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Don Lemon Recalls Trump’s Past Tiananmen Square Comments to Blast His Strongman Obsession

On the 30th anniversary of the Chinese government massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, CNN’s Don Lemon blasted President Donald Trump lifelong obsession with crude displays of power and strength, recalling Trump’s pro-crackdown comments made just a year after untold numbers of pro-democracy Chinese protestors were jailed, shot, or killed.

“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,” Trump told Playboy in 1990. “Then they were vicious, they were horrible. But put it down with strength. That shows the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak, as being spit on by the rest of the world.”

Shaking his head in disgust, Lemon said: “The power of strength. That is not the lesson the world took from the bloodshed in Tiananmen Square. People around the globe watched in horror as China slaughtered its own people. All because [the protestors] wanted democracy. But strength, it may be the only thing that this president understands. It’s why he pals around with strongmen and dictators.”

Lemon went on to point out that, more recently, Trump found it funny that Xi Jinping was recently named China’s “president for life” and joked with Xi that the latter is now effectively a king. “[Xi] said, ‘Huh. Huh. I like that,'” Trump recalled, laughing at his own joke.

As president for life, Xi Jinping has undertaken one of the larget mass imprisonments in his country’s history, having rounded up more than one million ethnic Muslim Uighurs into concentration camps in the Xinjiang region.

“This president has a lifelong obsession with wealth and power and the people who wield both,” Lemon concluded. “But who will he listen to to learn from? The Queen, who talked about the lessons of world wars and nations working together for peace? Or strongmen and dictators? Imposing their will on their own people? For the leader of the free world, the choice should be clear.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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