Trump Loyalists Will Cling to Him Like Barnacles on a Sinking Ship

The president has turned the GOP into a cult of personality.

Ting Shen/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Within a matter of minutes Tuesday afternoon, twin legal developments rocked the presidency: Donald Trump’s former campaign boss Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, and his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, among other felonies.

“If Michael Cohen is telling the truth, then Donald Trump conspired with Michael Cohen—the President of the United States conspired with his longtime lawyer—to violate campaign finance law,” explains Mother Jones Washington, DC, Bureau Chief, David Corn, on this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast. “This is far more serious for Donald Trump than the Manafort convictions.”

“You really have to go back to Watergate to find a situation in which so many of the president’s men ended up going to jail, or facing such charges,” Corn added.

But don’t expect Trump’s allies in the media to cop to his deepening legal peril. Everything is fine. As major news networks plastered the walls with breaking news Tuesday night, Fox News star Sean Hannity lamented “equal justice under the law … is dead” and defiantly trained his ire on the far more pressing problem: Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Corn tells host Jamilah King that Trump, “has turned the conservative movement and the Republican Party into this cult of personality that defends him no matter what. They are like barnacles on the hull. And if that ship goes down, they’re gonna go down with it.”

Listen to the exchange:

Also on the show we talk books. Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery interviews Jason Kander. He is an Afghanistan war veteran, the founder of Let America Vote, a group dedicated to ending voter suppression across the country, a podcast star, the Former Missouri Secretary of State, and now author. His new memoir, Outside the Wire, which chronicles his path from the battlefield to the halls of power, just debuted on the New York Times best seller list. Jeffery talks to Kander about being the first millennial to hold statewide office, creating a nationwide voter rights movement, and running to become mayor of Kansas City. (Oh, and one of the best Twitter comebacks we’ve ever seen.)

And finally, Ben Dreyfuss, Mother Jones’s editorial director for growth and strategy, interviews author Brian Abrams about Obama: An Oral History, his reflections on Obama’s biggest wins and losses as told to him in more than 100 interviews with key players, and how to think about his presidency now that we know what came next. Dreyfuss asks if someone told Barack Obama the night he won the presidency in 2008 that in 8 years he was going to handover the presidency to his exact opposite, would he have done anything differently? Tune in to hear Abrams provocative, thought-provoking response. 

Three fascinating conversations on where America is, where it has been, and where it’s going, on this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast. Subscribe using any of the following services:

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate