On Wednesday, CNN’s Jake Tapper spoke to Donald Trump through the TV screen. He called the president out for blaming the media and “conspiracy theories” for the Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation, which was actually due to mounting reports about his vulnerability to Russian blackmail (and the fact that he lied to VP Mike Pence about calls with Russia).
Tapper was quick to point out that Trump was a proud believer in conspiracy theories during election season. He also reminded Trump that he asked for Flynn’s resignation, and the media was just reporting the facts. Tapper then explained the difference between facts and conspiracy theories:
“Of course these stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and elsewhere are not conspiracy theories. These are news stories, sourced by government officials. Conspiracy theories are different — they’re false, they’re crackpot, they’re nonsense.”
Trump has been an avid fan of conspiracy theories when they worked to his benefit. Tapper replayed videos of some of those examples, including Trump insinuating that Ted Cruz’s father helped kill JFK, not mention the infamous Obama birther controversy that Trump clung to for years.
Trump has also complained about “leaks” in the intelligence community. It’s been a source of frustration for him, but there was a time when he was a big fan of WikiLeaks, touting them if it served his cause. Tapper summed it up perfectly by saying, “It’s not a moral position if you only hold it when it applies to you.”
As a side note, Flynn loves conspiracy theories as well and was a huge promoter of the fake Pizzagate conspiracy, which make this whole story even weirder.