Trump boasted that he could shoot someone down walking in the street on 5th Avenue and his fan base would not care. Strong men around the world heard him joking about murdering political opponents.
Trump urges crowds to menace journalists, calls them the ‘worst people,’ and just praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a young journalist, Ben Jacobs, and breaking his classes, for which Gianforte was fined by a court.
Trump wants to introduce political libel laws into the US, such that a politician could sue anyone who crticizes him for defamation. The Saudis don’t do anything so formal as instituting court proceedings, but political libel is very much a crime in Saudi Arabia and it is used to silence critical voices and journalists.
When asked about Putin’s own notorious assassinations of his critics, Trump gave the Russian strong man a pass, saying that the US also whacks people. Well no doubt it does, but not Washington Post journalists, or at least not openly and regularly.
When Trump made a state visit to Saudi Arabia in May of 2017, he said to his audience there, “We are not here to lecture you. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship.” You couldn’t find a clearer mandate for strongman rule in the Arab world or a clearer promise that