Dan Rather is taking aim at Donald Trump after the president had another friendly visit with Vladimir Putin, warning that “history is watching” Trump’s actions.
The longtime CBS news anchor spoke out against Trump’s behavior at the recent G20 Summit, when Trump acted chummy with both Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. As The Huffington Post noted, Rather said that Trump’s conduct during his meeting with Putin was “deeply strange, at least borderline bizarre.”
In the meeting, Trump joked as the topic of Russian election interference was raised. American intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to help Trump to be elected. But President Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on these claims and infamously sided with Putin during their summit in Helsinki when the Russian president denied that his country interfered in the election.
When Trump was questioned at the G20 Summit whether he would raise the subject of election interference or warn Putin not to have his country interfere again, Trump claimed that his joke to Putin during a question-and-answer session amounted to just that.
“I did say it,” Trump said, via USA Today. “You’re going to have to take a look at the words.”
Trump was again criticized for praising Mohammad bin Salman, who has been connected to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. While many have condemned the Saudi government for allegedly carrying out the murder of the dissident, Trump has refused to come out strongly against the Saudis or bin Salman.
At the summit this week, Trump still refused to condemn the Saudis for the killing of Khashoggi, refusing to answer a question about his murder. Trump instead had praise for Mohammad bin Salman, the Guardian reported.
“You have done a spectacular job,” Trump told bin Salman on Saturday, calling him “a friend of mine.”
Reports have claimed that Mohammad bin Salman was personally connected to Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment, with some members of the team dispatched to kill him having direct connections to the Saudi crown prince. Khashoggi’s body has still not been found since his murder.
Astonishing. At #G20 in Osaka, Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman moved from being sidelined a year ago in Argentina – linked to murder of @washingtonpost writer #JamalKhashoggi – to front & center, next to Donald Trump. What a difference a year makes… #G20OsakaSummit #potus pic.twitter.com/yRGFZqJq4s
— Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) June 28, 2019
Pres. Trump walked side-by-side with Russia's Vladimir Putin before posing for the family photo at the G-20 summit in Japan.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 28, 2019
Dan Rather was deeply critical of Trump’s behavior at the summit, saying he is acting too cozy with ruthless world leaders and warning that Trump’s actions will have long-lasting consequences.
“History is watching through all this,” Rather warned before adding, “The president is praising almost any autocrat he can find.”