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Trump’s Defense of Putin

 I suspect we have all heard or read this clip from Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly that aired before the Super Bowl (via CNN):

Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.
“But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.
There is an awful lot that could be said about this interchange.  Some might wish to give the President credit for our own national imperfections.  After all, our own history is not as pure as we would always like to think that it is. However, consider, he is not here thoughtfully considering the past action of the United States, he is throwing the US under the bus so as to dismiss serious concerns about the actions of a specific foreign leader.  And, it should be added, a foreign leader who is not especially friendly to the United States.
To put this is some context, here is a list of concerns about Putin’s behavior from a recent column by Dana Milbank:

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed outside the Kremlin as he walked home one night last year. Putin’s regime blames Chechens, but Nemtsov’s is one of a dozen high-profile murders of opponents widely thought to have been sanctioned by Putin’s government.

Another Putin opponent, Alexander Litvinenko, was killed in London by polonium poisoning in 2006. The British government said Putin “probably” approved the hit. That same year, opposition journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed outside her apartment.

In 2009, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in prison after being denied medical care. Others working on his investigation of corrupt Russian politicians also died suspiciously.

Among the many business leaders imprisoned or ousted under Putin are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was head of the oil giant Yukos, and associate Platon Lebedev. The Russian human rights group Memorial says there are 102 people held in Russian prisons for their political or religious beliefs.

The Kremlin has provided funding and training for far-right nationalist parties in Europe, and it used its state media and an army of hackers and social-media trolls to spread disinformation in the United States, in continental Europe and in Britain before the Brexit vote. The goals: to weaken European unity and the NATO alliance and to keep Europe dependent on Russian energy.

Russia also used disinformation to destabilize the Ukrainian government as Russia annexed Crimea. In Syria, where Russia propped up the Assad regime with indiscriminate bombing in Aleppo and elsewhere, Britain, France and the United States have blamed Putin’s government for the mass slaughter of civilians.

An Amnesty International summary of Putin’s rule leaves no doubt about his totalitarian state: “Journalist Killed . . . Human Rights Lawyer Killed . . . Gay Rights Protesters Attacked . . . Exhibition Organizers Sentenced . . . Activists Beaten and Detained . . . Opposition Leader Held in Detention . . . Repressive Laws Enacted . . . Fines for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’ Imposed . . . President Putin Signs Law to Re-criminalize Defamation . . . USAID Expelled . . . Federal Treason and Espionage Act goes into effect . . . Prominent NGOs are Vandalized . . . Moscow Authorities Detain Protesters and Opposition Party Members.”

It is, to put it mildly, patently bizarre for the President of the United States to defend Vladmir Putin by saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

This, of course, prompted criticism of the President in the pages of the WSJ:

My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question the President’s motives or the content of his heart. My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance. Let me explain.

The role of an American president is unique. It is not simply that he or she is vested with the executive power of just any national government. Rather, the president heads the government of the one country with an unequaled record of promoting and protecting human freedom—and the only country in the world that is in a position to continue doing so if properly led.

[…]

Irrespective of what a president may think or feel, his inability or disinclination to emphasize what is right with America can hamstring our success as a nation. This is particularly true when a president is seen, as the President is, as criticizing his country more than other presidents have done, regardless of their political affiliation.

Oops.  Sorry, that is actually Rudy Giuliani criticizing President Obama in 2015 for not extolling American exceptionalism as much as he would have liked (indeed, as per this piece, there was a long line of conservative criticisms against Obama for not properly recognizing American exceptionalism).  I will confess to changing two instances of “President Obama” in the above text to “the President.”

I point this out not because I am looking to make a simplistic hypocrisy point.  Quite frankly, that isn’t really the important part.  I bring this up because the degree to which Republicans and their media allies will forgive Trump his transgressions on this issue tell us that there have more loyalty to power than they do to principles.  Given the behavior of the current president, this matters more than usual. Loyalty to power feeds autocracy.

As a side note, it is more than a bit amazing, if not chilling, to see Trump rail against the judicial branch for daring to do its job within our constitutional order, but blithely dismiss Putin’s history.  It is even more chilling to watch a large number of Americans accept both without blinking.

In regards to Trump’s worldview and the American exceptionalism issue, I would recommend Daniel Drezner’s piece (written before the comments cited above, but more on point now that those comments have been made):  America the unexceptional

There have always been critics of the concept of American exceptionalism. Foreigners on the receiving end of some of America’s less savory overseas interventions would scoff at the idea. Critics of the national security state such as Glenn Greenwald or Noam Chomsky would argue that American hypocrisy on matters such as surveillance and the selective focus of U.S. human rights criticisms obviates the idea of American exceptionalism.

