On Friday morning, President Trump tweeted about John Podesta, saying “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”
Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2017
This tweet is half-true, if even that. But it is extremely effective. Let’s break down the facts of the substance of the tweet here. First, no one at the G20 is talking about John Podesta, except maybe foreign politicians who used the Podesta brothers’ lobbying firm. Secondly, John Podesta was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. He was not a staff member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). There was a lot of “collusion” between the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as revealed in the DNC Leaks, before she officially got the nomination. Despite the close connection, John Podesta could not make executive decisions at the DNC. Executive decisions, like giving access to hacked servers, would be left to people like then-Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. Not John Podesta. So that much is clear, John Podesta cannot give access to the “hacked” DNC servers.
John Podesta, however, can give access to his own email over to the FBI. I am unaware if that was done, or how exactly his email was hacked. There was a phishing scam that John Podesta fell for, entering the password to his email, that may have allowed hackers to gain access. It didn’t help that his staff said that the phishing email was a legitimate one. The fact remains that the DNC hack and the John Podesta email hack are two different situations, both are believed to be work of the Russians. What President Trump did here was conflate both the DNC Leaks and the Podesta Emails into the same issue, a tactic the left and mainstream media has used to perpetuate the Russia narrative. President Trump has now co-opted this narrative to be his own.
President Trump knows full well they are different issues, why would he tweet this? To get people to focus on both issues. He is continuing to push the fact that the DNC has, to this day, refused to allow federal agencies to examine their server, only allowing Ukraine-backed cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike, who had a DNC contract, to do so. It also, and this is the genius of the tweet, forces news agencies to talk about, and for people to research, John Podesta. Not for people to go down some Pizzagate-ridden rabbit hole, but for people to see one of the latest pieces written about him. On July 5th, Peter Schweizer, the author of the book Clinton Cash, wrote an op-ed in the New York Post detailing the connections of John Podesta to Russia. So now when you search up ‘John Podesta,’ aside from articles about this tweet, Peter Schweizer’s article will be the first thing you see. It is no coincidence that one of President Trump’s favorite anchors, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. On his 8pm program on July 6th, Tucker Carlson featured Peter Schweizer as a guest, who was on to talk about his article.
Some will say that President Trump is lying. By definition, he is. But the better way to describe this tactic is to call it, as Dilbert creator and author Scott Adams does, an “untruth.” Trump says something half or not true, in order to get you looking at a certain part of what he said. As per usual, President Trump is playing the fiddle and the media follows along.