Trump is Applying Fundamental Authoritarian Propaganda Techniques

Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

Trump is using the Russian '4D' propaganda tactic, dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay....

Civics Nation - July 17, 2019

Either he’s a natural at it, or President Trump is being coached on classic Russian propaganda techniques. The president’s defense of his own racist Tweets is the latest chapter in what is knows as the “4D Approach” to propaganda: dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay.

An example of this approach could be seen during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine four years ago. British-based analyst of Russian information warfare and strategy, Ben Nimmo, described how Russian President, Vladimir Putin spins facts to misinform the public:

“On April 16, 2015, one month after Russian soldiers entered eastern Ukraine and joined Moscow-backed separatists in the slaughter of more than 130 Ukrainian troops in a town called Debaltseve, Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to perpetuate a claim that was growing increasingly ludicrous. “I can tell you outright and unequivocally that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine,” he declared in a broadcast to the Russian people.

The denial was a classic propaganda move. “The first Russian approach to negative reporting or comment is to dismiss it, either by denying the allegations on the ground, or denigrating the one who makes them.”

One could see all four pillars of the 4D Approach to propaganda at play in President Trump’s Tweets about “the Squad” (Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley). *The Washington Post’*s Kathleen Parker exposes the distraction that motivated the entire Tweet storm: 

“While Trump was doubling down on his controversial tweets, Epstein was attending his bail hearing. At the hearing, prosecutors revealed that the contents of a locked safe in Epstein’s Manhattan mansion allegedly included diamonds, cash — and a bogus and outdated passport with Epstein’s photograph, a different name and an address in Saudi Arabia.

Coincidence? Maybe. But, really? What’s clear is that Trump wants to distance himself from Epstein.” ...
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