Supporters of the idea cannot entirely dismiss these criticisms, but they could always offer two counterarguments. The first was that while the United States has, at times, acted like a garden-variety great power, it has been less likely to do so than, say, Russia or China. The second is that the ideals that animate American exceptionalism have an independent power of their own. The aspirational goals of America might be utopian. But since all human beings aspire to something, it’s good to have clear and compelling vision to offer the word. A large part of Joseph Nye’s concept of “soft power” rests on the idea that the American Dream appeals to the rest of the world — even if the grubby reality of it looks different.

The power of American exceptionalism in the United States has been pretty strong in this century. Barack Obama caught all kinds of hell from conservatives when they argued that he did not believe in American exceptionalism (he did).

So here’s a simple question: Does Donald Trump believe in American exceptionalism?

To spoil the column, which I recommend in full, he concludes:

Donald Trump campaigned to make America great again. Unfortunately, his presidency suggests that he will make America like every other country. We’re about to find out just how much that will harm American interests.

His statements about Putin reinforce this position.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    Are Doanald Trump, members of his staff, and perhaps others in the Republican establishment (Comey, Senate leaders) compromised by the Russians, through blackmail and/ or bribery? Now, under normal circumstances I would argue that making such a claim absent conclusive evidence is wreckless, but that doesn’t apply when the principals are actively blocking efforts to obtain that evidence. If a driver is weaving all over the road but refuses a breathalyzer test when pulled over, the law and common sense both dictate that we assume guilt. The driver arrested and pulled off the road as a danger to public safety. Trump is certainly acting as if he is under the influence of Putin, and he is certainly blocking any effort to investigate. Comey, someone who should be leading the effort to protect the country and investigate these claims, has blatantly acted exactly as would someone also compromised by the Russians. And congressional leaders have made it clear they will not investigate anything relating to Trump or his cronies.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 2

  2. M unch.boxxx.xxx says:

    Oh professor your crocodile tears are so big.
    Maybe you can post a list of all the mysterious deaths associated with the ckintons?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 52

  3. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    We all need to keep fighting the good fight, but as long as 80-90% of Republicans are deranged and endorse this sort of nonsense…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  4. HelloWorld! says:

    If a democratic president ever said what he said this weekend the sh*t would be hitting the fan like nothing you have ever seen.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  5. If there is any better example of partisan hypocrisy than the Republicans who, based on no evidence whatsoever, claimed that President Obama didn’t believe in ‘American exceptionalism’ now being silent as Donald Trump equates the United States to a murdering thug and former KGB agent who leads an adversarial nation I not sure what is.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 84 Thumb down 1

  6. Kylopod says:

    If you were to take a time machine back four years and write a book detailing what’s happening now in 2017, you’d be accused of painting an absurd caricature of the GOP. “Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination? The next GOP president becoming an apologist and puppet for Putin? You liberals in your Ivory Towers are living in a fantasy world, the Republican Party would never behave that way!”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  7. Moosebreath says:

    “I bring this up because the degree to which Republicans and their media allies will forgive Trump his transgressions on this issue tell us that there have more loyalty to power than they do to principles.”

    I think there are 2 questions on this issue:

    1. will Republicans turn on Trump once he fulfills their wishlist (Ryan budget, tax cuts for the rich, etc.) or continue to minimize his conduct? Are they holding off investigating Trump’s Russian connections until they get what they want from him?

    2. if they do turn on him, will it be too late for our democracy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  8. Jeremy R says:

    Here’s the tail-end of that O’Reilly / Trump exchange that isn’t usually included in excerpts and video clips — O’Reilly gives him a couple more chances to insert some qualifiers into his statement but he doubles down:

    http://www.sbnation.com/2017/2/5/14516156/donald-trump-interview-transcript-bill-oreilly-super-bowl-2017

    O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

    Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent. You think our country’s so innocent?

    O’Reilly: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

    Trump: Well — take a look at what we’ve done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.

    O’Reilly: But mistakes are different than —

    Trump: A lot of mistakes, but a lot of people were killed. A lot of killers around, believe me.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Trump is owned by Putin. I’ve been saying it for months. Trump who praises no one but himself, gives Putin a daily tongue-bath, even when it makes him look and sound bad. He’s owned. It’s not a bromance, it’s not an affinity, he is owned. The President of the United States is in effect a foreign agent.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

  10. dxq says:

    If you were to take a time machine back four years and write a book detailing what’s happening now in 2017, you’d be accused of painting an absurd caricature of the GOP. “Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination? The next GOP president becoming an apologist and puppet for Putin? You liberals in your Ivory Towers are living in a fantasy world, the Republican Party would never behave that way!”

