the national interest

Trump: Russia Is a Friend, Journalists Are the Enemy

President Trump. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the fact that his display of subservience has thrown the Republican political class into panic and disarray, President Trump is characteristically doubling down in the most literal way possible — by calling for a second meeting with Vladimir Putin:

Of equal significance, Trump is simultaneously depicting the news media, not Russia, as the genuine adversary of the public, while repeating his most authoritarian formulation for it (“enemy of the people,” a Soviet term that prefigured arrest or liquidation).

So, to summarize: Trump met secretly with Vladimir Putin, endorsed his denials of having hacked Democratic emails to help elect Trump, blamed his own country rather than Russian aggression for poor relations, praised Putin’s “offer” to interrogate an American diplomat he loathes for having stood up for human rights, and is announcing that American journalists rather than Russia are the true enemy.

Trump: Russia Is a Friend, Journalists Are the Enemy