In Wednesday night's Commander-in-Chief Forum, Donald Trump doubled down on his previous praise for Vladimir Putin, saying he is a stronger leader than President Obama, ignoring all the dastardly things that Matt Lauer ticked off that Putin has done (like invading Ukraine, taking over Crimea, hacking the DNC). Trump countered that by suggesting he could list "all the things that Obama has done," suggesting that they were equivalent, or worse. In short, Trump made it very clear that he would prefer to be the kind of leader that the tyrant Putin is than our own president. He admires Putin's "strong control over his country."
Then one day later, there Trump was on RT America television being interviewed by Larry King and talking about how terrible U.S. foreign policy is and how dishonest U.S. journalists are to him. In other words, more praising Putin and Russia over our own United States' leadership and free press. Never mind, I suppose, that journalists in Russia who criticize Putin often wind up dead.
Let's put this in perspective. Yes, maybe it's true that Larry King is an old friend of Donald's and that he recorded the podcast as a favor to him. But Trump also boasts about how he is smarter than everyone else and the best negotiator there is. In fact, he told Matt Lauer that he would be the most shrewd negotiator that Putin had even met.
So, how did he wind up getting played so very expertly by Putin in this interview broadcast? Did Donald Trump not know what RT America is? It's no secret. For convenience, you simply look it up on Wikipedia, where you quickly learn: RT America is broadcast in America but is part of the RT (Russia Today) propaganda network, based in Moscow and funded by the Kremlin to present "a different perspective on the news." You can also look up Larry King and quickly learn that Larry King is a radio/television host for RT America.
So who got played here? Surely not the "most shrewd negotiator that Putin has ever met?" The Trump campaign says that he would not have done the King interview if he had known that it would be played on RT America. Huh? Really? Why didn't he know -- or was curious enough and careful enough to find out where his interview is going to play? So now the propaganda machine in Russia has it blasted all over their news that Donald Trump went on Russia Today and severely criticized America's president and his foreign policy.
It's hard not to conclude either (1) that Trump is naive and easily manipulated because of his narcissistic vulnerability to flattery; or (2) Putin has some real control over him through Trump's deep financial debts to Putin's oligarch friends; or (3) there's something even more sinister and tyrannical in seizing power as president -- possibly something involving Putin?
Any one of those three should disqualify him from being president of the United States -- in addition to the other reasons mentioned in yesterday's post.