Donald Trump Had Admiring Words In 2000 For The World's Most Notorious Dictator
On Friday, BuzzFeed uncovered a 2000 report in The New Republic, which included Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offering admiring words for Hitler. Dana Milbank, who at the time was a reporter for The New Republic, accompanied Trump on a tour of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which commemorates the Holocaust and multiple other incidences of global genocide. Milbank noted that Trump “marveled that Hitler came to power ‘so brilliantly.’”
Milbank, who is now a columnist for the Washington Post, noted that Trump's approach to touring the Simon Wiesenthal Center changed once most of the press had left his side. "After a guide asked the TV cameras to leave, Trump quickened his pace, galloping through the Warsaw Ghetto and the Holocaust in about three minutes," Milbank wrote. In another eerily prescient observation, Milbank noted that Trump "seemed detached, focusing his attention on the presentation rather than the content" as he walked through the somber exhibitions.
At the time, Trump was considering the possibility of running for president as the nominee for the Reform Party. Milbank actually wrote about the experience of following Trump on this tour last year for the Washington Post — and how different Trump's tone back then was:
Most of all, he [Trump] preached tolerance — contrasting himself with Pat Buchanan, his rival for the nomination, who had made statements considered anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant.
During his presidential campaign, Trump has made multiple remarks about horrific dictators that have raised red flags. He appeared to offer partial praise of Saddam Hussein just this past summer. Although Trump said Hussein was a "really bad guy," he added, "But, you know what he did well? ... He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. It was over.”
Trump also said of North Korea's Kim Jong Un, "You gotta give him credit." He added, "How many young guys — he was, like, 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden ... he goes in, he takes over, and he's the boss." Trump also compared Syria's Bashar al-Assad favorably against U.S. President Barack Obama. "I think in terms of leadership, he's getting an A and our president is not doing so well."
Similar to his remarks about Hussein, Trump noted that Assad is still a "bad guy."