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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Daily Combover - May 19, 2017

Amid all the hubbub surrounding #TrumpRussia, Special Counselor Mueller, and the criminal probe against Manafort and Flynn, it's easy to overlook what else happened this week.  Unfortunately, one of those things was a state visit by a Middle Eastern dictator, one who constantly blames any ills that befall his nation on the US. Example here and here and here.

No, this isn't Bashar Assad, it's Recip Erdogan.

A little context to start things off. About a month ago, Turkish President Erdogan (Note to Trump, the "g" is pronounced similar to a Spanish "ju") set up a referendum to dissolve the powers of the Prime Minister and give all executive powers to the President.  Under the context of increasing terrorist attacks and a recent coup attempt, Erdogan argued that he needed the powers to protect the country. In the end, the referendum narrowly passed amidst international outcries of fraud; Erdogan declared victory and essentially that makes him the sole power in Turkey.

What are the implications? Well, for one, he will not allow anyone to voice disagreement with him -- even if they happen to be American protesters outside the Turkish Embassy (i.e. on American soil):

Note that from his limo, he directs his bodyguard to dispatch other guards to take out the protesters. You'll hear the protesters go silent around the 25 second mark in the video as they realized the security officers were coming at them. 

Here's a video of the actual violence from another angle:

Clearly Erdogan isn't going to put up with any dissent regardless of where he is. Mayor Bowser and Senator McCain amongst others condemned the attacks (yet another video angle at that last link) but there is simply no way that the White House will follow through with any punitive action.

And it's not just because of Flynn's influence over Trump, it's because Erdogan knows exactly how to play Trump:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's a lot of press.  Really, a lot of press.  I'm shocked.
It is a pleasure to welcome President Erdogan for his first visit to the White House in years.  The American and Turkish peoples have been friends and allies for many, many decades.  
. . .
Mr. President, thank you for visiting our country and joining us today at the White House.  It is a great honor to have you with us.  Thank you.
PRESIDENT ERDOGAN:  (As interpreted.)  Mr. President, my dear friend, distinguished members of the press, at the outset I'd like to whole-heartedly salute you all.  And I would like to take all this opportunity to thank President Trump and his team for the generous hospitality they have shown us upon arrival, not only to my personal self but to the entire members of my delegation.  On behalf of the entire Turkish nation, thank you, Mr. President.
And once again, in your presence, I would like to congratulate President Trump for the legendary triumph that he has garnered in the aftermath of the elections.
Don't hold your breath waiting for a condemnation.

Catch you on the flip side.

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