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Being Donald Trump: Inside the World Where Conspiracies Are Reality

What reality looks like from inside Trump World.
October 4, 2019
Being Donald Trump: Inside the World Where Conspiracies Are Reality
(GettyImages / Shutterstock)

In interview after interview over the past few weeks Rudy Giuliani has provided plenty of fodder for those who believe him to be a few cans short of a 30-pack. He’s been described as “very insane,” “addled,”and “a free range chicken” (that last one was an attempt at a compliment). Allies have raised concerns about his drinking before going on TV and said that they wish he’d “shut the heck up” because they don’t think he understands what he is doing.

But what I want to posit for a moment is: What if everyone is wrong? What if you and I are the crazy ones and it’s Rudy and Hannity who are seeing 20/20? What if they are having what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity?

After all, you and I were wrong about the 2016 election. (Or at least wrong about the Electoral College vote.) It was soothsayers like the Dilbert guy, and the guy with the dentures who stole money from his followers to move to Miami, and the guy with Nixon tattooed on his back who were right about 2016. Maybe they’re right again?

Maybe I’ve let hipster espresso drinks and blue-checkmark elitism cloud my brain from realizing that akshually, the truth is out there.

I wanted to explore this possibility so I dove deep into the MAGA web, suffered through several slurry interviews with Rudy, and even watched a couple Hannity segments in order to put together what I believe to be the definitive version of events according to Trump and his most obsequious allies.

But before you read further, I implore you to reject your implicit biases, have a glass of peaty scotch, and open your mind. Because if you are a stubborn, TDS-afflicted partisan this is not the story for you. For the rest of you, prepare to be redpilled by a story so shocking it may scar your soul until the end of days.

Spring: 2016 

The case being presented by President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Sean Hannity is inextricably intertwined with the investigation into the 2016 election. They presuppose the possibility that everything we’ve been told publicly about interference in the election is a lie. The public story, of course, has been that (1) Russians hacked U.S. political organizations in order to benefit Trump; (2) There was a gaggle of unsavory characters either intertwined in the plot or attempting to be; and (3) people close to Trump knew this was happening, welcomed it, and frequently lied about their actions.

So forget about all that.

Instead, consider the possibility that the U.S. intelligence community—desperate to prevent Trump from ascending to the presidency—worked with the Clinton campaign, Democratic National Committee insiders, intelligence agents in multiple foreign countries, and Ukrainian oligarchs in order to fabricate evidence of Russian interference and cover-up what was an inside job all along. And that they used former British spy (and dossier author) Christopher Steele as their vehicle.

That’s what the president and his team seem to believe.

Their theory is . . . complicated. It took several days for me to unpack it and even still there are a few remaining holes that need filling. So for anyone having trouble grasping its full majesty, I’ll take each claim separately, so you can see how the structure of this belief was assembled piece by piece and what is left to be uncovered.

At the center of the case is the U.S. intelligence community. We already know through private communications that FBI employees Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, and Lisa Page wanted to “protect the country on many levels” from the possibility of a President Trump. They even texted on government phones about a “secret society” they had created. Also, since the election the heads of the FBI and CIA—James Comey and John O Brennan—have become #Resistance warriors. So Trump World assumes that they must have shared the views of the “secret society.” It is the belief of Trump World that these individuals and/or their associates masterminded the entire plot—with Brennan as the ringleader.

Trump World believes that this conspiracy’s first step was to fabricate a basis for an investigation into Trump some time during the Spring of 2016, just as he was sealing the GOP nomination. It was then that the intelligence chiefs worked with their partners in the Clinton campaign to hire Steele, who would serve either as their ally in fabrication or an unwitting dupe to be used as part of their efforts to launch the investigation.

Next they brought friends from the international intelligence community into the conspiracy. Using a shadowy Italian agent named Joseph Mifsud—who has Russian ties, making him an excellent head fake—and Australian ambassador Alexander Downer, they entrapped low-level Trump staffer George Papadopoulos in a brilliant scheme where Mifsud offered phony Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. He did this knowing that Papadopoulos would brag about this highly secretive and illegal offer in a meeting with Downer a month later. Downer then relayed the “intelligence” (wink wink) back to the Americans who had positioned it there in the first place.

Like a skilled LAPD officer/Fox News analyst, the intel agencies had successfully planted the evidence they needed to begin the greatest witch hunt ever conducted outside of Salem. But, despite having this information in May, the investigation of Donald Trump couldn’t start until something happened to precipitate it. So the intelligence community sat on their evidence for two months, patiently waiting for the moment to strike.

