By Quin Hillyer at The Washington Examiner;

President Trump is worse than a dupe: He’s a weakling.

wrote for the Washington Examiner almost exactly a year ago that Trump should resign, specifically because “We cannot trust President Trump to act with wisdom, objectivity, and reasonable perspective when dealing with our most potentially dangerous adversary, Russia.” Despite Tuesday’s attempted walk-back, Monday’s disgraceful Helsinki summit performance by Trump shows I was right – but I was missing part of the picture.

The reality is that, as weirdly submissive and stoop-shouldered as Trump is vis-a-vis Russian President Vladimir Putin, he is almost equally as pitiful a negotiator when dealing with many authoritarians or totalitarians around the globe. As Kirsten Powers noted concisely in a June column, “Trump has made his affection for authoritarians — from the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to China’s Xi Jinping — well known.”

To that list one could add Syria’s Bashar Assad, at least until Assad again used chemical weaponsagainst his own people in April. Indeed, just days before that attack, Trump was playing into Assad’s hands by calling for removal of American troops from Syria – and Trump had either praised or made excuses for Assad for years before that.

But it is in his two most recent high-profile meetings with dictators – the one with Putin, and the Singapore session in June with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – that’s Trump’s vassalage has been clearest and most dangerous to U.S. interests….

[Among the wins Kim achieved against U.S. interests were] a public-relations sense of the “legitimacy” of the regime; failure to be held account for proliferation of weapons of mass murder; adoption of North Korean code language for the North’s dominance over South Korea; “no accounting” for the North’s current nuke inventory “or cyber-crime activities, or counterfeiting, or drug sales”; almost no attention to human rights; a Trump pledge to suspend joint military training with South Korea; and, most important, actually weaker verifiability and deliverability of the North’s vague pledges to denuclearize….

[The full column is here.]



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