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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.”

“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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CNN’s Erin Burnett schools Rick Santorum for claim Trump was right to fire pollsters with epic video

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On Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to spin the news that President Donald Trump fired his pollsters after leaks revealed that they showed him losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in key states — and CNN's Erin Burnett smacked him down with Trump's own words.

"The internal polls are probably not so great," said Santorum. "I think he fired them because they leaked, and maybe he feels that they were somehow responsible for that leak. But he is right that you don't worry about early polls. I ran in 20 elections. Maybe with the exception of three or four, I was behind in every early poll at this point in time, and I won a bunch of elections. So the reality is there's a long way to go. And the president sometimes, I know this is going to shock you, overreacts to these things."

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Congress needs to ‘follow the rubles’ on Trump: Oversight congressman

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told host Wolf Blitzer that Congress needs to "follow the rubles" on Trump to find out why he expresses an affinity for Russia to the point of contradicting U.S. national security interests.

"As you know, The New York Times is reporting that President Trump is being largely kept in the dark by his own administration about cyberweapons being developed for use against Russia's infrastructure as a warning to the Russians not to use their cyber warfare capabilities against America's power grid and America's infrastructure," said Blitzer. "What national security concerns does this raise, the president not being fully informed about what is going on?"

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Pentagon releases photos saying it proves Iran was responsible for oil tanker fire

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The Pentagon is releasing high-resolution photos showing what they say proves mines were not the only cause of the oil tanker fire that President Donald Trump has alleged was an attack.

CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr said that the Pentagon released the photos after so much doubt surrounded the allegations. The legacy of the war in Iraq has prompted many to speculate that the claim of an Iranian attack is part of a ploy by the Trump government, who is eager to go to war with Iran.

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