Donald Trump Is Sounding Like an Authoritarian Strongman – Rolling Stone
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s response to the initial findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report has been misleading, claiming a full exoneration while Mueller offers no such thing. But more than that, Trump has used Attorney General William Barr’s brief summary of Mueller’s report to launch an all-out attack on his critics that bears the hallmarks of an authoritarian strongman.
“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, some bad things, I would say some treasonous things against our country,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country — we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening — those people will certainly be looked at.”
It’s one thing for a head of state to accuse his opponents of being wrong or overly harsh. But to accuse them of treason, of betraying one’s country, and to vow to investigate those critics puts Trump squarely in the company of past and present-day dictators and autocrats, according to political scientists and experts on authoritarianism.