    My memory’s not very good but i seem to remember some conservative about a year ago saying ‘Trump can’t win the nomination because that would prove every ugly stereotype liberals have been calling us for years’.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  11. KM says:

    As a side note, it is more than a bit amazing, if not chilling, to see Trump rail against the judicial branch for daring to do its job within our constitutional order, but blithely dismiss Putin’s history. It is even more chilling to watch a large number of Americans accept both without blinking.

    That’s because those that scream loudest about the Constitution are the first to use it as toilet paper. The Founding Fathers they revere would have been appalled by them and deliberately set up a government to stall out this kind of insanity. Checks and balances are frustrating on purpose; they put the brakes on fervor and allow dissenters’ voices to be heard. The President is not a king and a judge should be able to question the legality of something considering that’s their forte and all.

    The Constitution and the Union have survived far worse then them and will continue to do so. Mindless worship of a minor celebrity (a D-lister even at his height) propelled a loser into the highest office of the land because they thought he was their best chance to get things done. Anything that questions him (and by extension, THEM) must be bad /evil/ wrong/ fake news. He could tell them the sky was orange and blue is a liberal invention and you’d see millions demanding Crayola to rename their crayons. He *has* to be right….. otherwise, they are responsible for putting a dangerous man in office just to get their way.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    That’s because those that scream loudest about the Constitution are the first to use it as toilet paper.

    Conservatism has always been a lie in this country. The only things they really, truly believe in, deep down are: guns and white, male dominance. Everything else is a lie.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  13. Joe says:

    I point this out not because I am looking to make a simplistic hypocrisy point. Quite frankly, that isn’t really the important part. I bring this up because the degree to which Republicans and their media allies will forgive Trump his transgressions on this issue tell us that there have more loyalty to power than they do to principles.

    I don’t disagree with the overall direction of your post, but “more loyalty to power than . . . to principles” is, in fact, the very simple definition of hypocrisy, no matter the party or person purveying it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Pch101 says:

    To be fair, several Republicans in Congress such as Mitch McConnell and Ben Sasse have expressed misgivings about this. But the response is more tempered than it would have been if it had been a Democrat who had said it.

    It’s the blogosphere where the silence is deafening. If you were to rely on Breitbart and Zero Hedge for your knowledge of the world, then you would have a completely warped perspective on reality.

    In any case, the issue here isn’t with American exceptionalism, but that Trump is sweeping Putin’s crimes under the rug. Nancy Pelosi is right to call for an investigation of Trump’s ties to the Russians; this is just too blatant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  15. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Literally bought and paid for, I suspect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I bring this up because the degree to which Republicans and their media allies will forgive Trump his transgressions on this issue tell us that there have more loyalty to power than they do to principles.

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  17. gVOR08 says:

    Good post, Doug. I especially like the Giuliani bit.

    You quote the WSJ guy as saying:

    My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question the President’s motives or the content of his heart.

    I give up, why not? Has Trump given any indication that he takes seriously any part of his responsibilities as President? Is there any reason to believe he isn’t in this only to enrich and empower himself? Is there any reason to believe that Trump doesn’t want to emulate Putin? Even to the point of having opponents killed? Last I heard he’s maintaining his private security and he is believed to have mob connections. I don’t mean to be conspiratorial or paranoid, but why take a chance on him? RESIST.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  18. @Moosebreath:

    1. will Republicans turn on Trump once he fulfills their wishlist (Ryan budget, tax cuts for the rich, etc.) or continue to minimize his conduct?

    No. Because if they find they can get their wishlist via Trump their list will simply grow.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  19. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But you have to weigh that against the possibility/probability that Trump will grow increasingly unhinged.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  20. James Pearce says:

    As a side note, it is more than a bit amazing, if not chilling, to see Trump rail against the judicial branch for daring to do its job within our constitutional order, but blithely dismiss Putin’s history.

    Someone (can’t remember who) used a great word to describe Trump once: peristaltic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. @Joe:

    I don’t disagree with the overall direction of your post, but “more loyalty to power than . . . to principles” is, in fact, the very simple definition of hypocrisy, no matter the party or person purveying it.

    I understand what you are saying and agree that I need further elaborate this point. In simple terms I am trying to draw a distinction between run of the the mill hypocrisy and what I see as a more extreme than usual slavish attraction to power that we are currently seeing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101:

    To be fair, several Republicans in Congress such as Mitch McConnell and Ben Sasse have expressed misgivings about this.

