President Donald Trump was compared to some of the world’s most infamous authoritarians in an New York Times analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Sanger.
“President Trump’s order to his secretary of state to declassify thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails, along with his insistence that his attorney general issue indictments against Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr., takes his presidency into new territory — until now, occupied by leaders with names like Putin, Xi and Erdogan,” Sanger wrote.
“Mr. Trump has long demanded — quite publicly, often on Twitter — that his most senior cabinet members use the power of their office to pursue political enemies. But his appeals this week, as he trailed badly in the polls and was desperate to turn the national conversation away from the coronavirus, were so blatant that one had to look to authoritarian nations to make comparisons,” he explained.
“Mr. Trump’s vision of the presidency has always leaned to exercising the absolute powers of the chief executive, a writ-large version of the family business he presided over,” Sanger wrote. “He is making it clear that prosecutions, like vaccines for the coronavirus, are useless to him if they come after Nov. 3. He has declared, without evidence, that there is already plenty of proof that Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Mrs. Clinton, among others, were fueling the charges that his campaign had links to Russia — what he calls “the Russia hoax.” And he has pressured his secretary of state to agree to release more of Mrs. Clinton’s emails before the election, reprising a yearslong fixation despite having defeated her four years ago.”
The interference is unprecedented.
“Presidential historians say there is no case in modern times where the president has so plainly used his powers to take political opponents off the field — or has been so eager to replicate the behavior of strongmen,” Sanger wrote. “Long ago, White House officials learned how to avoid questions about whether the president views his powers as fundamentally more constrained than those of the authoritarians he so often casts in admiring terms, including Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. They have something in common: Mr. Trump’s State Department has criticized all three for corrupting the justice systems in their countries to pursue political enemies.”
We don’t have precedent for a President ordering top cabinet members to use the power of the state, at this scale, against political adversaries 24 days before an election. The best comparisons are to the authoritarian states the US condemns. An analysis. https://t.co/IiTdpRbDmX
— David Sanger (@SangerNYT) October 10, 2020
If the GOP thinks Trump is ushering in a crisis — why did they support him for the last year?: Bulwark editor
Veteran newsman Carl Bernstein revealed that there are 21 Republicans too scared to reveal they think President Donald Trump should have reached the end of his options to fight the 2020 election. Still, most of them aren't speaking out publicly and they spent the past year enabling Trump, knowing full well that this is who he is.
Writing for the Bulwark on Monday, Jonathan V. Last cited editors of the National Review who are calling Trump's behavior “disgraceful” and “the most outlandish and irresponsible performance ever by a group of lawyers representing a president of the United States.”
Power-hungry Republicans do not fear Trump — it’s worse than that
There’s a presumption at work among members of the Washington press corps that needs rethinking. That presumption is this: the Republicans, especially those in the Senate, fear the wrath of voters who have balled up their identities with the rise and fall of Donald Trump. For this reason, all the Republicans, with rare exception, stand in silence while the president prosecutes what must be called an attempted coup d’etat.
Katie Porter did not question Emily Murphy because the GSA head blew off today’s Biden transition briefing
Add General Services Administration administrator Emily Murphy to the long list of Trump administration officials who have decided respectfully honoring a lawful congressional request is optional.
Many Americans on Monday were excited to see Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) question the GSA head, but it was not to be. Tweets like this one went wild on Monday morning:
GET READY: Today Rep. Katie Porter will ask @GSAEmily and the @USGSA to explain to America why they’re blocking the Biden-Harris team from a proper transfer of power. Every lost day endangers the lives of millions of Americans across the country. pic.twitter.com/DtunHVI3xg