May 2, 2017

6 foreign strongmen Trump wants to work with

Seth Wenig/ Burhan Ozbilici / Ivan Sekretarev / AP

President Trump has repeatedly expressed willingness to work with, and even admiration for, foreign leaders with long records of human rights violations.

Why it matters: Trump's behavior suggests that he admires these strong displays of power pitted against the establishment's opposition. Foreign policy experts warn that America's credibility as the leader of the free world is at risk, as reaching out to these controversial foreign leaders goes against the nation's typical values.

Philippines: President Trump invited President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House.

  • "I'd be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition." - President Duterte

North Korea: Trump said he would be honored to meet with President Kim Jong-un

  • "If the American imperialists provoke us a bit, we will not hesitate to slap them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike." -Kim Jong-un

Turkey: Trump called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on gaining sweeping new powers in a controversial referendum.

  • "Democracy, freedom and the rule of law…For us, these words have absolutely no value any longer. Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism are our friend. Those on the opposite side are our enemy," -President Erdogan

Russia: Trump has said he respects Vladimir Putin and that the Russian president is "very much a leader."

  • Putin has jailed opponents and journalists and been accused of having critics killed.

Egypt: Trump met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the White House.

  • Fattah el-Sisi came to power in a coup and used brutal tactics to consolidate power. As Defense Minister of Egypt in 2013, he was one of the top administers behind the killing of around 1,100 Egyptian protesters in just two months.

Kazakhstan: Trump called President Nursultan Nazarbayev to congratulate him on the 25th anniversary of independence.

  • Kazakhstan's government was allegedly paying D.C. think tanks to write positive reports that ignored corruption, limits to freedoms, and ongoing prisoner abuse.

Go deeper

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on the president's quasi-offer: "Thank you but no thank you," and accused Trump of "calling out the American military for a photo opportunity."

1 hour ago - World

The world watches America burn

Newspaper front pages via the Newseum

The world is watching the grief and anger, violence and pain in America's streets.

The big picture: The U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the world's deaths from COVID-19. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police has sparked days of protest and nights of chaos in America's major cities.

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.