The Company He Keeps - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1327533

The Company He Keeps

At the G-20, President Trump played footsie with Vladimir Putin about meddling in our elections and joked about doing away with journalists. Also, Trump praised Mohammed bin Salman in spite of his direct role in the brutal killing of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump likes the dictators and the strongmen—Putin, Kim, Xi Jinping, Duterte … (Trump said that he and Kim Jong-un “fell in love”)—and he never, ever has a bad word to say about Putin, just deference, smiles, handshakes and private meetings with no aides present.

He takes the word of Putin and bin Salman over our intelligence agencies. You may ask, why? Trump lied to the American people during the 2016 campaign (he did have business with Russia—he was actively pursuing a Trump Tower in Moscow). Does Putin have something else on Trump?

It is so very, very strange how chummy Trump is with Putin.

Then we have bin Salman and the Saudis, who “buy apartments from me … $40 million to $50 million … I like them very much,” and they are very big bookers at his hotels in Washington, D.C., Chicago, etc.

You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Trump is most comfortable in the company of the bad guys—dictators, strongmen and nationalists of all stripes.

Ronald Reagan used to call Putin’s realm “The Evil Empire.” Today’s Republicans have no sense of history, and they are complicit by permitting Trump’s reckless behavior to continue unabated.

While Trump is praising dictators and their ilk, he is continually denigrating NATO and our long-standing allies.

Of course, Putin couldn’t be happier with our hapless president, who gleefully acts as Putin’s agent in full view of the entire world. And Trump almost started a war with Iran last week … to say nothing about his inhumane treatment of refugees and his idiotic refusal to accept the scientific proof of climate change and global warming.

It is truly hard to believe that all this is actually happening before our very eyes, but it is … it’s not a movie, it’s not a bad dream.

As Dan Rather recently said: “History is watching.”

Dick SheehanWesthampton Beach

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