February 13, 2020

John Avlon talked about Trump's enemies list in his Reality Check segment, and why it matters.

"So look. Once upon a time, Senator Lamar Alexander was really worried about enemies lists.

I want to make what I hope will be a friendly suggestion to President Obama in his White House. And it is this: Don't create an enemies list.

"That was good advice, rooted in his experience working for Richard Nixon. Kind of quaint in hindsight. Now we've got something to work with," Avlon said, pointing out that Trump is on a "revenge bender" after the impeachment acquittal Alexander helped secure.

Trump, he says, talks a big game about loyalty, but it's always been a one-way street.

'I would have wiped the floor with the guys that weren't loyal, which I will now do, which is great. I love getting even with people.

"Let's take a look at some of the people who've been in his cross hairs lately. Trump is after people who crossed him during impeachment," he said, listing John Bolton, Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon, and even Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

"But Trump also loves targeting law enforcement and the intelligence communities. Like fired FBI Director Jim Comey, John Brennan, Jim Clapper, Andrew McCabe. And of course Robert Mueller. It's no secret that Trump can't quit hating on Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden. They're in the top tier of his negative twitter mentions, according to Fact Base. But it's not like Republicans have been spared his wrath, like former senators Jeff Flake and Dean Heller. Both replaced by Democrats, incidentally. Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, now Justin Amash. And the past three GOP nominees included John McCain. Some former trump critics like Lindsey Graham have worked their way into Trump's good graces by doggedly defending the president.

"But taking a look at this list of enemies is exhausting. Trump targets anyone who dares question, right or left. people who are against him. And tries to hard to appease him. Winston Churchill famously defined an appeaser as 'one who feeds a crocodile hoping he will eat him last.' Which is why another public servant targeted by Trump, former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Youvanovitch, deserves the last word from a speech she gave last night. 'An amoral foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear, and confusion for trust cannot work over the long haul,' she said.

"Truth matters. And that's your reality check."

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