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Russia historian: Trump has a ‘boyish crush’ on Putin because he ‘wants to be the first American czar’

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CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday interviewed Simon Sebag Montefiore, a historian who has written extensively about Russia, about President Donald Trump’s seeming infatuation with Russian President Vladmir Putin.

When asked by Zakaria why Trump has seemingly verbally attacked every major country in the world except Russia, Montefiore explained that Trump envies that kind of power and prestige that Putin and past Russian leaders have enjoyed as heads of state.

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“Donald Trump wants to be the first American czar,” he explained. “He wants to be the American Romanov — he rules by decree, very small circle, he treats ministers like personal servants, he promotes his family to positions of power, they’re the only people he really trusts. So in this sense, he really is the first American czar.”

Montefiore said that there are checks and balances that have so far kept Trump from behaving wholly like a dictator, but he argued that we should still be alarmed by his ambitions and his admiration for Putin.

“He looks at Vladimir Putin and he sees a man who… has control of violence, who can order interventions into foreign countries at the click of a hand,” he explained. “I think that is a slightly boyish crush on the idea of the gangster boss.”

Watch the full interview below.

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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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