Donald Trump Spent His Sunday Morning Praising a Brutal Dictator

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Ah, Sundays in the Trump White House: a time to catch up on sleep, make a pot of coffee, and linger over the morning newspaper (Melania goes for the Travel section; Don reaches for the Sunday Styles).

If only! President Donald Trump spent his Sunday morning in his own unique way, tweeting away about his admiration for the worst people in the world. This time it was North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Trump is scheduled to meet in Vietnam to discuss, as Trump put it, “Denuclearization?” Boasting of his “great relationship” with Kim, Trump called the brutal dictator an asset to his country with a potential for great things:

Conducting diplomacy with dictators is sometimes just part of the job, but Trump is unique in his insistence that the brutal dictators he’s conducting diplomacy with are, in fact, good people. He’s touted his “great relationship” with Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who is best known for his mass murder of drug users (Trump specifically praised him for his approach to the Drug War).

No dictator has come in for as much incongruous praise as Kim. “He speaks and his people sit up at attention,” Trump said of Kim last year. “I want my people to do the same.” Later that year, describing their correspondence on binational talks, Trump said: “We went back and forth, then we fell in love. He wrote me beautiful letters.” Trump’s admiration, he explained, stemmed from Kim’s ability to consolidate power at such a young age—something Kim was able to do through a campaign of assassinations and terror.

Such praise comes with a cost. As my colleague Dan Spinelli noted, during Trump’s push for a nuclear deal with North Korea—with visions of a Nobel Prize dancing in his head—his administration has swept under the rug the slave camps and forced starvation that Kim’s regime has maintained.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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