Donald Trump

Trump Campaign Manager Implies the FBI Might Be Cooking Crime Stats to Make Hillary Clinton Look Good

Is this the first post-reality campaign?


CreditJennifer Graylock/Sipa USA/Newscom

Here's how far off the deep end Donald Trump's campaign has gone: In an interview tonight, Campaign manager Paul Manafort dismissed the notion that violent crime has fallen by suggesting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) crime data couldn't be trusted in light of the agency's recent recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

While he didn't quite come out and say it, he basically suggested that the FBI may be lying about crime stats in order to protect Hillary Clinton. It's nuts. 

A leaked copy of the complete text of Donald Trump's big convention speech made clear that he would focus heavily on fears of crime. Trump's speech begins by warning that the Republican National Convention "occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation." Trump's main promise is to restore safety and order to the nation. I have a message for all of you," Trump's speech text says. "The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored."

So when Manafort appeared on CNN tonight to preview Trump's speech, Jake Tapper asked how he could reconcile Trump's dark portrayal of crime in America with the reality that violent crime has been steadily dropping for 25 years, according to FBI statistics.

Now, Manafort could have responded by saying that homicides have risen in some cities in the last year or so. In a normal campaign, that's what he would have done, and that would be it.

Instead, he chose to cast doubt on the FBI's stats themselves. "People don't feel safe in their neighborhoods. I'm not sure what statistics you're talking about," he said, before adding: "The FBI is certainly suspect these days after what they just did with Hillary Clinton."

This is the end result of Trump's adamant refusal to ever admit that he could be wrongIt's not enough to just cherry pick evidence. Instead, Manafort has to imply that the FBI might somehow be in league with Trump's political opponent. 

These stats aren't new. They've been consistent for more than two decades. So unless Manafort is suggesting that the FBI has been conspiring with the Clintons for a quarter century to cook the crime stats in order to make her and her husband look good…actually, I think that might be what he's hinting. 

This is the sort of sketchy nonsense that passes for a response in the Trump campaign these days. Some of it, as in this case, is vaguely conspiratorial. Some of it is just bizarre.

Earlier this week, after reports that part of Melania Trump's convention speech was plagiarized from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, the Trump campaign's immediate response was to flatly deny that this had happened.

Manafort declared that the story was Hillary Clinton's fault, saying in a press conference that "when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person." Manafort also shrugged off the accusations, saying that Melania's speech merely used "common words." Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson gave an equally bizarre response, insisting that no plagiarism had occurred and saying, "This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd." (For the record: No one was suggesting that Michelle Obama invented the English language.)

A Trump organization speechwriter, of course, eventually admitted that parts of the speech had been plagiarized.

I have written before about how Republicans have entered a post-policy era. Trump, however, may be the first to run a post-reality campaign. 

NEXT: America Is Greater When We Don't Let Fear Win

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  1. Projection is a hell of a thing, man.

  2. Trump may be the first Republican to run a post reality campaign, but every Democrat candidate since Clinton has done so. Arguably every Democrat candidate since LBJ.

    1. Also, to be fair, the Obumbles administration has played fast and loose with one hell of a lot of statistics, cime and otherwise. Whether it has been with the intention of benefiting Shrillary seems dubious; it has likely been simply to shore up the narrative of the moment.

      1. Hey now, he brought unemployment down to -5%, and did it in spite of the sinking labor participation rate. Let’s see you do that!

      2. Because Obama benefits from crime going down while gun sales skyrocket how?

        1. Ownership of Smith & Wesson stock?

  3. The irony is that Comey is the propaganda master – with things like “Don’t be a Puppet” and “Chasing the Dragon”. They are shooting themselves in the foot when they criticize him. But you can start to see why the rounds of purges happen in these kinds of administrations – they become increasingly paranoid and delusional the more they believe their own nonsense.

  4. So we should trust the FBI now, huh?

    Also post-policy, post-reality? Has Sudermann been following US politics for any time? Wilson in 1916, FDR in 1940 and LBJ in 1964 all running on anti-war platforms only to immediately engage in war and violate civil liberties?

    1. The McSuderman’s make their living cheerleading bureaucrats and central planners.

      1. Suderman is what we call a fellow traveler…

    2. Why in the world would the FBI lie about crime going down? The appearance of more crime would mean more power and more funding, and helps Obama’s gun control agenda. Even if you don’t trust them in general, you can trust them not to lie against their own interest.

      BTW the Hillary email scandal would have been swept under the rug in a matter of days last summer if it weren’t for the FBI rank and file having integrity and pursuing it. Comey isn’t the FBI.

