CNN anchors Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter could not help but marvel at how steadfastly former President Donald Trump is clinging to his “delusional” lies about the 2020 election, including comments he made to Carol Lennig and Philip Rucker of The Washington Post back in March regarding his failed insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
During an interview with Lennig and Rucker for their book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, Trump claimed that Capitol Police officers greeted his angry mob – which he described as “loving” – with “hugging and kissing” and encouraged them to enter the complex.
Acosta and Stelter found Trump’s remarks to be an absolutely astonishing deviation from reality.
“I cannot get over how delusional this sounds. I mean, the lies. It’s just nuts. But does it sound like the former president is emboldened to spin even more outrageous lies about January 6th the more time passes on the deadly attack? We see this video day after day. It just sounds delusional to listen to what he is saying,” Acosta said.
Stelter agreed and cautioned that Trump is currently more “emboldened” than ever to stick to his story.
“But emboldened is the word. I think that is why this is relevant. We are seeing him over time dig in further and further and lies on this level are like a power trip. They are a challenge to the audience. Lies on this level, delusions on this level, you know, you’re daring people not to believe their eyes and own ears, not to believe this videotape, and daring people to deny what they actually know to be true. And when you do that, when you challenge them, and when they go along with it, when they buy into your lies, you have power over that,” he said.
That is called is gaslighting.
“It is a propaganda technique that we are seeing Trump employ in this situation and the more time goes on, the less of these videos are seen on Fox and fewer of these videos are seen on Newsmax. The memories do fade in right-wing media, they exist certainly in the rest of the country, but the memories are fading within the MAGA base, and so he’s able, I think, to exert more power by becoming more emboldened with the lies, Jim,” he continued.
“Yeah. He’s inviting his supporters to go and live in this cult-like alternate reality that he inhabits,” said Acosta.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.