23 May 2018 at 15:01 ET
Jennifer Taub speaks to CNN (screen grab)
White collar crime expert Jennifer Taub explained to CNN on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s so-called “Spygate” conspiracy theory is a like a typical scam conducted by a “con artist.” “The president of the United States has just elevated a conspiracy theory to a government plot with zero evidence,” CNN host Brooke Baldwin announced, pointing to Trump’s baseless allegation that an FBI “spy” infiltrated his 2016 campaign.
“We have this conspiracy theory president who has launched this mega, mega P.R. blitz based on total rumor,” Baldwin said.
Taub observed that “desperation” was making Trump float conspiracy theories as facts.
“Reality is not on his side,” she pointed out. “And he’s a longtime con artist… Con artists need two types of people to keep the con going. They need the enablers who know what’s going on but are benefiting in some way by the con. And then they also need people they target, their marks.”
“It’s really disappointing for those members of Congress who are sort of whispering among themselves — and I’m speaking about the Republicans,” Taub continued, “that they don’t trust this guy, that this is outrageous, that he’s undermining the rule of law, that he’s trying to target [special counsel] Bob Mueller and so on. But they don’t speak out about it publicly or if they do, it’s those who are not running for office again.”
Baldwin pointed out that some polls indicate that Trump’s “con” is working because a portion of people have “soured on Bob Mueller.”
“The fact that most Republicans believe him is indicative of where our politics are,” CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin remarked.
“This is not normal,” Baldwin agreed.
“What Trump and his allies have succeeded in doing is making [Robert Mueller] into another political player,” Toobin added. “I don’t think it’s an accurate perception of what’s Mueller is doing. But in the absence of his voice or in the absence of other people who are authoritative responding, this is where we are.”
“It just makes you think,” Baldwin replied, “that down the road, when Mueller finds whatever he finds, based on all this [pounding] from the president, then what?”
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