    3. He said Republican. Those are Democrats.

  5. For the first time ever, I can’t wait for the debates.

    1. Sir, I’ve known shitlords, and you are no shitlord.

      1. Those two on a stage together? It had better be glorious. GLORIOUS.

    2. I am stocking up on popcorn. And vodka.

      1. Lots of vodka.

    3. There had better be some serious entertainment value to distract me from the fact that one of those two cretins is going to be elected.

  6. Well, the FBI cooked up something that elided at east one crime stat to protect Clinton.

    Have I mentioned recently that Comey deserves to share a cell with Clinton?

  7. Is this the first post-reality campaign?

    Really? From the magazine that made this beautiful thing?

    1. Hackery is okay when Reason does it…

  8. Ivanka is preaching competence and meritocracy. Huh. I wonder how that will stack up against the left’s equality of outcome.

  9. Trump takes the stage. Which Reason-editor is going full-Weigel first?

    1. Suderman has owned it all campaign.

  10. So reason. Ow considers the FBI above reproach?

    Someone needs to do an intervention with Suderman.

    1. Cops are liars and frauds up until they become feds. Then they’re honorable and above reproach.

  11. Don’t forget FDR’s “Social Security numbers will never be used as a form of ID”. Or how he attacked Hoover for a being a centralizing big spender and John Garner even accused Hoover of enacting Communistic policies…

    1. Hoover was a centralizing big spender.

      Not sure why you’re revising history in this way. The myth of a laissez-faire libertarian Hoover administration is a fiction invented by the left to discredit us.

      1. So you mean “post-reality” politics long predates Trump and is “part of normal parameters”?

        1. Again I’m not sure what you mean. I said that FDR was completely right about Hoover.

          If you’re talking about lying about your political opponents, that’s been around since before Hammurabi.

          1. FDR calling Hoover a centralizing big spender only to become an even bigger one and for historians to pretend Hoover was a laissez-faire fiscal conservative is a pretty huge whopper and that happened back in the 1930s and is unchallenged today so why is he acting like this is something new?

            1. Regardless of what he himself did, FDR was not lying about Hoover. Nothing post-reality there.

              The leftist historians are despicable of course, but there’s a big practical difference between repeating a commonly-believed “story we tell ourselves until we forget it’s not true” (to paraphrase Littlefinger) and lying about something that happened yesterday and that you’ll 100% be caught on. The difference with Team Trump is that they lie without caring if they get caught.

              1. Regardless of what he himself did, FDR was not lying about Hoover. Nothing post-reality there.

                Um What? Politician attacks rival only to do the exact thing but worse and then pretends the exact opposite happened. Pretty post-policy. And sounds pretty post-reality to me…

                The difference with Team Trump is that they lie without caring if they get caught.

                As opposed to Hillary?

    2. Yeah, everytime somebody asks for my SS number, I get pissed. Somebody oughta do something about that wheel chair riding socialist.

      1. Yeah, everytime somebody asks for my SS number, I get pissed.

        Can’t tell if sarcasm. John Drake has a sad.

        Somebody oughta do something about that wheel chair riding socialist.

        Well Eisenhower…um. Or Gary Johnson…um.

        1. Not sarcasm. The law specifically says that your SSN is not supposed to be used as an ID. But guess what?

  12. Pretty low key entrance. I was expecting more.

  13. Some stoopit person is playing Beyonce on the juke box. God, it’s just awful.

      1. That’s pretty funny HM. Was it Eddie who posted there link the other day to a column describing the satanic symbolism in that video?

          1. You didn’t see it? I don’t have the juju to pull it out of the archives, but yeah, apparently that video is full of satanic symbolism. Which is cool; Satan is more to my liking than his nemesis.

              1. I’ll be in my bunk.

              2. There is nothing on God’s Green Earth more beautiful than a finely shaped female derier.

                1. * derriere

    1. She is horrible.

      1. Right? It’s like I’m bleeding out of my ass through my ears. Literally 😉

        1. Would that mean that you’re bleeding from your . . . wherever?

  14. Right On! If you can’t trust the freaking Federal Bureau of Investigation, who can you tr



    We are so screwed. [Image of Donald Trump guarded by the Secret Service]

    I think we’ve skipped Reality and gone Post Parody.

    1. Who knew that Idiocracy was a documentary?

  15. Fox headline:

    BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump says he ‘humbly and gratefully’ accepts Republican nomination

  16. While he didn’t quite come out and say it, he basically suggested that the FBI may be lying about crime stats in order to protect Hillary Clinton. It’s nuts.

