To the extent that the 2020 Democratic primary is coming down to a race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Trump and his enablers have weighed in on who they would rather run against. For example, we’ve seen the president tweet things like this:
Trump enabler Hugh Hewitt went so far as to publicly announce that he would be voting for Sanders in the Democratic primary in Virginia:
WATCH: Hugh Hewitt announces that he will vote in the Democratic party in Virginia on March 3rd. #MTP #IfItsSunday@hughhewitt: “I’m voting for Bernie Sanders” pic.twitter.com/G0gxKu6IAd
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 19, 2020
On Monday, Jay Sekulow began the presentations from Trump’s defense team in the Senate trial by claiming that “we do not deal with speculation—allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.” But it wasn’t long before Pam Bondi dismissed all of that and articulated a conspiracy theory about Joe Biden that has no basis in fact. Andrew Bates, from the Biden campaign, provided this helpful explainer.
Take a seat, grab yourself a drink, and listen to our campaign’s Rapid Response Director @AndrewBatesNC explain what really happened in Ukraine. #TeamJoe pic.twitter.com/y82fcTGNvK
— Team Joe (Text JOE to 30330) (@TeamJoe) January 21, 2020
Following Bondi’s presentation, Eric Herschmann repeated the lies. So, in a sense, the president’s legal team was able to use the Senate impeachment trial to accomplish what Trump had attempted to extort from Ukraine.
In case it wasn’t clear that this was all about promoting the president’s political interests, after the presentations from Trump’s defense team, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) gleefully said the quiet parts out loud.
.@SenJohnBarrasso and @SenJoniErnst on the Iowa Caucus taking place next Monday “Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point? Not sure about that”
Watch More — https://t.co/wvPBk6KrjT pic.twitter.com/xrQJF0SkqC
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 27, 2020
Here’s the quote:
Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening and I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters. Those Democratic caucus goers — will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point? Not as certain about that.
In other words, the smear campaign against Joe Biden is an attempt by Republicans to interfere in the Democratic primary to knock him out of contention.
Democratic voters are free to make of this what they will. But the one thing they can’t do is to allow this kind of disinformation campaign based on conspiracy theories to be effective. Lying about opponents is now the modus operandi of Republicans because they are steeped in having to defend the most corrupt president in this country’s history. Disinformation is all they’ve got and they will use it mercilessly—especially against an opponent they fear.