Trump’s Cheese In The Maze Strategy
Operation Overlord, the most successful amphibious invasion in history, was in no small part successful due to the most effective deception and disinformation campaign in history. The key to the Allies completely fooling the Germans as to the real location of the invasion (Normandy) as opposed to where Adolf Hitler thought the troops would land (Calais)—thus meaning all the German generals who wanted their jobs had to think that as well—was the Allies knew what Hitler believed and just played to his preconceptions. They flew twice as many reconnaissance missions over Calais as Normandy and twice as many English Channel surveillance missions by ship. George Patton (whom Hitler expected would lead the invasion) was put in charge of a two million man phantom army, complete with inflatable “tanks,” telephone pole “artillery,” 24/7 radio traffic, and even two million phoney pay stubs. When the invasion came, Hitler foolishly withheld critical reinforcements while still awaiting the “real” invasion.
Flash forward to February 2017. The Trump team had known for months that, far from getting even a reasonably fair shake from the Fake News media (and even conservative media), they would face the most blistering, unrelenting, baseless and usually cowardly attacks of any Presidential administration since Abraham Lincoln’s. Team Trump knew that the only hope the Democrats had of stopping the Trump agenda was the “Russian collusion” story, concocted immediately after Hillary Clinton’s loss to explain away her pathetic and horrid campaign. Moreover, Team Trump—and here I’m largely speaking of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller—fully understood Alinsky-ism and the tactic of isolating people and programs to destroy them one at a time. Even before the inauguration, Bannon had a massive white board with strategic “rollouts” during the first days, not just weeks, and they were all over the map. Everything from regulatory rollback, ending the “mandate” in Obamacare, elevated levels of vetting “refugees,” a travel ban, tax relief, new arrangements with allies—these were all in place when I visited Trump Tower just before the Inauguration.
“How do you like how we’re flooding the zone?” Bannon asked me. Indeed that perfectly described it. The initiatives were so varied, so widespread, that none could be isolated without giving up on all the others, and therefore, none could be attacked with Alinsky tactics.
But the genius of what followed is still either ignored by even “conservative” writers, or not understood at all. Team Trump also understood that they needed a window of a few months to lay the groundwork for all of this, to get the necessary people in place, and to begin drafting all the paperwork necessary. Their biggest enemy was the leak. If word began leaking out to Republicans, especially, who could be harassed, lobbied, and bullied before the whole package was drafted, many pieces would never see the light of day.
Sometime in this period, I’m convinced Trump (but most likely Trump and Bannon, because this is pure Anti-Alinskyism at work) came up with the “Cheese in the Maze” deception program. The idea was to constantly leak stories of chaos or disaffection within Team Trump in order to get the Fake News media chasing those rather than the policy stories. Hence, the “Bannon-Kushner fight,” “Trump Furious with Sessions,” “Bannon on the outs,” “McMaster Seeking a Coup,” and, the latest, “Sessions Considers Resigning.” At no time did I ever get confirmation from within Team Trump that any one of these was even remotely true—but on the other hand I couldn’t get Team Trump to admit to the “cheese in the maze” strategy. Nevertheless, along with “Muh Russia,” the Fake News media was 100% absorbed in what were essentially National Enquirer headlines while oblivious to the earthquake under their feet.
Just consider one example: when Steve Bannon (later it was discovered both Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus) left the Middle East trip “early” for DC, the Fake News media immediately headed straight for the “Is Bannon Out?” stories. At the same time, they were pummeling Priebus as being an ineffective Chief of Staff. This was at the very time that Trump announced deals with Saudi Arabia for $110 billion. Deals such as this were negotiated and drafted weeks before Trump walked the Saudi red carpet and swung his ceremonial sword, and in large part were shepherded by Priebus. Moreover, the whole Mideast trip ran like a fuel-burning funny car: quick, efficient, and no wasted time on the strip.
It was unreasonable to think this deception could continue forever, but it seemingly did. Trump’s daily tweets were becoming the focus of such intense scrutiny that all the major Fake News networks dedicated time to an absurd, meaningless word Trump tweeted, “#covfefe.” Literally, prime broadcast time was being given to the analysis of what “#covfefe meant. Never once did it dawn on any of the talking heads that Bannon and Trump, sipping their diet Cokes after hours, giggled like kids as they said, “What can we put out tomorrow that will keep them going for a few days?” Trump’s daily Twitter scroll literally set the table for 99% of the news coverage that day—of course, all somehow tied back into “Muh Russia.”
I knew that finally someone was seeing through the deception when Sam Stein of the Huffington Post on May 31 became the first Fake News outlet to acknowledge something was wrong in Alinskyland. He warned, “While You Obsessed Over Trump’s Scandals, He’s Fundamentally Changed the Country.” This was an astounding admission, but Stein pointed out that Team Trump had already enacted titanic reforms and turned the country around, largely with the power of the presidency, and right under the noses of the Left.
Yet Trump kept feeding the “Russia” story, maneuvering the dim-witted and linguini-spined FBI director James Comey into testifying to the fact that, well, Trump had not ever been under investigation, but that in fact Loretta Lynch had engaged in likely obstruction of justice. Comey managed all this while likely perjuring himself in two different ways—but that’s another story.
The following two days after the Comey testimony, the headlines were shocking in their confirmation of the “cheese” theory:
*”Coal Industry Outlook to improve 4.7% next year.
*First ever US natural gas exports to northern Europe
*First US Coal mine in years opens
*”EPA moves one step closer to upending Obama’s climate legacy
*Indo-American Hotelier Partners with Trump on new Hotel Chain “American Made”
*Dems slam GOP senators’ efforts to fast-track healthcare bill (What? I thought it was “dead?”)
*Trump to create council to punish agencies for stalling or delaying projects
*Trump to announce new Cuba policy
*Trump’s Pentagon filling top jobs after slow start.
Meanwhile, in just the previous two weeks, a Muslim female-mutilation ring in Dearborn was raided by the DOJ, a leaker was arrested, and two anti-Trump celebrities were fired. And none of this related to Russia!
The cheese in the maze strategy has utterly flummoxed and embarrassed the Fake News media, even more so because aside from Stein, they still don’t get it. Nor will they. The Fake News establishment is far to arrogant to admit it’s been wrong, let alone that Trump and Bannon have consistently played them since November.