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Trump's chummy and jokey exchanges with despots at G20 give startling urgency to 2020 race

Just as Americans are getting their first full view of the Democratic candidates for president, President Donald Trump put on a startling performance on the global stage, a stark reminder of the enormity of the 2020 stakes.

Trump's trip to Asia brought the relentless torrent of appalling statements that we have come to expect, but to which we should never become accustomed. At every stop, with every tweet, he scattered petals upon tyrants, praised himself and claimed to have achieved great triumphs. Perhaps the accomplishments will come. Perhaps the praise that he so hungers for reflects the needs of other leaders with whom he identifies, and will ultimately pay off. But not yet.

Instead, the world saw the now-familiar display: criticism of allies, love for tyrants and lies. There was an added feature this time, presidential daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, whose vaguely defined portfolio does not include top-level diplomacy, weirdly positioned, again and again, between world leaders, who could scarcely conceal their irritation. Ivanka was everywhere, prompting raised eyebrows and puzzled glances. In a video released by the French presidency, Ivanka awkwardly joins a conversation with the leaders of France, the UK, Canada and the IMF. IMF chief Christine Lagarde's eyes tell the story. Watch the video

But it was Trump's behavior that was most disturbing. Speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump could hardly contain his envy of Putin's mostly successful efforts to silence critical journalists. Many of Putin's critics have turned up dead. "Get rid of them," Trump said, on the first anniversary of the massacre of journalists at the Annapolis Capital Gazette.

Posted by Seedersandleechers | Tue Jul 2, 2019, 08:50 AM (0 replies)
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