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Former Washington Journalist
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Donald Trump said “maybe the federal government has to get involved” to curb liberal and progressive policies in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s public criticism of such policies.
Trump’s threat to have the federal government meddle, in some unspecified way, in the affairs of local elected officials came during his press conference following the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
Trump’s remarks came directly after Putin fired a public broadside against what the Russian leader termed liberal policies in the West.
“The liberal idea has started eating itself,” Putin said at a news conference. “Millions of people live their lives, and those who propagate those ideas are separate from them.”
Trump appeared to agree with Putin’s assessment, when asked about it during his own news conference.
“He may feel that way. He sees what is going on,” Trump said. “And if you look at what is happening in Los Angeles where it is so sad to look and what is happening in San Francisco and a couple of other ciies which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people. I don’t know what they are thinking. But he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is. At the same time, he congratulated me as every other leader of every country did for what we’ve done economically because we probably have the strongest economy we’ve ever had and that is a real positive.
“But I’m very embarrassed by what I see in some of our cities where the politicians are either afraid do something about it other they think it is votes or — Peter, I don’t know what they are thinking,” Trump added. “But when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, some of the other cities — and not a lot. Not a lot. But you don’t want to spread. And at a certain point I think the federal government maybe has to get involved. We can’t let that continue to happen to our cities.”
It’s not clear whether the federal meddling Trump is calling for would be even legal. Certainly, Trump’s threat of federal interference would fly in the face of the federalism which most Republicans claim to hold dear.
Editor’s Note: As alarming as Trump’s comments are, they were–in fact–based on a misreading of Putin’s remarks.
“Trump doesn’t know the difference between West Coast liberalism and Western liberalism — between supporting the Green New Deal and supporting the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence that all people are endowed ‘with certain unalienable Rights,’ including ‘Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,’” laments conservative anti-Trump columnist Max Boot told a Washington Post reporter.