Should we believe dictators? | The Tylt

Should we believe dictators?

President Donald Trump has a tendency to take dictators and despots at their word. From Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trump tends to give them the benefit of the doubt even when there is overwhelming evidence they have committed myriad atrocities. Trump consistently argues there is no reason for these leaders to lie to him. Critics say he is undercutting the country's moral authority. What do you think?

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Should we believe dictators?
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During his summit in Vietnam, Donald Trump asked Kim Jong Un about the mysterious death of Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was taken into North Korean custody after he was caught trying to leave the country with a propaganda poster. The 22-year-old was returned to his family 17 months later he was in a "state of unresponsive wakefulness," according to NBC News. He died several days later of unknown causes. 

"Some really bad things happened to Otto — some really, really bad things. But he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word," Trump said, referring to the North Korean dictator.
The president added that Kim told him that he "felt very badly about it."

An American judge ruled the North Korean government owed Warmbier's parents $500 million in damages. 

#DictatorsNeverLie

This is not the first time the president has taken the side of an autocratic foreign leader, sometimes ignoring the advice and intelligence of his own government. Per the Washington Post

Trump has not agreed with his intelligence community’s assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia who has forged an alliance with the administration — ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October. Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist, was reportedly cut up with a bone saw, and messages later showed that the crown prince had plotted in the past to kill him. The Saudi government has blamed the operation on a rogue band of operatives who were sent to Istanbul to bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.
Trump has repeatedly said that the crown prince has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s death while emphasizing his own view that preserving the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia is most important.
#NeverTrustADictator

The Washington Post reports many people, including members of the president's own party, disagreed with his decision to side with the North Korean leader. 

Speaking to reporters at a news conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also counseled caution on trusting Kim.
“I do not see the leader of North Korea as somebody who’s a friend,” McCarthy said. “We know what happened to Otto. We know what this country has done. I support the president in his effort to denuclearize them, but I do not have a misbelief of who this leader is.”
...Sen. Tim Kaine said Trump has repeatedly accepted the word of “dictators,” like Russian President Vladimir Putin or Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“I can only imagine how it felt for the Warmbier family to have the President defend Kim Jong Un,” Kaine said in a statement. “Why would you not go to bat for an American family of this American student who was so brutalized by the North Korean regime?”
#NeverTrustADictator

After Trump made his statement about Warmbier, some on Twitter pointed out the president has made interesting choices in who he believes and who he chooses to disregard. 

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should we believe dictators?
#DictatorsNeverLie
A festive crown for the winner
#NeverTrustADictator