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So there.


The Donald Trump campaign issued a blisteringly emptyheaded reponse to recent reporting by the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold showing a number of irregularities in the operations of the Trump Foundation. Just little stuff, like using a quarter-million dollars of "charity" money to pay off his own legal settlements, and of course the purchase of at least two portraits of Donald Trump, one of which Fahrenthold was able to locate with help from all his pals on Twitter. It's at Trump's National Doral Miami golf resort -- and no, charity funds aren't supposed to be used to buy portraits for your stupid golf course, either.

BUT! Hold on just a darn minute here! As we say, the Trump campaign wants you all to know that this Fahrenthold guy is simply part of the Washington Post Lie Machine, and so here is the very impressive statement issued Wednesday by Trump's communications director, Jason Miller, conclusively proving Fahrenthold got it all wrong:

In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten their facts wrong. It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors. The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll.

There was not, and could not be, any intent or motive for the Trump Foundation to make improper payments. All contributions are reported to the IRS, and all Foundation donations are publicly disclosed. Mr. Trump is generous both with his money and with his time. He has provided millions of dollars to fund his Foundation and a multitude of other charitable causes.

The Post’s reporting is peppered with inaccuracies and omissions from a biased reporter who is clearly intent on distracting attention away from the corrupt Clinton Foundation, a vehicle for the Clintons to peddle influence at the expense of the American people. Mr. Trump personally and the Trump Foundation, however, are staying focused on their charitable giving to veterans, the police, children and other deserving recipients.

Guess that settles THAT. Except, of course, for the part where the statement doesn't actually identify anything Fahrenthold got wrong. Or answer any of the detailed questions Fahrenthold sent the campaign about the Trump Foundation's activities. But golly, that David Fahrenthold sure is a meanie who's writing about Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton like he should be. Oh, sure, there's the minor detail, as Fahrenthold's colleague Chris Cillizza notes, the Post certainly has done lots of reporting on the Clinton Foundation as well, and ran an editorial claiming there was "A porous ethical wall between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department."

Looks like this will be the Trump campaign's official strategy for responding to Fahrenthold's detailed, well-documented reporting: Say he's wrong and biased, yell some more that the real scandal is the Clinton Foundation, and keep insisting that Donald Trump has given millions and millions of dollars to charities. Not that Trump can actually show any proof of those donations, like, say, his tax returns.

That's certainly the line taken by Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne "Stepford" Conway, who went on CNN Wednesday and proclaimed that Trump's use of $100,000 from the foundation to settle a lawsuit over the size of his flagpole (add Freudian joke here) was perfectly fine, as she explained to Erin Burnett:

"I think this is a classic Donald Trump," she told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront." "He wanted to raise the American flag as high as he possibly could over Mar-a-Lago. I think a lot of Americans at this point would applaud that. And of course the county said he couldn't do that, it had to be smaller, so they started assessing a $1,250 fine. So the way they wanted to settle it was for Trump to donate $100,000 to a veteran's group." [...]

"I've been talking to the people who are responsible for the Trump Foundation to get some facts and some figures," she said. "It's very important for people to understand what happened in these cases. Donations went to veterans groups ... How did the Mar-a-Lago benefit from him giving $100,000 to veterans? The veterans benefited and I think that's great and I applaud him for doing that."

He loves America! He helped the vets! But there's kind of a problem there -- yes, the payment from the Trump Foundation went to a charity for vets. But that was what the town agreed on to settle their lawsuit against Mar-a-Lago, as Burnett pointed out: "Well, the business benefited by the lawsuit going away and being settled, right? That would be how the business benefited."

Conway's reply was proof that she really is a great fit with the Trump campaign; she's great at bafflegab:

Well, there are many lawsuits everyday against people ... I think you're making things up based on facts as they are not reported in this story, which also uses a lot of conditional phrasing, I'd like to point out.

Well then! Except for how the check came from the Trump Foundation, and the lawsuit was real, and none of it was made up. Also, Conway made sure to remind Burnett that Trump gives tons and tons of money to charities out of his own pocket instead of through the foundation. When Burnett pointed out Trump could easily prove that by releasing his tax returns, Conway didn't have anything to say. Besides, Conway added, this Fahrenthold guy is kind of weird, how he keeps trying to find out information about a presidential candidate: "[This] Washington Post reporter seems a little obsessed with Donald Trump these days."

Yeah, why the hell would a reporter report stuff that a presidential candidate is doing, especially if it's probably illegal? Is he trying to win a Pulitzer or something? That has to be it. Purely selfish self-aggrandizing by an obsessed, biased reporter. Who's doing one hell of a job.

[WaPo / CNN / Sopan Deb on Twitter / WaPo]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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