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Putin has infiltrated Trump’s mind and is inspiring his words — and maybe even his actions: conservative pundit

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In a press conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump disparaged American commitments abroad, including the US presence in Afghanistan. He denounced former Defense Secretary James Mattis for failing to deliver results in Afghanistan and suggested that Trump himself would be a superior general.

As part of his criticism of US policy in Afghanistan, the president cited Russia’s experience in the region in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Soviet Union occupied the region. But as many critics pointed out following the conference, the president’s understanding of that history is deeply flawed—and may be indicative of current pro-Russia biases.

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Writing in the Atlantic Wednesday, conservative David Frum asks, “Why is Trump spouting Russian propaganda?”

“It was only one moment in a 90-minute stream of madness,” Frum writes.

“The crazy part came during the president’s monologue defending his decision to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and 7,000 from Afghanistan, about half the force in that country. ‘Russia used to be the Soviet Union,’ he said.” Frum writes.

Frum analyzes Trump’s rant:

Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia … The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.

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The conservative pundit hones in on the significance of the president’s seeming endorsement of Soviet actions. “It’s amazing enough that any U.S. president would retrospectively endorse the Soviet invasion,” he writes.

“What’s even more amazing is that he would do so using the very same falsehoods originally invoked by the Soviets themselves: ‘terrorists’ and ‘bandit elements.'”

Frum notes that the issue is not what happened in Afghanistan, but rather Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to whitewash Soviet era crimes and return Russia to its former imperialistic glory. What’s disturbing is that President Donald Trump also appears interested in that goal.

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“Putin-style glorification of the Soviet regime is entering the mind of the president, inspiring his words and—who knows—perhaps shaping his actions,” Frum concludes.”How that propaganda is reaching him—by which channels, via which persons—seems an important if not urgent question.”


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‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted

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MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.

"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."

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Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’

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President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.

According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.

"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."

"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."

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Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.

Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.

While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.

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