It was only a matter of time.
Ex-President Donald Trump released a statement via his Save America PAC on Thursday attempting to frankenstein the right-wing media’s already-fake narrative about special counsel John Durham’s latest court filing — which dealt with episodes in 2016 — with his lies about the 2020 election.
“Much of the now-uncovered espionage campaign of the Democrats breaking into the White House and my New York City apartment, took place after the 2016 Election as yet another way to undermine the upcoming 2020 Election,” Trump bellowed. “This spying into the Oval Office continued for a long period of time and further served to undermine and discredit the 2020 Election, along with massive ballot harvesting, phantom voters, and so many other things that made the Election a sham.”
The document Durham filed on Friday, which was part of his criminal case against Michael Sussmann, says precisely nothing about the 2020 election, “spying” in the Oval Office or any Watergate-esque plot to break into the White House and Trump’s apartment.
Trump’s incoherent rant was, however, informed by conservative media’s spin on Durham’s filing. Right-wing outlets have been pushing hard this week a fallacious story about how the Clinton campaign paid to have shadowy cyber spies “infiltrate” not just Trump’s campaign, but his White House as well.
Durham alleged nothing of the sort, but he omitted and in some ways misrepresented facts he alluded to in his filing.
Right-wing media, frothing at the mouth for Durham news, then misrepresented Durham’s filing: In fact, Durham did not allege that anything was infiltrated, and spoke of an episode that unfolded when Obama was in the White House, not Trump.
Sussman’s defense attorneys slammed Durham for framing his allegations misleadingly to feed into MAGA conspiracy theories that the Clinton campaign had intelligence officials spy on the Trump 2016 campaign and fabricate evidence to launch the FBI’s Russia probe.
Mushing this unholy mess together with lies about 2020, however, was Trump’s innovation and Trump’s alone.