Trump has embraced autocratic leaders without hesitation

President Donald Trump talks about the health care overhaul bill, Friday, March 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since taking office, President Donald Trump has displayed a striking willingness to embrace autocrats as potential partners in his “America First” agenda, even if it means ignoring their heavy-handed tactics and repression at home.

Trump congratulated Turkey’s president for sweeping up more power. He hailed Egypt’s strongman leader as a “fantastic guy.” When China’s president visited, Trump touted a burgeoning friendship and made no public mention of Beijing’s dismal human rights record.

Trump is hardly the first U.S. president willing to look the other way in dealings with governments that flout democratic values. But rarely are U.S. presidents as warm and unabashed about their relationships with autocrats.

 

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