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Fox News released an excerpt last night of an interview of President Donald Trump by Bill O’Reilly that will air before the Super Bowl tonight. In it, O’Reilly asks Trump about Putin, noting that “Putin’s a killer.” Trump then responds, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think–our country’s so innocent?”
This is not different from things that Trump said during the campaign. In a December, 2015, appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Trump made a similar statement. When host Joe Scarborough said that Putin “kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Trump replied “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.” Later in the interview Scarborough asked Trump if he condemned the killing of journalists. Trump said, “Oh sure. Absolutely.” I wonder if O’Reilly will ask the president a similar follow-up question. I hope so.
Even if there is more context, there’s no saying that it will cast Trump’s position in a better light. But then that depends on where you’re standing.
The NeverTrumpers are gleefully condemning both Trump and Trumpers.
Every day, someone or other tells me that Trump is like Reagan, if not better. A truly puke-making claim.
— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) February 5, 2017
I’m a Neoconservative. I didn’t fully agree with Trump’s foreign policy stances during the campaign. It’s one reason I didn’t vote for him in the primary. However, I do like his focus on strength. And I know that President Obama got rolled by Putin repeatedly. Hillary Clinton spent four years implementing Obama’s failed foreign policy. I believe Trump will be tougher on Russia than Clinton ever would have been.
What would NeverTrumpers actually prefer? That Hillary Clinton were now president? Clinton has no core beliefs when it comes to foreign policy and national defense. Remember, she voted for the Iraq war when it was popular to do so, then turned against it when it was popular to do so. She also sold American Uranium interests to Russia for personal gain.
Would Hillary Clinton’s U.N. Ambassador have used her first appearance at the U.N. to criticize Russia?
Criticizing Trump’s statement that “we’ve got a lot of killers” is perfectly fine, but I’m getting tired of the constant outrage. When you’re outraged about literally everything then nothing is outrageous.
Scott Adams has described this as “outrage dilution.”
At the moment there are so many outrages, executive orders, protests, and controversies that none of them can get enough oxygen in our brains. I can’t obsess about problem X because the rest of the alphabet is coming at me at the same time.
NeverTrumps should consider cooling it if they want to be taken seriously and not like the boy who cried wolf. Even though I have real policy disagreements with Trump in some areas, I feel an overwhelming urge to defend Trump, if only because the NeverTrumpers are so obnoxious all the time.
The interview has been released in full.
I didn’t much care for Trump’s comment on Putin. In a cold way, Trump’s obviously correct: We’ve killed a lot of people. And I don’t have a problem with that. But there’s huge difference between Putin ordering the assassination of journalists — one of whom was gunned down on the sidewalk in Moscow — just for writing critical stories and Obama taking the entirely lawful act of ordering the assassination of an enemy combatant who had declared war on America and was responsible for many terrorist acts.
I supported Obama’s action on Awlaki, and always thought that Libertarians were off the deep end howling about how Obama had “ordered the killing an American citizen without due process.” When you declare war on the United States, you forfeit your right to due process.
But Trump didn’t cite Alwaki. He cited the Iraq war. “Lots of people died” in the Iraq war. So I guess that George W. Bush is somehow morally equivalent to Vladimir Putin? That doesn’t make sense. I don’t get it.
But again, this interview with O’Reilly does not reveal anything new about Trump in this regard. He’s said these same things before, during the campaign.
I’ll be fine with Trump’s comments if his actions reflect American strength, which I think they will. The problem with Obama was that he had weak rhetoric and backed it up with weak actions.