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Trump ‘perversely admires’ dictators for being able to ‘utterly crush dissent’: New York Times contributor

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On Wednesday, CNN’s Don Lemon and a panel of contributors lambasted President Donald Trump for his push to convert a Fourth of July celebration into an event honoring himself. And New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explained how it was yet another manifestation of Trump’s just-below-the-surface desire to rule as a dictator.

“In your latest column, Frank Bruni, you write how he’s even inserting himself in that holiday,” said Lemon, referring to his recent article entitled “Donald Trump Is Not America.” “And you write this, you say: ‘He envies Orban, Putin and their ilk. They don’t have to deal with so much disrespect and dissent. They just crush it. His designs on Independence Day call to mind those sorts of leaders: their vanities, shamelessness and equation of natural interests with self-interest.’ Everything is about Trump.”

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“Everything is about Trump,” agreed Bruni, “and most presidents see their role as lifting up the country. I think Donald Trump sees what he deserves as the country lifting up him.”

“That’s a partial list of the world leaders whom he perversely admires,” Bruni continued. “He has praised and cozied up to the leader of North Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, people who have terrible human rights records. But what they have in common is the ability to decree adulation, to subvert the democratic process and to utterly crush dissent. He envies that.”

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‘Everyone he touches gets tainted’: CNN panel astonished by number of criminally convicted Trump allies

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A CNN panel on Friday stood in awe at the number of President Donald Trump's allies who have been convicted of crimes ever since his election in 2016.

During a panel discussion about Trump ally Roger Stone's conviction on seven criminal counts that included witness intimidation, perjury, and obstruction of justice, CNN host Anderson Cooper said it was astonishing how many of the people who helped the president get elected have wound up in jail.

"In your own life, how many people are you close to in your orbit who have been convicted of crimes?" Cooper asked and then listed off former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

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Marie Yovanovitch made a ‘mockery’ of Trump’s dismissal of the ‘deep state’ with her testimony: CNN’s David Gregory

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CNN contributor David Gregory used his time during a panel segment on the impeachment testimony of Marie Yovanovitch to hammer President Donald Trump for attacking the diplomat on Twitter as she spoke -- then said she had made a "mockery" of his [Trump's] dismissal of the "deep state."

According to Gregory, viewers might think he was naive to believe the president would not get personal and go after Yovanovitch, but that he was honestly stunned.

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CNN’s Wolf Blitzer astonished by Yovanovich’s ‘devastating’ testimony — and Trump’s unhinged response

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CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday expressed astonishment at the testimony of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich after she talked at length about being subjected to a smear campaign by President Donald Trump's allies.

"What a devastating bit of news we have just been hearing," Blitzer said. "Truly powerful statement by the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, speaking emotionally but very, very specifically about the accusations... about inappropriate behavior not only by the president of the united states, but by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and these two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who have both been indicted by the Southern District of New York."

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