Hurry up with those boots

Lie often enough and shamelessly enough and you win the game.

James R. Clapper said something Tuesday that he maybe shouldn’t have. In the course of rebutting President Trump’s conspiracy theories about the FBI “spying” on his campaign, the former director of national intelligence momentarily conceded Trump’s premise.

“They were spying on — a term I don’t particularly like — but on what the Russians were doing,” Clapper said. Asked whether Trump should be happy the FBI was doing this, Clapper said, “He should be.”

“He should be” if he cared about US interests, or about how authoritarian and criminal Putin is, or both.

Trump’s response? Take that badly out of context.

And to be clear, this is a really important semantic point. Trump and his allies have launched a concerted effort to insert the word “spy” in this debate, despite there being no evidence that there was anything untoward about the FBI’s use of an informant, Stefan Halper, to look into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump included the word in ALL CAPS infourseparatetweets Wednesday morning — including christening the supposed scandal as “SPYGATE.” The word also appeared almost incessantly on his favorite morning show, “Fox & Friends.”

So they’ll win, by being willing and eager to repeat lies often enough and shamelessly enough.

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