Donald Trump is so beholden to Vladimir Putin that for years he has been utterly incapable of expressing even the most moderate criticism of the Russian tyrant. Even worse, Trump not only refuses to condemn Putin, he slavishly praises him. It doesn’t matter what atrocities Putin is responsible for. Trump remains unflinchingly adoring.
On Thursday Trump held another of his lazy, pajama-clad, phone-in fluffing sessions on Fox News. He called in to Sean Hannity’s show, from his Mar-a-Lago bedroom, to get his ego juiced and to disgorge more of his deviant distortions of reality. In the following exchange Hannity doggedly labored to get Trump to simply concede that Putin might be capable of doing something even negligibly naughty, like launching a genocidal assault on the peaceful neighboring country of Ukraine:
Hannity: I’ve known you well over 25 years, and you got criticized for saying that Vladimir Putin smart. We’ve had many conversations and you’ve often told it to me, Sun Tsu, The Art of War, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Is that how you viewed Vladimir. people like Vladimir Putin, President Xi, and Kim Jung Un, and the Iranian mullahs, as enemies that you needed to keep close?
Trump: I got along with these people. I got along with them well, That doesn’t mean they are good people. That doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that I understood them, and perhaps they understood me. Maybe they understood me even better. That’s okay, because they knew there would be a big penalty. […]
Hannity: I want to understand your thinking, though. And the thinking is: We got along, but you knew that they were looking out for their interests at all times. And you understood that they were capable of evil things.
Trump: Putin is for Russia, and you see what happened. And that is all because they didn’t respect our leader. Look, there was nobody – and Putin will tell you this, if he was telling the truth, and I am sure he has told it to all of his inner sanctum – nobody was tougher on Russia than me.
This is getting weird. Hannity is coaching Trump throughout this interview and trying really hard to get Trump to say Putin is an enemy and evil pic.twitter.com/XHTzvS2emX
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 11, 2022
First of all, there is little possibility that Trump has ever read, or heard of, Sun Tzu. And he certainly doesn’t practice keeping his enemies close. To the contrary, Trump banishes anyone who disagrees with him about even the most trivial things. That’s why during his single term occupying the White House he had so many attorneys general, chiefs of staff, press secretaries, etc., who he later castigated as incompetents that were never fit to serve (see his recent flogging of Bill Barr as an example). Which makes one wonder why he hired all of them in the first place.
The most important thing that Trump wants people to take away from this “interview” is that he got along swimmingly with numerous brutal dictators who despise America. And even after Hannity’s repeated attempts to gently put the words directly into Trump’s mouth, he was conspicuously incapable of just agreeing with Hannity that Putin could possibly do anything evil. In fact, Trump actually blamed President Biden for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine because, according to Trump, Putin doesn’t respect him. Although Trump is certain that he has Putin’s respect, despite (or because of) the fact that he has no idea what what to about about Ukraine.
Trump tops off this babbling by regurgitating his ludicrous claim that “nobody was tougher on Russia” than he was. Apparently what Trump considers “tough” is revoking Russian sanctions, advocating for reinstatement to the G7, publicly declaring that he trusts Putin more than U.S. intelligence agencies, bashing Putin’s foes NATO and the EU, and gushing over what a genius he was for invading Ukraine.
Obviously, Trump’s idea of being tough on Putin amounts to kissing his … let’s say ring. Because that’s all that Trump has done for years. And you know it’s true love, and/or total subservience, when even his pal Hannity couldn’t get Trump to extract his lips from Putin’s posterior.
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