Donald Trump praised oppressive Turkish president Recep Erdoğan at a meeting of the United Nations, and asserted that America had a "great friendship" with him as the dictatorial foreign leader cracks down on dissent in his home country.
Donald Trump met with the brutal Turkish dictator Recep Erdoğan and praised him for being involved in a "great friendship" with the United States.
The two leaders met at the United Nations in New York and had a photo-op together where they exchanged greetings and compliments while shaking hands.
Erdoğan has been widely criticized for cracking down on dissenting speech in his country, and for interfering in elections to benefit himself, in a move that was cited for irregularities by the U.S. State Department.
That moral authority was squandered as Trump gushed, claiming that Erdoğan "is getting very high marks" for his leadership.
Trump praises Erdoğan, says US and Turkey relationship is closest that has never been pic.twitter.com/Ci4KTJ1IXm
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) September 21, 2017
TRUMP: Frankly, [Erdoğan] is getting very high marks, and he's also been working with the United states. We have a great friendship, both countries, I think we're right now as close as we have ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship. So, president, thank you very much, it's a great honor to have you.
The Turkish dictator has been on the receiving end of praise from Trump since early on in Trump's tenure. Trump congratulated him as he forced through a referendum granting him new, dictatorial powers, even as world leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel criticized the step towards authoritarianism.
Trump called another meeting with Erdoğan a "great honor," even as his security guards savagely beat up protestors in Washington, D.C. Several Erdoğan guards were indicted, only to be followed up by Trump reportedly calling the dictator and offering up an apology.
Trump has a soft spot for dictators, and has often lamented that the presidency in America does not have the same power to silence critics.
That is why he is so weak on Turkey's leader, and why he has no problem with embarrassing the country again and again by kissing up to oppressive leaders around the world.