Trump Admits Putin ‘Probably’ Has Critics Assassinated

Trump Admits Putin ‘Probably’ Has Critics Assassinated October 15, 2018

Trump has been all over TV for the last week, giving many interviews. Call it a lack-of-charm offensive. During a contentious interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, he admitted that his pal Vladimir Putin “probably” has journalists and critics assassinated — but that’s okay, since he doesn’t do it in the United States.

President Trump said he believes that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin “probably” has been involved in assassinations and poisonings, but he appeared to dismiss the gravity of those actions, noting that they have not taken place in the United States.

“Probably he is, yeah. Probably,” Trump told CBS’s Lesley Stahl when asked during an interview on “60 Minutes” whether he thinks Putin is involved “in assassinations, in poisonings.”

“But I rely on them; it’s not in our country,” Trump added.

I’ve tried to figure out what “I rely on them” could possibly mean here, but I have no idea. But the rest of this is very similar to the reaction he had to the murder of journalist Jamal Khasoggi by his pal, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia. When asked about it initially, Trump made a point of saying that the murder “took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen.” As if that changes the moral calculus at all.

The problem here isn’t just that Trump looks the other way while the brutal dictators he pals around with and defends commit horrible human rights abuses, it’s that I believe he actually admires those men for doing those things. It’s what he wishes he could get away with here. I think he’d like nothing better than to be able to imprison or have killed those who criticize him. That’s why he continually talks about them being the “enemy of the people” and muses about ways to lock up and sue journalists. He views those actions as being “strong” rather than weak, as him “winning” something. He has dictator envy.

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