With each new day Donald Trump manages to debase and humiliate America with his reckless and hateful comments and tweets. And this noxious behavior seems to get ramped up when he ventures overseas. This often results in his creating international incidents that stir up more controversy back home. It’s as if he thinks he has some sort of immunity from criticism while on foreign soil, so he lets his guard down and unleashes ever more embarrassing and destructive commentaries.
One example that occurred during Trump’s trip to Japan was his response to questions from reporters about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Taking the side of Vladimir Putin again, he told the press that Putin “strongly denies” any meddling in the election. This is after U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded that they did. It’s after the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that explicitly cited the “sweeping and systematic fashion” with which Russia interfered. And yet Trump thought it was appropriate to joke about the matter with Putin. When asked if he would tell Putin to stop his interference, Trump turned to Putin with a smirk and said “Don’t meddle in the election, President.” They both laughed.
Another example was when Trump told reporters that “nobody has directly pointed a finger” at Mohammed bin Salman for the brutal murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamil Khashoggi. Well, that’s if you consider the CIA and the United Nations nobodies. Then Trump went further to refer to MBS as his “friend.” Which places him on a lower rung than Kim Jong Un, with whom Trump “fell in love.” But still pretty cozy.
However, nothing Trump said comes close to the abhorrent comment he made about his relationship with American media. Of course he is well known for maligning them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” And he has threatened both reporters and news organizations with prohibitions and suppression of their First Amendment rights. But on this occasion Trump went further by actually expressing his interest to “get rid of them.” That led to this nauseating exchange (video below):
Trump: Fake … fake news. Great term, isn’t it? You don’t have that problem in Russia. We have it. You don’t have it.
Putin: Yes, yes. We also have. It’s the same.
It is astonishing, even for Trump, that he would engage in a jovial discussion about the presence of a free press in America with the dictator of a country where journalists are often murdered for being critical. To the extent that Trump was correct about Russia not having the problem, it’s only because the “problems” in Russia are dead. And Trump favorably pointing out that Russia is free of these journalist pests exposes his thinly veiled jealousy. Clearly he wishes that he didn’t have that problem in the U.S.
The sheer quantity of heinous Trumpian scandals is threatening to overwhelm our capacity for shock. But we must never allow ourselves to become numbed to this sort of loathsome rhetoric. It is vile, unconscionable, dangerous, and un-American. It cannot be tolerated or dealt with passively as if it’s merely a childish tantrum. It is the language of tyrants, and aspiring autocrats like Trump. Do not forget, or forgive. Trump must be held accountable and restrained from pursuing his perverse and corrosive agenda.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Pres. Trump's seemingly jovial G20 meeting with America's longtime adversary reignited questions about the president's relationship with Russia; just yesterday, former Pres. Jimmy Carter suggested Pres. Trump's election was illegitimate https://t.co/PdYAauH2Wz pic.twitter.com/UAU8ytG2cL
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 29, 2019