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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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CNN’s Jim Acosta busts Trump’s whistleblower lies: ‘Just not answering questions in a straightforward fashion’

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CNN's Jim Acosta busted several falsehoods in President Donald Trump's remarks from the Oval Office about a whistleblower complaint filed against him by an intelligence official.

The president answered questions about the complaint, which appears to center on a phone call he made to the Ukrainian president, during a White House news conference with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

"He did not really answer the question whether or not he spoke with the Ukranian prime minister about former Vice President Joe Biden, at one point saying it doesn't matter what he discussed," Acosta said. "But there are plenty of contradictions here that the president offered up to reporters when he was sitting down in the Oval Office, at one point describing the whistleblower has being partisan and part of a hack job, but at the same time saying he doesn't know who the whistleblower is."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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CNN

WATCH: Trump’s long history of spilling America’s secrets to foreign leaders catalogued by CNN’s Avlon

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President Donald Trump this week claimed that would never be stupid enough to say something inappropriate to foreign officials when he knew that all of his calls were being monitored.

However, CNN's John Avlon on Friday went down the president's long history of making inappropriate comments to foreign leaders, including times when he spilled important intelligence secrets.

Avlon began by noting that Trump has repeatedly cast aspersions on the intelligence community, including when he infamously said that he didn't believe Russia tried to help him win the 2016 election despite multiple intelligence assessments showing just that.

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