Right-Wing Media Latch On To “Shadow Government” Conspiracy To Absolve Trump From Russia Controversy

In an attempt to downplay the swirling allegations around President Donald Trump and his ties with Russia, figures in right-wing media have found a new conspiracy theory, claiming that there is a “shadow government” of “invisible” bureaucrats attempting to undermine Trump. Despite the lack of evidence to support this claim, this conspiracy is gaining traction among the most popular right-wing media figures.

Right Wing Media Figures Claim “A Deep State" "Shadow Government” Exists That Is Undermining The Trump Presidency

Sean Hannity: Obama Appointees Are A “Shadow Government, Deep State Of Career Bureaucrats” To Undermine Trump.” From the March 3 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Sean Hannity Show:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Why is Obama staying in Washington? Why did Valerie Jarrett move in? Cause he has set a series of traps. There are over 500 people that need confirmation, only yesterday did we get Ben Carson, only yesterday did we get Governor Rick Perry confirmed, there are hundreds of people that need to be confirmed in the interim. You have this what we call shadow government, deep state of career bureaucrats, Obama appointees that are working hard and undermining every single solitary day everything that Trump wants to do; this is not by accident. I’ve done a lot of deep background talking to people about where all this is coming from. Where are these leaks coming from? And without fail they all discuss the shadow government, deep state government. The deep state is their term that they’re telling me. Those career bureaucrats. Those holdovers from the Obama administration. And you’ve got to understand here. They are undermining the president.” [Premiere Radio Network, The Sean Hannity Show, 3/3/2017]

Jay Sekulow: “You Have A Shadow Government That Is Leaking This Information, People Who Were In Step With The Previous Administration.” From the March 2 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, guest and Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulow said,

JAY SEKULOW: And instead what happens is he answers the question that they asked and they create this outrage where Chuck Schumer is just outraged and Nancy Pelosi is calling for him to resign his office. The fact is, and this is what’s really happening here, you’ve got a shadow government that is leaking this information, people that were in step with the previous administration, they are leaking this information and that is what people should be investigating. Why is information like this being leaked? That’s what we really need to know, not whether Jeff Sessions met with an ambassador when he was a United States Senator. Guess what? Senators meet with ambassadors, I suspect that would include Senator Franken.

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): You know when you really look at this Laura, I think Jay’s hit on the real issue here. And that is, there are some 500 confirmations that they need to go through for Donald Trump’s government to be in place and only today did we get Dr. Ben Carson and Governor Rick Perry in their positions. So you have a lot of holdovers now from the Obama administration that are sabotaging this administration and then you got career bureaucrats that clearly don’t support President Trump what do they need to do to get rid of these people? [Fox News, Hannity, 3/3/2017]

Rush Limbaugh Blames “Deep State” “Shadow Government” Of “Invisible Bureaucratic Positions” For Trump White House Leaks.  From the March 3 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Rush Limbaugh Show:

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): When I use shadow government here in these descriptions I’m talking about Obama administration holdovers in what I call the deep state which is these deeply invisible bureaucratic positions, people who are there by virtue of appointment, they’ve never been elected you don’t know who they are. These are the people leaking. These are the people held over from the Obama administration. [Premiere Radio Network, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/2/2017]

Fox Contributor Mercedes Schlapp: “Obama Holdovers” Are Responsible For Leaks Out Of The Trump White House.  From the March 3 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, conservative political commentator and Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp agreed with Limbaugh’s argument on the existence of a shadow government:

MERCEDES SCHLAPP: I think that Rush Limbaugh is absolutely right in the sense that Republicans eat their own in a lot of ways. I think that, for example in the case of Senator Jeff Sessions, Republicans need to stand by Jeff Sessions. It was very clear that during the attorney general’s exchange with Senator Franken that it was based on a questioning in regards to him being a campaign surrogate, not as a senator. As we know, even up to 30 democrat [sic] senators met with the Russian ambassador. And obviously members of congress, when they’re there they meet with ambassadors, it is not uncommon. So I think, for Rush Limbaugh, he is making a very important point here, Shannon, that it is about these Obama holdovers, where you’ve seen leak after leak coming out of the White House and certain agencies, even leaks of classified information which is against the law where you have this feeling, this sense, that the goal is to delegitimize the Trump presidency. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 3/3/2017]

The Gateway Pundit: “The Obama House … Is The Nerve Center Of The Shadow Government” On March 2nd, 2017, The Gateway Pundit published a blog stating that former Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarrett moved into Obama’s Washington DC home, based on a Daily Mail report.

Barack Obama’s close confidante Valerie Jarrett moved into his Washington DC mansion recently to help run shadow government and take down the Trump administration.

The Obama house in the posh Kalorama section of Washington DC is the nerve center of the shadow government [The Gateway Pundit, 3/2/2017]

“No Credible Evidence” Of A Deep State Shadow Government

Snopes Found “No Credible Evidence” Of An Anti-Trump “Deep State” Shadow Government. Snopes investigated the claim that former President Barack Obama is operating an anti-Trump consortium from his home near the White house and rated it “false”. It attributed its origins to the site Infowars.com, which argued that Organizing For Action, a community organizing project established by the former president after the 2012 election cycle, has been weaponized against current President Trump to undermine and delegitimize his agenda.

The former president may well engage in civic activity or political activism in his post-presidential life, and the non-profit group that has been aligned with him for years is engaged in political opposition activity during the term of a president with vastly different policies. Neither of these items are particularly surprising, but neither do they mean that President Obama is hunkered in Washington in a “shadow White House” from which he sends forth armies to thwart President Trump. [Snopes, 2/17/17]