In a blunt-talking column for the Daily Beast, conservative columnist Matt Lewis ripped into Donald Trump, claiming the former president lives in some sort of "sick universe" after he praised Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Lewis, who has long been a critic of Trump, hammered the former president and insisted Trump's praise of the brutal Russian president -- along his history of expressing his admiration for other violent dictators -- is "deranged" and should be cause enough to bar him from ever setting foot in the Oval Office again.
Noting Trump described the invasion of Ukraine by Putin as an act of "genius," Lewis wrote, "A normal person might condemn Putin’s illegal and immoral invasion and the shameful propaganda that sought to justify it; Trump’s first impulse was to praise how well Putin lied about the bogus pretext."
Pointing out that Trump -- and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo -- approved of the technical aspects of the invasion without "technically" endorsing it, Lewis asked, "So what explains Trump’s deranged interpretation of events?"
The answer, he suggested, is, "Trump has a soft spot for authoritarians and strongmen who use violence."
"This is, after all, the same guy who said of Saddam Hussein, 'He was a bad guy, really bad guy, but you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good,'" the columnist recalled. "Of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump said, 'It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him.'"
"Trump’s brain isn’t normal. He majors in the minors and minors in the majors. He fetishizes feats of strength and obsesses over “process”—how somebody does something—while downplaying the much larger question—should they be doing this in the first place?" he wrote. "At this point, I am sick of debating whether Trump’s praise for Putin is strategic or simply the product of a twisted mind. Either option is disqualifying."
"This is the millionth reason why Trump should never again be allowed within 100 miles of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," he added before concluding, "If you think Citizen Trump poses a threat to the current world order, just imagine how dangerous President Trump would be in the White House again."
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