    I was raised a Roman Catholic and that experience made me realize that “misgivings” or “regrets” don’t bear any weight on whether someone will commit a heinous act. The Church hierarchy felt all kinds of bad about molesting children and protecting the molesters. Which meant exactly zero when it came to acting against them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  23. grumpy realist says:

    I think Trump sees no difference between the U.S. and Russia under Putin because that’s how he wants to run the US. Assassinate reporters who say nasty things about him. Keep control over everything.

    What we’re seeing here is a world-class case of projection, guys.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  24. restlessness says:

    @dxq:

    Michael Medved?

    from ‘Conservatives against Trump‘ at National Review?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I’m no fan of Pelosi’s…but she is right about this…there needs to be an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and Putin.
    I’m sure his taxes would reveal interesting things about this…which is why he won’t ever release them.
    He owes $650M to China. How much does he owe to Putin?
    For all the hue and cry about Clinton being corrupt…and, as Doug points out, Obama not believing America is exceptional…there is an amazing silence about this stuff from the right side of the aisle.
    The level of rank partisan hypocrisy is awe-inspiring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  26. al-Alameda says:

    Trump is a classic example of arrested development. He’s the 14 year old kid who likes to drop a paper bag of dog crap on a front porch (here, the porch of 66 million people who voted against him) light the bag on fire, ring the door bell, and run off.

    About 63 million people voted for this grease ball, because “Hillary.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  27. Argon says:

    GW Bush’s administration gave lie to the popular meme that Republicans are good on defense and war. Or that they were good for economic prosperity. Deficits don’t matter turned into deficits are everything within a day after Obama’s inauguration. Once again they no longer master. With Bush II, tax cuts were first necessary because the government was running a surplus, and later because the economy needed stimulating. Through it all the unsupported dogma of supply side economics still dominates Republican thought. Trump’s administration just turns up the dial to ’11’ and exposes the complete moral detachment of the ‘moral majority’, Christianist support for the Republicans.

    It’s likely this will be one of the positive legacies of Trump. Hahahaha! Just kidding. The rubes will continue to be fleeced, election after election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  28. gVOR08 says:

    Allow me to clarify and expand my earlier comment, @gVOR08:. I look at the world like an engineer. The basic concept of Risk Management is:
    composite risk index = impact of risk event x probability of occurrence
    Impact and probability are commonly evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 defined to fit the project. Low impact, 1, might be minor unscheduled maintenance required or minor cost. High impact, 5, might be loss of life, loss of craft, or major property damage. Similarly if an event is highly unlikely it’s a 1, very likely is 5. So the composite risk index varies from 1, highly unlikely and minor, to 25, likely and catastrophic.

    The likelihood of Trump becoming an autarch or something like it is the product of the likelihood he’ll try times the probability of success if he does try.

    These days you don’t become an autarch by having your brownshirts seize the radio stations and a junta of your buddies in the officer corp seize control of the Army. You do it by setting up your cronies as a kleptocracy and controlling much of the media. Face it, this is kinda down hill from here. Let’s say a 25% probability he’ll try. If he does try, the only bulwarks are Congress and the courts. Congress will largely be cronies. Top of the head, let’s say it’s 80% probable the courts, despite intransigence by Congress, would thwart Trump, which is a 20% chance they won’t. 25% x 20% = 5% chance Trump would become an autarch. Maybe 1 on a 1 to 5 scale of probability of occurence.

    If he does become an autarch, economic damage would be in the trillions, we’d lose troops in unnecessary wars, and we’d lose small d democracy in the U. S. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d say that’s 100.

    On the usual scale of 1 to 25 the composite risk index is then 100.

    Put simply, the odds of Trump becoming a dictator are small, but the consequences would be yuuge. Why take the chance? Manage the risk. RESIST.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  29. gVOR08 says:

    I saw this morning an unsubstantiated tweet that large corporations with big marketing budgets have decided it’s OK to oppose Trump. A couple of the Super Bowl commercials would seem to confirm this. Most hopeful thing I’ve seen. If the potential oligarchs don’t line up with Trump he’ll be hobbled. But I won’t be comfortable until we see some hint of opposition from Goldman Sachs et al.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  30. Pch101 says:

    Not quite on topic, but Kellyanne Conway also lied in an interview with Cosmopolitan about the non-existent “Bowling Green massacre”.

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8674035/kellyanne-conway-bowling-green-massacre-repeat/

    The fact that she said this on two different occasions to two different media outlets strongly suggests that this was a deliberate lie, not just an innocent mistake.

