And these are the kinds of statements that raise the eyebrows of onlookers, cause knowing nods from his detractors, conservatives drop their faces into their hands, and his devotees desperately try to spin it to mean something other than what he plainly said.
It is interviews like the one President Trump just had with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that settle into the bones, like a deep, wet, cold, of every NeverTrumper who may have been willing to let bygones be bygones, and at least give the man a chance to prove himself.
In an interview that’s set to air on Super Bowl Sunday, O’Reilly questioned Trump about his seeming admiration for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Fox released a clip of the interview and it is depressing.
O'Reilly: “Putin’s a killer.”
Trump: “…we’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think—our country’s so innocent?” pic.twitter.com/OVR4XBJq1b
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 4, 2017
As O’Reilly attempted to point out, Putin is a Killer. Scores of journalists and dissidents have been killed or imprisoned under Putin.
The U.S. has its problems. They are nothing like that of Russia.
Putin is not an honorable man, or a leader to emulate.
No free country, with a free people should look to Putin’s Russia and speak of them in terms of admiration.
But Trump does.
I’m sure there is more to the interview, but is there any way to make that statement seem less – awful?
If Trump wants to win over those who have doubts about him, there are no executive orders, no Supreme Court picks, nothing that will allay the fears of those who have maintained skepticism about a Trump presidency, unless he learns the difference between those who are our allies and those who are exactly the kind of leaders we do not want our president admiring.