Street graffiti depicting Donald Trump passionately locking lips with Russian President Vladimir Putin went viral on social media in Lithuania Friday, appearing to show concern over the US White House hopeful’s attitude toward Moscow.
The artwork in the capital Vilnius alludes to a famous 1979 photograph of then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing communist East German president and ally Erich Honecker.
The “fraternal kiss” between the two Cold War-era communist leaders was immortalised in a famous piece of graffiti on the Berlin Wall.
“It seems we have a new Cold War, and America may have a president who seeks friendship with Russia,” Dominykas Ceckauskas, who commissioned the giant mural on the outside wall of his burger restaurant, told AFP.
“We see many similarities between these two ‘heroes’ (Putin and Trump). They both have huge egos, and it’s amusing to see they are getting along well,” he said.
While relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained for years, Trump has defended Putin, calling him “a powerful leader”. Putin in turn has hailed the “tremendous” Trump as “talented without any doubt.”
For Lithuania and some eastern European nations once behind the Iron Curtain there are also growing concerns about the criticism of NATO by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
The alliance is regarded as a key security guarantee especially in the small Baltic states once under Moscow’s thumb.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said last month that Trump’s comment about an “obsolete NATO” reflects Russia’s view of the Western defence alliance.
“Trump has notoriously stated that Putin is a strong leader, and that NATO is obsolete and expensive,” Kestutis Girnius, associate professor of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science in Vilnius, told AFP.
“This graffiti in Vilnius expresses the fear of some Lithuanians that Donald Trump is likely to kowtow to Vladimir Putin and be indifferent to Lithuania’s security concerns,” he said.
Fox News hires former Trump spokesman as Senior Vice President: report
The revolving door between the White House and Fox News was spinning on Friday as a former spokesman for President Donald Trump was hired by Fox News.
"A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President," Washington Post White House correspondent Josh Dawsey reported on Friday.
After Hope Hicks left her job as White House communications director, she was hired to lead corporate communications for New Fox, the parent company of Fox News.
Here’s why President Trump’s explicit racism is an impeachable offense
Without even waiting for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice, Democrats are legally justified in acting now to impeach the president for his explicit racism, a civil rights activist argued on Friday.
Journalist and author Shaun King laid out his argument in a column published by The Intercept.
To make his argument, King explained the difference between implicit and explicit racism.
"Across the country, corporations and government agencies, including police departments, are offering a wave of what’s called 'implicit bias training.' The fundamental theory is that, in this country, otherwise well-meaning employees can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic in ways that they may not really even be aware of," he explained. "It’s the notion that people unknowingly or unconsciously discriminate against others."
Watch Joy Reid’s epic correction of GOP strategist: ‘This is going to be a white nationalist reelection’
President Donald Trump will continue to attack the four young women of color in Congress known as The Squad, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid predicted on Friday.
Trump has repeatedly used racist attacks to target the four, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Host Steve Kornacki interviewed Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour about Trump's message.
"So Noelle, for Republicans, again the folks who were getting in touch with [Mike] Pence and saying 'make Trump stop doing this,' do they have to be ready now for the possibility Trump’s going to keep doing these rallies, he wants to run against these four congresswomen in particular, make them the face of the Democratic Party?" Kornacki asked. "If the crowd starts chanting again, 'send her back,' 'send them back,” doesn't stop, is this going to be a feature of Trump rallies from here through 2020?"