5. He praised Putin, took at face value state polls which show him with approval ratings in the 80s. He also continued to express what is clearly an instinctive belief that Putin is a great leader. Autocrats are not leaders in a sense we value or respect leadership in a democracy. It's not like he's Franklin Roosevelt or Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln and just a bit more leader-y. He's an autocrat who silences opponents and rules the state with an iron hand.
Trump said a number of really weird, disquieting things. In praising Putin he said admiringly that Putin "has strong control over his country." What does that mean? Yes, he has incredibly strong control over that country. He's destroyed basically every independent sector of power in business, rival political leaders. He dominates the press. He's if not a dictator than an authoritarian strongman pretty much out of central casting. It's one thing that Trump is vain enough that he just likes being called "brilliant" or whatever it is. But there's something deeper there: Trump admires Putinism. I don't think that looks attracts to the majority of Americans. That won't wear well and Americans - for better or worse - do not like Vladimir Putin.
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