This is how desperate Republicans are to spin for Trump.
Donald Trump's Republican enablers are going to absurd lengths to cover for him, but good journalists are not falling for it.
Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA) learned that lesson Monday, when he tried to squeeze out a pair of whoppers on CNN and ran smack into unwavering anchor Brianna Keilar.
Garrett spent several minutes trying to liken the Russia investigation to the racist "birther" smear against President Obama, when Keilar cut him off.
"Why do you equate the two?" Keilar asked, pointing out that Obama was, indeed, born in the United States, rendering the claim false on its face.
"And when you look at this investigation," Keilar continued, "Russia meddled in the election, and then there were some contacts, between either associates or members of the Trump campaign, with Kremlin-backed Russians ..."
Garrett tried to interrupt, but Keilar cut him off. "Whether there was some sort of nefarious intent, whether there was some sort of obstruction of justice that percolated out of this, that is what Mueller is trying to investigate." She also pointed out that the birther lie "was really spearheaded by president Trump."
Garrett then tried to claim that people just can't help but meet with the occasional Russian.
"You don't get to pick the people with whom you interact, and so what we've seen is much ado about nothing "
"Well, you get to decide who comes into Trump Tower, congressman," Keilar interrupted.
After Garrett sidetracked the discussion, Keilar returned to the point near the end of the interview.
"You say you can't know who you have contact with," she said. "You do get to decide who you invite to Trump Tower for a meeting, is one example."
"Donald Trump didn't invite anybody into Trump Tower, right?" Garret said.
"I'm talking about his son," Keilar replied. "I'm talking about Paul Manafort, the head of the campaign. I'm talking about Jared Kushner."
In fact, what special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating bears no resemblance to the racist "birther" fantasy that propelled Trump to political prominence. Keilar pointed out just a few of the many verified facts that show the Trump campaign's effort to collude with Russia, and didn't even go into the obstruction of justice that Trump has repeatedly committed in broad daylight.
Garrett's claim that the Trump campaign's Russian contacts are "much ado about nothing," which withered in seconds thanks to Donald Trump Jr.'s Trump Tower meeting, also doesn't account for the 19-and-counting additional contacts with the Russians, or the failure to disclose them, or Trump's own private Oval Office meeting with Russians.
Trump's fantasies of vindication may go over on Fox News, but under the gaze of an impartial journalist, reality quickly overtakes them.