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Rick Wilson and Ben Ferguson Exchange Insults Over Trump China Remarks: ‘How Old Are You? Five?!’

In response to Donald Trump praising Chinese leader Xi Jinping for gaining power for life at a closed doors GOP donor gathering, GOP strategist Rick Wilson hammered CNN’s resident pro-Trump commentator Ben Ferguson and suggested this latest pro-authoritarian quip represents a pattern of rhetoric in support of dictatorships.

“He’s now president for life,” Trump said at Mar-a-Lago this weekend in an audio recording obtained by and published by CNN. “President for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day.”

While Ferguson attempted to play off the remark as just Trump riffing, Wilson claimed it represented a more serious part of his psyche.

“Look, I would have probably have even given the president a little bit of a pass on this if I hadn’t repeatedly in the course of his campaign and the first year of his presidency heard him praising dictators, praising overseas strong men, praising people like Duterte and sort of acting in an envious way towards a lot of folks who are not exactly role models of western small-l liberal democracy,” argued Wilson. “So in this case it’s Trump being Trump or it’s Trump being funny.”

“You’ve got to look at in the context of the broader statements and broader inclinations he’s expressed over and over again,” he added — concluding his comments by calling Vladimir Putin Trump’s “best buddy.”

CNN host Brooke Baldwin then jumped in to say “Rick is right” about Trump’s “admiration” for oppressive dictators.

The two then went back and forth in debating the history of America’s presidents and their relationship with authoritarian regime, as Ferguson repeatedly brought up Ronald Reagan and his complicated relationship with Iran and the right-wing terror group the Contras in Nicaragua.

“Rick, if you want to talk about history, do you not remember Iran-Contra, do you not remember some of the awkward moments around Reagan then and the people around him then? Do you remember any of that? You’re the guy that’s quoting history here. Was that a good example of when the president was perfect?” quizzed Ferguson after Wilson accused him of having only an “incredibly superficial level” of historical knowledge.

Wilson continued by saying he knows more about history than Ferguson “ever” will, to which the pro-Trump commentator shot back, “Congratulations for saying you’re smarter than someone else.”

“By you by a long stretch, pal,” replied an amused Wilson.

“How old are you? Five?!” Ferguson exclaimed.

Watch above, via CNN.

[images via screengrab]

Follow the author on Twitter (@calebecarma).

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