Trump in­spires con­spir­acists in his camp, ramps up dis­trust

Me­dia a prime tar­get for Trump’s rhetoric

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

AL­LEN­TOWN: Rigged elec­tion, bi­ased me­dia-Don­ald Trump reg­u­larly con­demns al­leged tac­tics aimed at de­rail­ing his bid for the White House, rhetoric that res­onates with some sup­port­ers who are grow­ing more mis­trust­ful. The Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee has of­fered no con­crete proof to back up his al­le­ga­tions but, to dif­fer­ing de­grees, many in his camp be­lieve them.

A prime tar­get is the me­dia, which Trump ac­cuses of not cov­er­ing his cam­paign ob­jec­tively, while fa­vor­ing his Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton in the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion. He says the me­dia even launches un­founded at­tacks against him. “Most of the news is neg­a­tive or they don’t print it at all,” said Su­san, a re­tiree in Philadel­phia on the side­lines of a “flash mob” sup­port­ing Trump. She did not want to give her fam­ily name.

Emails re­leased by anti-se­crecy web­site Wik­iLeaks in late Oc­to­ber re­vealed that a CNN an­a­lyst, who is the in­terim chair of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, shared ques­tions with the Clin­ton cam­paign ahead of a CNN-hosted pri­mary de­bate. The DNC chief, Donna Brazile, had al­ready re­signed from the TV net­work when the Wik­iLeaks bomb­shell landed, but the furor fed into Trump’s long-run­ning ar­gu­ment that Clin­ton was given ad­vance knowl­edge of de­bate ques­tions.

“We have the Wik­iLeaks emails that con­firm what I’ve been say­ing for years. They ma­nip­u­late the polls,” said Tom Carroll, an ac­tivist who has or­ga­nized dozens of flash­mobs in the Al­len­town area in Penn­syl­va­nia. “The Hil­lary cam­paign has been pay­ing peo­ple to read them the di­a­logue and the nar­ra­tive to the me­dia.” The con­spir­acy-minded in the Trump camp have scant con­fi­dence in pub­lic opin­ion polls, which over­all give Clin­ton an edge in a race tight­en­ing in the fi­nal stretch.

“They over­sam­ple Democrats” in the polls, said Carroll. “They use th­ese polls on pur­pose to de­flate the right and the con­ser­va­tive move­ment, to get them to be­lieve that no one’s vot­ing for Trump” and to send the mes­sage ‘we can’t win, don’t even go to vote,’” he said. Trump re­cently said that a batch of emails posted by Wik­iLeaks shows John Podesta, the chair­man of Clin­ton’s elec­tion cam­paign, had asked for a poll to be taken us­ing an in­flated num­ber of Democrats in the sam­ple. A check of those emails turned up no ev­i­dence of this claim.

Fraud­u­lent elec­tion Tues­day?

Any­thing that runs counter to Trump’s dec­la­ra­tions is fod­der for the con­spir­acists, who see it as a ma­nip­u­la­tion of pub­lic opin­ion. The fact that re­cent polls show Trump gain­ing ground is only a new polling tac­tic, ac­cord­ing to Carroll. Af­ter months of cook­ing the data, the poll­sters “start telling the truth,” he said, “be­cause they have to say: ‘we were right.’” Un­der­ly­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions against the me­dia and poll­sters is the be­lief they are in ca­hoots with the Democrats, seen as mul­ti­ply­ing their at­tacks be­hind the scenes to ce­ment their vic­tory.

Some of Trump’s fol­low­ers trace Democrats’ fin­ger­prints be­hind the wave of women who have come for­ward in re­cent weeks ac­cus­ing the can­di­date of hav­ing made un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances in the past. “A lot of them are get­ting paid to do this stuff, is what I’m hear­ing,” said Su­san. The fact that th­ese al­leged vic­tims came out with pub­lic ac­cu­sa­tions so close to the elec­tion “just doesn’t make sense,” said Carol Krus, who trav­eled Thurs­day to see the first pub­lic ap­pear­ance of Trump’s wife, Me­la­nia Trump, alone on the cam­paign trail.

“They waited and they planned it,” said Re­nee John­son, who also came to hear Me­la­nia Trump speak at the event in Ber­wyn, Penn­syl­va­nia. For this fringe in the Trump camp, af­ter a year and a half of what they view as a vi­cious cam­paign, their can­di­date has ev­ery­thing to fear in the re­li­a­bil­ity of the elec­tion Tues­day. “The turnout, I think it’s go­ing to be very high and I think it’s go­ing to be very fraud­u­lent also,” Su­san warned. Carroll spoke about dead peo­ple reg­is­tered to vote on the elec­toral lists in Philadel­phia and vot­ers paid to vote for Democrats. For Su­san, voter fraud is al­ready un­der way. “You know who’s do­ing that?” she said in a con­spir­a­to­rial tone. “She’s scared.”

— AP

DEN­VER: Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Don­ald Trump, speaks dur­ing a cam­paign rally.

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