Donald Trump continues his general allegiance to the authoritarian cause, now having yet again offered what is essentially direct praise for Russian leader Vladimir Putin — the murderous Russian ruler who has presided over what is now more than a year of unfolding atrocities in Ukraine, which Putin’s forces invaded.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson for Fox News, Trump referred to Putin as “smart,” which is a sort of rhetoric he has used before. Sure, he sometimes adds qualifiers to describe the Russian leader as supposedly fundamentally intelligent but morally wrong, but that doesn’t work either and amounts to little more than slovenly deference to a murderer. Putin’s forces plotted what was evidently a takeover of Ukraine, having marched on Kyiv, which is the smaller country’s capital, much earlier in the war. That’s largely failed, with fighting consistently confined to eastern and southern portions of the country, although threats, like from airstrikes, continue to loom for Ukrainians across their nation.
Donald Trump “is a moron,” Alexander Vindman said on Twitter. “The love he has for our enemies and loathing he has for our country continues to startle.” Vindman is the retired lieutenant colonel who rose to particularly visible prominence for helping share the truth of the pressure campaign then-President Trump carried out towards Ukrainian leadership in hopes of securing politically valuable investigative pay dirt from the country as he prepared to run against Biden in 2020.
There are other examples for the animosity it seems Trump actually holds towards much of what the U.S. is. He continues to consistently proclaim there is some kind of unfolding apocalyptic scenario in the country’s political scene that, in his personal lore, could mean the effective end of the United States unless he’s re-elected. It’s obviously all ridiculous, but the basic reality of what he’s pitting himself against is just the reality of the United States. One could argue he hates democracy, whether exemplified in his furious attempts to undo what was Biden’s well-documented win or his occasional suggestions voters on the other side shouldn’t even get a voice if it happens to displease him, as has unfolded in New York with the selection by voters of Letitia James as state attorney general, a role in which she’s suing Donald.
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) April 12, 2023