Carroll County Times

Zirpoli: Trump’s attraction to despots

Correctly called by the Huffington Post “a strange disconnect between messages from government leaders,” the same day that President Donald Trump was calling for the G-7 to invite Russia back into the group, his Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, was testifying before Congress that Russia was trying to “break up Western alliances and interfere in midterm elections.”

Coats reiterated that Russia was attacking democratic elections in France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Ukraine. One can imagine why, despite Trump’s urging, that the G-7 nations will not consider re-admitting Russia who was expelled after the invasion and annexation of Crimea, part of Ukraine. This, apparently, does not bother Trump, who never seems to have a discouraging word for Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, no matter what he does. So why is Trump so weak when facing Putin? Does he owe Russian banks, controlled by Putin, money?


Moving forward a few weeks later and the “strange disconnect” continues. After his Justice Department indicted 12 Russian military officers for hacking into dozens of email accounts belonging to the campaign of a major American presidential candidate, Trump had no problem meeting with Putin, their leader, even as he scolded our allies and friends, especially Great Britain and Germany. He even called the European Union “a foe” during an interview with CBS News.

Indeed, Trump seems to save all of his discouraging words for our allies (and the free press) but seems afraid to lecture Putin. It seems to me that Trump has been doing Russia’s bidding ever since they helped him get into the White House. You can’t blame Putin. His efforts to help Trump win the presidency are paying big dividends. As stated by Coats, Russia wants to break up the Western Alliances. Trump seems to be doing that for him.


Trump appears to admire despicable people, like Putin. Perhaps he is naïve as demonstrated in his voicing trust and admiration for Kim Jong Un, a ruthless dictator who starves and kills his own people in North Korea. A 2014 United Nations report stated that North Korean human rights violations by Kim do “not have any parallel in the contemporary world.” Yet, Trump continues to voice admiration for Kim even as Kim continues to build his nuclear weapons program.

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Trump even copied Kim’s description of U.S. military exercises as “provocative,” a word frequently used by Kim over the years to describe joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea. Can you imagine the outrage from Republicans if President Barack Obama called any of our military forces “provocative?”

Consider Dinesh D’Souza who Trump recently pardoned. D’Souza was convicted in 2014 of making an illegal donation to a Republican Senate candidate. But D’Souza is noted for many things. For example, in 2017 he sent a tweet defending Hitler’s treatment of gays. “Hitler was not anti-gay,” D’Souza tweeted. Of course, history tells us that thousands of gay people were killed by Hitler.

This begs the question as to why anyone would want to defend Hitler on any issue, and why would Trump feel compelled to pardon and speak well of such a person? It seems that Trump and D’Souza do have a lot in common. Like Trump, D’Souza defended white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia. He stated that the event was staged and wondered if the leader of the white supremacists was “an Obama guy.”

Perhaps Trump admires D’Souza’s anti-Obama rhetoric. D’Souza once sent a tweet referring to Obama as “the boy” from “the ghetto” and a “gay Muslim.” D’Souza called Michelle Obama “a man.” D’Souza stated that Rosa Parks was “overrated” because, as he tweeted in 2017, she “wouldn’t sit in the back of the bus—that’s all she did, so what’s the big fuss?” He also wrote in 1995 that slavery was not a racist institution and that black people were treated “well” while enslaved.

This is the guy who Trump recently selected to receive a presidential pardon. I guess he sees nothing wrong with standing up for a racist. But what does this say about Trump’s judgment and morality? Could it be that two men are cut from the same cloth?

Trump recently endorsed Corey Stewart for the U.S. Senate from Virginia. Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Corey Stewart for his great victory for Senator from Virginia.” Stewart will not, however, receive support from the national or state GOP establishment. He has a long history of making racists, as well as supporting white supremacists around the nation. None of this served as a red flag for Trump, however.

You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the people around them.