Trump's Got Big Dictator Energy Today

Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty)

We’ve seen this before: Donald Trump is accused of doing something blatantly corrupt, and after testing the waters with some halfhearted denials, he doesn’t just admit to, but brags about the initial accusation by insisting he’s the real victim.

And so, as the scandal over his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to rage around him, Trump doubled down on his claim that dangling foreign aid in exchange for pursuing a baseless investigation against a political rival—in this case, former Vice President Joe Biden—was extremely fine. In fact, Trump insisted, whoever raised the alarm about his clearly impeachable behavior might be the real traitor here.

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Trump’s tweets, sent while he was ostensibly supposed to be focused on the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, came shortly after the president basically admitted to the core allegation against him: that he used his position as president to try and strong-arm a foreign leader into interfering in the upcoming 2020 election.

“If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?” Trump told reporters as he walked into the UN building.

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Trump’s personal attorney and dedicated fuck-up Rudy Giuliani also leaned into admitting Trump may have threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine, telling Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo today that “I can’t tell you if [the allegation is] 100 percent” false.

Folks, this is some big dictator energy. A huge “so what if I did it, it’s fine!” red flag that Trump and his enablers are waving in front of everyone, just daring someone to do something about it. At this point, it’s hard to tell if Trump even knows if what he did was wrong or if he just doesn’t care one way or another. Probably a little of both.

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About the author

Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.