That opportunity came in July, when Wikileaks began releasing highly damaging information about Hillary Clinton—the candidate the intelligence community was ostensibly trying to help.

Wait, what?

This is one piece of the theory I haven’t been able to puzzle out. When the intelligence community was planning this brilliant trap to frame Trump, how did they know that the Wikileaks emails would be coming a few months later and could be used as a pretext to spring the trap?

I suppose it’s possible that they had a counter-intel informant in Russia. But that doesn’t make much sense, because Trump World keeps saying that Russia wasn’t involved in any of this. Plus—as we’ll see shortly—having a source in Russia would have negated the need for the Crowdstrike cover-up.

Trump World has its own theory: Both Hannity and Trump’s lawyers (Giuliani and Jay Sekulow) have suggested that the intelligence community had a mole inside the DNC who knew that the email servers had been breached. But rather than report this breach in an attempt to stop the damaging emails from being published (which would have been a much bigger help to Clinton) they murdered the leaker and then allowed the emails to be published as part of the sting to nail Trump. (This is the elevator pitch for the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.)

The final possibility is that the intelligence community used an ally—perhaps Ukraine?—to hack the DNC in a false-flag operation against the Clinton campaign so that they could later pin the breach on Trump and Russia.

Admittedly, it’s all quite confusing. But in order to believe that it was the American Deep State waging war against Trump (and not the Russians trying to help him) you have to believe one of those three scenarios. (Let’s all hope Bill Barr and John Durham get to the bottom of this with their investigation into the origins of the witch hunt.)

Regardless of how it happened, though, the Wikileaks dump was the opportunity the intelligence community needed.

First they went through appropriate channels at the FBI—so as not to blow their cover—and presented the Papadopoulos intel and the dossier so that they could begin a formal investigation against Trump.

Next, using the dossier, they got a scam FISA warrant to monitor Trump consultant Carter Page, who had previously been recruited as an asset by Russian intelligence.

And then President Obama was brought in on the operation.

As Trump would later say, Obama “tapped my wires.” It is unclear why Obama and the intelligence community didn’t simply target Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, who was also a Russian asset and might have had more relevant information for the high-stakes wire-tapping. But leave that aside for the moment.

The FISA warrant was for Carter Page. But Trump World thinks there was more going on than just this surveillance. During a discussion on Hannity this week, Lindsey Graham left the door open to the possibility that the intelligence cabal also brought in Italian, British, and Australian assets to outsource additional spying on Trump so that they could circumvent American law.

Why people already breaking so many laws—including possibly murdering Seth Rich—would get cold feet about conducting illegal surveillance doesn’t make a ton of sense. But no matter. The point is that after a great deal of effort, the intelligence community finally had Trump right where they wanted him: He was the nominee and now it was time for the conspirators to execute the operation.


As Obama, Comey, Brennan, and the rest scoured the globe for allies in their effort to derail Trump, they zeroed in on a particular eastern European nation well situated to be the lynchpin of their conspiracy.

Ukraine, having recently been invaded by Russia, was primed to participate in an effort to frame the Russians for the elaborate crime being committed by the American intelligence community (and the American president).

Conveniently, the cabal had a DNC consultant named Alexandra Chalupa who was willing and able to be the go-between between the American intelligence community and the Ukrainians. And that was just the beginning of their list of assets.

They had knowledge of Paul Manafort’s actions in the country, through the anti-Russian elements of the Ukranian government.

They had a secret funder in George Soros.

And, as an added bonus, the Obama administration also had leverage over Ukraine, thanks to yet another conspiracy—this one headed up by the Vice President Joe Biden.

Wheels within wheels.

According to Trump World, Biden had recruited the entire global pro-democracy movement—the European Union, the IMF, the American diplomatic corps, and key NGOs—to a plot to fire a noble Ukrainian prosecutor, all so that Biden’s son could make $50,000 a month working for a Ukranian oligarch.

That may seem like a whole lot of squeeze for very little juice. But then, efficiency doesn’t seem to be the modus operandi for this particular conspiracy. For instance, Fox News reporter/analyst/jackass Jesse Watters claims to have uncovered yet another aspect of the conspiracy suggesting that Biden worked with former CIA official Cofer Black, the former president of Poland, and a John Kerry confidante in a wide-ranging scheme to smear the prosecutor at odds with Hunter Biden. Giuliani has indicated he has evidence that Obama was in on it, too. As well as the American ambassador to Ukraine. And the former Ukrainian president.

Bringing the Ukranians involved in the Biden operation into the trust tree was critical because the cabal inside the FBI needed cover. Why? Because the non-traitorous rank-and-file members of the Bureau couldn’t be allowed to find out about the plot when they investigated the DNC breach.

