Ahead of his speech Thursday night, Donald Trump gave the New York Times an interview covering a wide range of topics, including foreign policy.
While this debacle of a convention has been underway, Turkey's Erdogan has been executing a purge of government officials who have registered dissent recently or in the past. Here's the running count, so far of Erdogan's purge:
- 6,000 soldiers arrested or suspended
- 85 generals jailed
- 21,000 public school teachers had their licenses suspended
- 1,577 university professors ordered to resign
- 9,322 citizens facing legal actions connected with the coup
- 492 clerics. preachers and religious teachers fired
- 399 employees of the Family and Social Policies ministry fired
- 257 staff in the Prime Minister's office fired
Regardless of who is on the side of the angels here, this is a dangerous cleansing of dissenting views in a country which has been presented as a successful democracy.
When asked about Turkey and how he would handle it, Trump told The Times the United States has to “fix our own mess” before meddling in the business of other nations.
He went on to admonish, saying he didn't think "we had a right to lecture."
He added, “Look at what is happening in our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”
Shooting policemen in cold blood is bad. No one wants that. But what about policemen shooting black men in cold blood? Our policing issues have little to do with political purges and ideological purity, other than to suggest that Trump doesn't have much of a problem with police shooting black people -- and possibly any other people -- in cold blood.
When asked about Russia, and whether we would defend some of the newer states admitted to NATO, Trump set conditions on what he would do to assist them.
For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are the most recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”
He added, “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”
Earlier in the interview, Trump said he would renegotiate existing trade agreements, something he's said many times.
Here's my question on that. Why would any country trust anything he negotiated? He couldn't even close the deal with Ted Cruz last night. He's no dealmaker. He's just an isolationist and a fascist.
Here, I'll let Trevor Noah explain it.