How Conspiracy Theories Get Started (On Both Sides)

(via Real Clear Politics)

'The Resistance' host Keith Olbermann steps up his rant game, making arguments that President Trump's missile strike in Syria on Thursday was a "publicity stunt.""Trump's missile strike in Syria was a stunt... and much of the news media, and who knows how much of the public believed every stupid word.""The Trump gang officially confirmed that the Rusians were warned in advance under the terms of the deconfliction understanding," he continued. "While the Russians knew and [therefore] the Syrians knew -- Did Congress? Did the American people know? They didn't even tell the State Department.""What do you call a stunt in which the American make sure that the principle ally of the target knows in advance that it is coming, but our own Congress and State Department do not. Might that be called collusion with the enemy?"He said: "By this time next year more Syrian children might be dead because of Donald Trump than because of Bashar al-Assad!""$94 million worth of missiles and we didn't even put a hole in the runway," he quipped. He said nobody noticed the "stunt" because the action was supported by 79 members of the Senate, even though they weren't informed in advance.

On Friday evening, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell laid out a new conspiracy theory which takes speculation about the degree to which President Trump is controlled by Vladimir Putin to a whole new level. David Corn, Rick Wilson, and Indira Lakshmanan join him to discuss. O'Donnell makes the case that the Russian president "masterminded" the whole series of events taking place in Syria this week, influencing all actions taken by President Trump and U.S., Syrian, and Russian forces in order to distract the American news media from the 2016 election hacking story. "It changes the conventional wisdom" about the dynamic between Trump and Russia, O'Donnell said about Trump's bombing in Russian-allied Syria. "As long as you never, never question whether Vladimir Putin wanted all of this to happen this week.""It is perfect. Just perfect. I wish it wasn't. If Vladimir Putin -- if Vladimir Putin -- masterminded the last week in Syria, he has gotten everything he could have wished for," he continued. O'Donnell said that the chemical attack allegedly launched by Syria was "just big enough" to be noticed by the media, and for President Trump to see it on TV. He also noted that Russia would never let Bashar al-Assad use chemical weapons that President Putin had already personally promised the world he would get rid of -- unless there was a reason..."And then Donald Trump can fire some missiles at Syria that do no real damage, and then the American news media will change the subject from Russian influence in the Trump campaign... and Trump White House," he theorized. "It is perfect. It doesn't just change the subject. For most of the news media it changes the conventional wisdom about the dynamic between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. [They see that] President Trump has finally dared to do something Vladimir Putin doesn't like." "It changes absolutely everything -- unless you question whether Vladimir Putin wanted all this to happen this way."He continued: "If Vladimir Putin really does have ways to influence Donald Trump, then every day that is a good day for President Trump. is a good day for President Putin.""Not one of these words I have said about the president could have been said about any other president before Donald Trump," O'Donnell said later. "Don't you miss those days?"Before bringing in the panel, O'Donnell brings out a small disclaimer about the theory: "I raise it without assigning a statistical probability to it, I don’t know what it is. I just know that it’s not zero, and it should be zero. It has been zero with every previous president. But when you look at the way that events have unfolded this week, Donald Trump could not have asked for a better end of the week for his presidency as he sees it."

Even some conservatives are guilty of starting rumors:Radio host Michael Savage joined Alex Jones on Tuesday's edition of 'Infowars' to deliver a message to President Trump, who Jones says watches regularly. Savage makes the case that Secretary of State (and former Exxon-Mobil CEO) Rex Tillerson is "misleading" the president into war in Syria.He explained: "It is so plain you don't have to be a genius to see what's going on here. What does Exxon-Mobil gain if they cut Syria out of the gas lines they're running from the Middle East to Europe?""That's the whole story in a nutshell. It's another war for oil!""We can not [be governed by] crazed, insane businessmen who put their bottom line ahead of the planet," he said later."Somebody has turned him," Savage said about Trump.   See the video Real Clear Politics here > Michael Savage Begs President Trump Not To Go To War in Syria: "Another War For Oil!"

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