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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

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.