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WSJ editors furiously blister president for ‘kowtowing to the Kremlin’ in Helsinki for personal profit

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- Commentary

In what may be their most critical commentary on the president of Donald Trump, the editors of the deeply conservative Wall Street Journal questioned the loyalty of the president saying he is putting his personal profit and desire for attention before the needs of the country.

Calling it the “Trump First Doctrine,” the editors called the president’s latest overseas trip to meet with NATO leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin a prelude to a “weak and dangerous place to be.”

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The start of the editorial was exceptionally blunt.

“Donald Trump left for Europe a week ago with his reputation enhanced by a strong Supreme Court nomination. He returned Monday with that reputation diminished after a tumultuous week of indulging what amounts to the Trump First Doctrine,” it began.

“Mr. Trump marched through Europe with more swagger than strategy. His diplomacy is personal, rooted in instinct and impulse, and he treats other leaders above all on how much they praise Donald J. Trump,” it continued. “He says what pops into his head to shock but then disavows it if there’s a backlash. He criticizes institutions and policies to grab headlines but then claims victory no matter the outcome.”

“The world hasn’t seen a U.S. President like this in modern times, and as ever in Trump World everyone else will have to adapt. Let’s navigate between the critics who predict the end of world order and the cheerleaders who see only genius, and try to offer a realistic assessment of the fallout from a troubling week,” they wrote before going point by point through Trump’s disastrous European trip.

Addressing Trump’s dismissal of U.S. intelligence agencies accusations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election while standing next to Putin, the WSJ called it a “kowtow to the Kremlin.”

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“The charitable explanation for this kowtow to the Kremlin is that Mr. Trump can’t get past his fury that critics claim his election was tainted by Russian interference. And so he couldn’t resist, in front of the world, going off on a solipsistic ramble about ‘Hillary Clinton’s emails’ and Democratic ‘servers.'” they wrote. “He can’t seem to figure out that the more he indulges his ego in this fashion, and the more he seems to indulge Mr. Putin, the more ammunition he gives to his opponents.”

“For a rare moment in his Presidency, Mr. Trump also projected weakness,” they scolded. “He was the one on stage beseeching Mr. Putin for a better relationship, while the Russian played it cool and matter of fact. Mr. Trump touted their personal rapport, saying the bilateral relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that.’ In four hours?”

“By going soft on Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump will paradoxically find it even harder to make deals with the Russian. Republicans and Democrats will unite in Congress, as they should, to limit his diplomatic running room. Mr. Trump may decide to court Mr. Putin anyway, like Barack Obama did Iran’s mullahs, but political isolation concerning a foreign adversary is a weak and dangerous place to be,” they concluded in a final warning.

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You can read the whole piece here (subscription required)


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CNN’s Bakari Sellers schools Rick Santorum over claim Trump is not part of the ‘extreme hard right’

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During a panel discussion on CNN's State of the Union, contributor Bakari Sellers set fellow panelist Rick Santorum straight after he tried to claim that Donald Trump doesn't take far-right positions.

Following a discussion on Sen. Bernie Sanders' Nevada caucus win, Santorum tried to note the major differences between Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Responding to conservative commentator Linda Chavez who called both Sanders and Trump "two angry people," Santorum remarked, "I wanted to take issue with what Linda said: two angry folks representing the extremes, and I would agree with that, with Bernie Sanders, and he is representing, no question, the extreme of the Democratic Party and he says that he is a socialist and he is angry, I agree."

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GOP lawmakers melt down after Maryland AP history class teacher uses illustration to compare Trump to Nazis

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According to a report from the Washington Times, Maryland Republicans are up in arms after an AP history teacher at a local high school used a slide to illustrate similarities between Donald Trump's policies and those of the Nazis.

The report states, "A slide used in an Advanced Placement history class at Loch Raven High School in Towson shows a picture of Trump above pictures of a Nazi swastika and a flag of the Soviet Union. Two captions read 'wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall' and 'oh, THAT is why it sounds so familiar!'"

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Stop praising anti-Trump evangelicals: Their embrace of authoritarianism is a big part of the problem

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At this critical moment for American democracy our media landscape is doing a poor job in its coverage of conservative white evangelicals. Coverage of this relatively large segment of the population is characterized by, on the one hand, effusive praise for the slightest milquetoast criticism of Donald Trump, and on the other, by a periodic parade of nearly interchangeable unfounded predictions about how evangelical youth are going to change America’s most radically right-wing demographic for the better—any day now. In the words of the great sage Bullwinkle J. Moose, “This time for sure!”

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