors and potentially even U.S. green-card holders from these seven countries. But the order would not have prevented some of the most high-profile terrorist attacks by people from countries excluded from that list, including the 9/11 hijackers, the attackers in San Bernardino, Calif., and the Boston Marathon bombers.
The Pinocchio Test
Miller cited this research to say that several dozen people from the seven countries identified in the executive order were involved in “all different kinds of terroristic activity.” But upon closer examination of the cases on the list, it becomes clear that his statement went too far. In fact, this is pretty thin gruel on which to make sweeping claims about the alleged threat posed to the United States by these seven countries, especially because the allegations often did not concern alleged terrorist acts in the United States.
The list does include some people who were convicted of providing material support, such as money or personnel, to groups that are designated as terrorist organizations, such as al-Shabab and al-Qaeda. But it also includes people who were convicted of passport fraud, visa fraud and making fraudulent claims to federal investigators. About two dozen people on this list were not charged with any crimes relating to providing material support to known or suspected terrorist activities or organizations.
Others were believed to be tangentially related to terrorism groups abroad, but did not face terrorism charges. Regardless of the direct or tangential ties that investigators believe each individual may have to terrorist activities, these charges need to be proven in a court of law. Suspected or potential terror links involving these 72 individuals do not confirm Miller’s claim that they were “implicated in terrorist activity.”
Moreover, some people on this list entered the United States — many of them naturalized — decades before they were charged with any of the crimes. That makes Miller’s use of this list to defend Trump’s executive order quite questionable. We award Three Pinocchios.
Next, the Post’s Fact Checkers had an even easier time with Miller’s attempt to defend Trump’s recent claim that he and Kelly Ayotte both would have been victorious in New Hampshire if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring Massachusetts to “illegally” cast votes in New Hampshire. Trump brings up vote fraud again, this time in meeting with senators. The Post gives Stephen Miller bushels of Pinocchios for false voter-fraud claims:
Kelly Ayotte lost her Senate race by about 1,000 votes but did not challenge the results; Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in New Hampshire by nearly 3,000 votes.
MILLER: I have actually, having worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire, I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.
This is false. PolitiFact New Hampshire in November gave the state’s governor, Chris Sununu, a “Pants on Fire” for claiming that voters were bused in — and Sununu quickly retreated from his comment. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said voter fraud was not widespread problem, largely because the law requires voters to show a valid identification at the polls. If an ID is lacking, the voter’s photo is taken, they have to sign an affidavit affirming their identify and then state officials follow up.
Miller continued spewing out lies like a Pez dispenser:
MILLER: But I can tell you this, voter fraud is a serious problem in this country. You have millions of people who are registered in two states or who are dead who are registered to vote. And you have 14 percent of noncitizens, according to academic research, at a minimum, are registered to vote, which is an astonishing statistic.
Ugh. Miller has again resorted to bogus claims that we have repeatedly debunked.
A 2012 Pew Center on the States study found problems with inaccurate voter registrations, people who registered in more than one state (which could happen if the voter moves and registers in the new state without telling the former state) and deceased voters whose information was still on the voter rolls. But the primary author of the Pew report tweeted in response to Trump’s staff’s claim that he “can confirm that report made no findings re: voter fraud.”
As to the 14 percent figure — stemming from research by Old Dominion University professors, using data from 2008 and 2010 — that also has been misrepresented by Trump and his staff. They have ignored updates and challenges to the research. The researchers have also warned that “it is impossible to tell for certain whether the noncitizens who responded to the survey were representative of the broader population of noncitizens.”
One of the researchers, Jesse Richman, wrote about the Trump staff’s use of his research. The results “suggest that almost all elections in the US are not determined by noncitizen participation, with occasional and very rare potential exceptions,” he said, noting that “there has been a tendency to misread our results as proof of massive voter fraud, which we don’t think they are.”
In other words, the researcher whom Miller is citing says his research does not show what Miller claims.
There is much more from the Post Fact Checkers, but you get the idea. Stephen Miller is not just a raging asshole, he is a shameless liar as well.
The Pinocchio Test
Stephanopoulos is right. The White House continues to provide zero evidence to back up its claims of voter fraud. Officials instead retreat to the same bogus talking points that have been repeatedly shown to be false.
It’s pretty ridiculous to cite research in a way that even the researcher says is inappropriate, and yet Miller keeps saying 14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote. The Republican governor of New Hampshire has admitted that he was wrong to say buses of illegal voters voted in the election, and yet Miller shamelessly suggests that is the case. Miller cites a supposed expert on voter fraud, Kris Kobach, who has been mocked for failing to prove his own claims of voter fraud. Miller also repeats a claim about people being registered to vote in two states, even though that is not an example of voter fraud.
Miller earns Four Pinocchios — over and over again.
Let’s just say that things did not go well for Stephen Miller on the Sunday morning bobblehead shows. The “Even Stevphen” act of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller creating policy for our Dear Leader Donald Trump should deeply concern Americans. These are not conservatives nor Republicans, these are radical extremists with a radical vision for America that Trump apparently shares. There needs to be more reporting exposing the power behind the throne.