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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Although President Donald Trump posted a tweet last Friday condemning the anti-Islam terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand (which has resulted in 50 deaths so far), some of his critics have noted that one of the suspects published a 74-page manifesto that described Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” But Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, during a Monday morning appearance on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, vehemently denied that Trump was an inspiration for the shooter in any way.

While Conway was addressing Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy and others, a headline ran across the bottom of the screen saying, “Media, Dems, blame Trump in wake of NZ attacks.” And Conway told the Fox News panel, “This president condemns hate and evil and bigotry, and we will continue to do so. People should feel safe in their places of worship, and we’ve seen far too often where that is not the case.”

Conway went out of her way to distance the New Zealand shooter from Trump’s beliefs, asserting that according to the manifesto, the shooter is “not a conservative” and “referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist.”

During her March 18 Fox and Friends appearance, Conway also claimed that when Rep. Steve Scalise was shot by gunman James T. Hodgkinson in Arlington, Virginia in June 2017, Republicans didn’t blame liberals for the attack. Conway claimed, “We didn’t go around saying, ‘Gee, the guy said he watches MSNBC’ or ‘He’s a Bernie supporter.’ Nobody should do that.”

But in fact, Conway herself blamed liberals in June 2017 for Hodgkinson’s shooting spree, telling “Fox and Friends” that “as Steve Scalise was fighting for his life and crawling into right field in a trail of blood, you should go back and see what people were saying about the president and the Republicans at that very moment…. If I were shot and killed tomorrow, half of Twitter would explode in applause and excitement…. You can’t attack people personally, in a way, and think that tragedies like this won’t happen.”

Conway’s vigorous defense of Trump on Monday morning came around the time her husband, conservative attorney George Conway, was criticizing Trump for all the ranting he did on Twitter over the weekend. The attorney, describing Trump as a narcissist, tweeted, “Don’t assume that the things he says and does are part of a rational plan or strategy, because they seldom are. Consider them as a product of his pathologies.”

The Conways have had many disagreements on the merits of Trump’s presidency. While George Conway has been a frequent critic of the president on the right, his wife is among Trump’s most vocal defenders.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)