President Donald Trump defended his call to Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his reelection to the Russian presidency earlier this week by saying he’s no different than any other leader who picks the candidates he runs against, controls the voting system in his country, and dictates any policy he wants as long as he doesn’t trigger opposition from his opponents who are lying in wait to depose him.
“Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau—are they all so much different than President Putin?” Trump said in remarks to reporters this morning.
Trump said that Theresa May, who is prime minister of Great Britain, wouldn’t be much different than Vladimir Putin if she had her political enemies assassinated and knew Parliament would rubber stamp any policy she handed it. “If she picked up the phone and had one of her secret agents—let’s call him 007—poison a former spy near a Starbucks in St. Petersburg, would that be much different than President Putin?” Trump said.
A leader like Justin Trudeau, he added, who is prime minister of Canada, would be indistinguishable from Putin if he sent an elite military unit, with their insignia removed to hide their identity, to Iceland to turn that country into the eleventh province under the Canadian Confederation.
“People compare Trudeau to Barack Obama but would he be any different than Putin if he installed a puppet government in Iceland or put boots on the ground in the Palestinian Territories to antagonize Israel?” Trump asked. “I wouldn’t see much difference.”
Trump also likened Putin to Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, because they both have a prime minister underneath them to carry out their directives so they can focus on decision-making and ceremonial duties. “They both eat very well at very nice banquets,” Trump said. “Putin probably has his food tasted first a bit more thoroughly than Macron, but Russian food doesn’t have much flavor anyway. What is it? Beets? Anchovies? What the hell do the Russians eat? Cabbage? Macron eats much better than Putin, I bet. I admit that’s a difference.”
Trump said he isn’t much different than Putin, either, except that he can’t do anything without getting criticized in the media. “I’d like to rename Alaska Siberia but do you think I can just send an order to Congress to get that okayed?” he said. “Hell no. Just talking about it gets the Fake News Media all in a tizzy, but I think we need a place to send people like they do in Russia. We’re not that different, Putin and I. He’s got it a little better, I think. He’s got Siberia. I’ve got Robert Mueller. If Robert Mueller ever goes to Alaska it’s probably to fish. If he ever goes to Siberia it’s probably for a different reason. That’s one way we’re different. I can’t just send Mueller to Alaska even though he’s the one on the fishing expedition. There are some differences between me and Putin that we need to change.”
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As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.” The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!” More.
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