    The IRS was used as a partisan too. The FBI’s handling of Clinton was laughable and clearly influenced by the administration. The BJS stopped publishing some crime stats embarrassing to the administration. Why is it “nuts” to think they’d fudge some crime stats for partisan purposes?

    1. Because it’s Suderman. Who is a SJW socialist. You know, the guy arguing about how the US government is responsible for all the evils in the world while simultaneously insisting that we grant more and more power to the US government.

      1. WTF are you talking about?

        1. Can’t remember dude. You’ve read enough of my to know that I drink heavily and smoke the Mary Jane.

    2. The only reason the Hillary scandal lasted as long as it did was because the FBI rank and file had integrity and pursued the investigation. Every other organ of the BO administration tried to immediately sweep it under the rug.

      The downward trend in violent crime is decades old, and is a very strong talking point for gun rights supporters. Now you want to pitch it in the trash can to circle the wagons around Team Trump. How sad.

      1. This.

      2. The downward trend in crime would be even more pronounced if we weren’t importing Latin American gangbangers. That’s not in any way a negative for gun rights. Trump talked Second Amendment in his speech, gave a shoutout to the NRA, and has a position paper to match. You think NRA types are going to stay home or vote for Hillary?

        And today Michael Moore said Trump will win. What an hysterically funny election this is.

    3. Kind of like the bogus economic stats issued shortly before the 2012 election that boosted Obama, and were quickky revised downward following the election.

    4. Oh Taki magazine. Thanks for the fascist nutjob perspective there.

  17. Peter Suderman’s balls are in a little pouch sewed into Megan McArdle’s purse.

  18. the plagiarism excuses are legendary. they went the long way around to actually make the case that it was indeed blatant plagiarism on melania’s part. that takes a special kind of incompetence.

    1. They released a statement throwing a speech writer under the bus saying a speech writer was responsible.

  19. To be fair, questioning the FBI’s legitimacy is appropriate, given how it’s head gave a long, and explicative reasoning as to where/when/how/why a certain presidential candidate, by any objective measure, broke the law. And then proceeded to suggest that criminal charges would be inappropriate. “No one is to big to jail”, except a Clinton.

    1. Yeah, this. I’ve pretty much decided that the Republic is dead. I’m not sure what comes after, but the Rule of law, the 4th Estate, and Loyal Opposition are all zombies, wandering around the field of American Exceptionalism looking for brains.

      1. Seriously what will stop Hillary or a future Democratic from becoming a dictator? Plenty of pretexts too: Government Shutdown, opposition to pro-gun control SCOTUS ruling, unrest in response to black guy and/or cop(s) getting shot, some militia activity, etc.

        1. Yup, and this was quite predictable. The timeline is always different, but the result is always the same. Freedom is abstract and scary. Tyranny is concrete and always passes the blame.

        2. We’ve had all of those and no dictators.

          Just like people saying Obama’s going to “declare martial law and cancel the election”. Er, the federal govt don’t have anything to do with the November elections, so they can’t cancel them unless they blanket the country with military to prevent people from voting.

          1. Government has evolved since Rome. So have the forms that tyranny assumes.

          2. This is how it will happen: Hillary wins, appoints some SC justices, and then the 2020 election are canceled because voting against a Democrat is a “racist microagression.”

      2. “…the Rule of law, the 4th Estate, and Loyal Opposition are all zombies, wandering around the field of American Exceptionalism looking for brains.”
        That doesn’t get any props?

  20. Next thing you know, the GOP will be implying that the Obama administration has been cooking the books on unemployment figures.

    Loretta and co. need to do something about all these recovery deniers.

    1. And about deportation numbers.

  21. So the Trump defenders are suggesting that the 25 year decline in crime has all been an elaborate plot by the FBI to protect Hillary?

    1. People don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods
      People don’t feel safe
      feel safe

      1. I certainly don’t feel safe around your kind. Fuckin’ pedants getting all up in my ig’nance.

        1. What about peanuts now?

      2. Nice gun.

      3. Nuh-uh! Everyone knows only libruls and secret proggietarians base everything on feelings! Upstanding rightwing conservatarians like Trump and the new, better Republican party are above things like that!

      4. That’s easy to say when you’ve never been a cop responding to a noise complaint when a chihuahua runs out the front door barking at you.

    2. These retards will say and believe anything because FUCKING COSMOZ. They are worse than Obamatards, and should be kicked out of there. They are the libertarian equivalent of the lumpenproletariat….Trumpenproletariat….I took that from Jonah Goldberg.

      1. True Scotsman, right there, folks. Look at his kilt.

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