    Furthermore, Conway described this non-massacre as an event that killed “innocent soldiers”, which clarifies the fact that it wasn’t a simple misstatement — after all, she described this event to the press.

    These are blatant propaganda techniques. They are going to lie about everything to everyone with the expectations that some of the lies will stick. They are not worried about any consequences that may be associated with lying, because they have figured out that they will not be punished in the voting booth for lying.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  31. Gustopher says:

    I suppose it would be a fine day to call my Senators and Representative and ask about what is happening with the investigation on Russian interference in the election.

    The answer, of course, is nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @al-Alameda:

    About 63 million people voted for this grease ball, because “Hillary.”

    Well…really because of the image of Hillary that the right wing echo chamber has spent decades painting. Press people on it and they almost always fall back to…

    well, I just don’t like her.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  33. NBH says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You could reduce that to just white, male dominance. Guns are just another part of maintaining it. Remember how their heroes like Reagan were all for gun control when it would make it hard for blacks to get their hands on guns in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s? Guns rights are just another convenience they would change at the drop of a hat if it would screw over some other group they don’t want challenging their power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Even more dangerous that Trump’s apparent betrothal to Putin, is that over the weekend he said that the Judicial Branch is a threat to our Nat’l Security.
    From a Trump Tweet:

    Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!

    Trump is an authoritarian…and here he arguing for a fundamental change to our form of Government; that Trumped up fear of brown-skinned boogie men should Trump the rule of law. This man is far more dangerous than any terrorist we have seen to date. Unfortunately for the Republic no one, in any position to do so, is willing to raise a hand to stop him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. DrDaveT says:

    @Pch101:

    But the response is more tempered than it would have been if it had been a Democrat who had said it.

    Only in the sense that the climate is more temperate in San Diego than it is on, say, Venus.

    Nothing reveals the moral bankruptcy of the Party of Values faster than their response to Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  36. Facebones says:

    @NBH: When it was the Black Panthers practicing Open Carry, the GOP couldn’t control guns fast enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  37. Jen says:

    @gVOR08:

    But I won’t be comfortable until we see some hint of opposition from Goldman Sachs et al.

    It’s just a small thing, but here you go: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-06/goldman-sachs-economists-are-starting-to-worry-about-president-trump

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Mr. Bluster says:

    President Pud July 2016
    “I have nothing to do with Putin,” he said. “I’ve never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me.”

    President Pud @ National Press Club 2014
    I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer, and we had a tremendous success.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/07/watch-trump-brag-of-speaking-to-vladimir-putin

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Mr. Bluster says:

    @as.dumb.as.a.boxxx.of.rocks:..Maybe you can post a list of all the mysterious deaths associated with the ckintons?

    Ask Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly: I’m sure she will find that list.

    Kellyanne Conway thinks she took too much flak for citing a nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” to justify President Trump’s travel ban. She said she simply meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists,” and she later said, “I misspoke one word.”

    Except now she doesn’t appear to have misspoken at all; she seems to have believed that the Bowling Green massacre was a real thing.

    How do we know? Because she cited the same non-existent attack in separate interviews with two other outlets — Cosmopolitan magazine and TMZ.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/06/kellyanne-conways-bowling-green-massacre-wasnt-a-slip-of-the-tongue-shes-said-it-before/?utm_term=.73d287c7373f

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. Mr. Bluster says:

    February is Black History Month.
    @Facebones:
    See Black Panther Executive Mandate #1 (May 2, 1967)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTs0Q0ayYiM

    The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man.
    Huey P Newton

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Joe says:

    @Mr. Bluster:
    This seems really beneath the point but Conway’s originally reported quote was “two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.” If she really messed up one word per her explanation, how does the sentence “they [the terrorists] were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green terrorists” make any sense?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  42. Tom Grant says:

    I miss shame.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  43. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Trump, after claiming there were millions of illegal votes he could not provide data for, is now claiming the media doesn’t report on terrorism.
    Speaking to Centcom today:

    “Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino, and all across Europe…It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

    Of course Trump himself ignored the Quebec white supremecist terror attack on a mosque because the perp was white and a Trump supporter.
    What’s it going to take for Republicans to realize they have done something really bad in electing Trump, finally put country before party, and do something about this?

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  44. dxq says:

    @restlessness: thanks, that’s probly what i’m misremembering.

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  45. Mr. Bluster says:

    @Tom Grant:..I miss shame.

    You should spend time with my former squeeze.
    She will chasten your thoughts before you have them.

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