Why was a conspiracy that encompassed the president of the United States, the vice president, officials throughout the American intelligence community, wetworks specialists, foreign agents, civilian assets—and the addict son of a high-ranking politician with a penchant for getting himself in trouble—so worried about letting a couple of street agents in on the scheme?

These are questions only Sean Hannity can answer.

Anyway, back to Ukraine. At this point, the conspirators inside the intelligence community called up a U.S. company called Crowdstrike. The conspirators colluded with DNC Chairwoman (and current Fox News contributor) Donna Brazile—through her consultant Alexandra Chalupa—to deny the FBI access to the DNC’s hacked servers.

(I have to admit, I’ve been curious why Brazile hasn’t spilled the beans on this during one of her appearances on The Five, the Deep State must have leverage on her, too.)

They arranged for Crowdstrike to examine the compromised servers as part of the law enforcement investigation. And Crowdstrike then fabricated evidence from the servers to implicate Russia, which, you will remember, was an innocent bystander this whole time.

And not just innocent, but kind of a dupe. Because all of the old KGB hands who now run the country somehow missed the MASSIVE INTELLIGENCE CONSPIRACY happening in the United States—in which they were being implicated—even though a big part of it was taking place in their backyard.

Anyway, Crowdstrike took the servers, fabricated the evidence against the innocent Russians, and then proceeded to hide the real server in Ukraine. (People in Trump World always say “server,” singular, which I assume is a colloquialism like the inverse of the royal “we” because there are actually many servers.)

Ukraine didn’t just provide shelter for the stolen server(s)—its intelligence apparatus also gave the cabal information about Manafort in the form of a “black ledger” with records of his illegal payments from former Ukrainian president Yanukovych.

How deep did this conspiracy go? All the way down. And Rudy Giuliani is the man who put the pieces together. As he explained on Fox News Sunday: “Ukrainian collusion, which was large, significant, and proven, with Hillary Clinton, with the DNC, a woman named Chalupa, with the ambassador, with an FBI agent who’s now been hired by George Soros who was funding a lot of it.”

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - Pepe Silvia


Don’t laugh. Because shit’s about to get real.


As the 2016 campaign hit the home stretch that fall, the Obama administration intelligence units had set themselves up perfectly for a dramatic finish. Let’s walk through the minefield they’d created for the perfect, beautiful Republican nominee:

  • They had seeded the phony dossier
  • Entrapped Papadopoulos
  • Tapped Carter Page’s wires
  • Engaged intel officials in three countries in a spying operation
  • Allowed a continuous drip of false-flag emails damaging Hillary Clinton (remember, she’s their candidate of choice, so they did this to throw people off the scent)
  • Cryptically implied to the media that Russia was behind the Wikileaks hack
  • Covered up this false-flag operation with the Ukrainian (actually American) cyber security firm Crowdstrike
  • Received the Ukranian Manafort file.
  • And gotten Hunter Biden some walking around money

As everything was clicking into place the FBI made a dramatic decision. They didn’t want to tip their hand and make an announcement about all the evidence they had on Trump.

They didn’t want to open an investigation into the various other corrupt dealings of the Trump Organization.

And they didn’t want to use their considerable resources to uncover Trump’s tax returns and then leak them to the press. All of which might have been pretty damaging to Trump’s election prospects.

No, what they decided to do was brief Harry Reid on the information they had gathered, hoping that he would reprise his dirty trickster role from the 2012 campaign. Then our cabal from the intelligence committee—which included the director of the FBI—decided to write a letter to Congress about how they were reopening the investigation against Clinton. And then, finally, they decided to exonerate Trump of the crimes they were fabricating with an 11th hour leak to the New York Times.

Why? It’s elementary, really.


How could we not have seen it all along?

The plan was to engage covert allies around the world, use the most powerful office in the land for illegal spying, entrap a few random nobodies, cripple the Clinton campaign, and enrich Biden so that when Trump won he would be mired in fake oversight investigations.

The intel community was going to stop Trump by getting him elected and then making his life miserable. Because it’s the last thing anyone would be looking for.

Mind. Blown.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that this version of events might be possible. After all, the version that posits that the former KGB officer who runs our most significant global adversary had engaged in a campaign to tilt the scales in favor of the American candidate most likely to be useful to Russian interests is a little too pat.

Sure, there’s motive.

And means.

And opportunity.

And mountains (and mountains) of evidence.

It looks perfect. Too perfect.

What if nobody in my life has ever been honest with me besides Rudy?

And Sean Hannity?

And Donald Trump?

Like I said, the truth is out there.

THE X FILES the truth is out there

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.