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CNNs Fareed Zakaria Examines Donald Trumps Conspiracy Theories — Monday, July 20 at 9pmET and PT

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July 17th, 2020

CNNs Fareed Zakaria Examines Donald Trumps Conspiracy Theories — Monday, July 20 at 9pmET and PT

New primetime special explores origins of a fabulist presidents biggest lies July 20 on CNN & CNN International

Donald Trump uses false conspiracy theories to damage perceived enemies, explain away poor polling numbers, or to cover up his own misdoings. In a new primetime special,Donald Trumps Conspiracy Theories, CNNsFareed Zakariaexplores why some people are vulnerable to believing Trumps conspiracy theories, andwhether the damage the president has done to American institutions and global standing can be undone after he someday leaves office.

Donald Trumps Conspiracy Theorieswill premiere Monday, July 20 at 9:00pm Eastern and Pacific on CNN; the special will also air on CNN International at 9:00pm Eastern.

Although he didnt invent the lie, Trump launched his political self-invention as the highest profile birther, a peddler of the racist accusation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. The sitting U.S. president has also spun tales to explain away his polls, and shake the faith Americans have in the electoral process. Trump has falsely tweeted that former President Barack Obamas re-election in 2012 was a total sham, and that Sen. Ted Cruz stole the 2016 Iowa Republican caucus. Trump has claimed, without evidence, that dead people and non-citizen voters are why Hillary Clinton won nearly three million votes more than he did in 2016.

Zakarias interviews with experts and historians guide viewers through other conspiracy theories and their propagators, from Sen. Joseph McCarthys (R-WI) red scare of communists embedded in the federal government during the Cold War, to the prolific cottage industry of books, TV shows, movies, and other amateur investigations that explain the assassination of President John Kennedy, and other conspiracy theories.

Zakaria also discusses the challenge and the danger of Americas obsession with and susceptibility to conspiracy theories. Most importantly, Zakaria asks, is Trump setting up a series of conspiracy theories to ensure that tens of millions of people refuse to accept the outcome of the 2020 election and throw America into a constitutional crisis like it may never have seen before?

Interviewed for the special are:

  • Carol Anderson, professor and chair African American studies, Emory University; author, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (2018)
  • Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, The Atlantic
  • Richard Hasen, professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law; author, Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy (2020)
  • Andrew Marantz, staff writer, The New Yorker; author, Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (2019)
  • Russell Muirhead, professor and chair, department of government, Dartmouth College; co-author, A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy (2020)
  • Tim Naftali, clinical associate professor of history, New York University; former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library

During its July 20 premiere, Donald Trumps Conspiracy Theories will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo (www.CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. The special will be available beginning Tuesday, July 21, on demand via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms, and CNN mobile apps.

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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