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S.E. Cupp Unloads on President Trump for ‘Textbook Tactic Used by Authoritarians’

On her HLN show Unfiltered on Tuesday, host S.E. Cupp started off with a bang, addressing “Trump the authoritarian” and his “angry Twitter tirade” over the Department of Justice.

“So now we’re in a situation where the President is demanding the DOJ investigate the people who are investigating him,” said Cupp. “Something which has lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle justifiably concerned.”

After a few clips of commentary from those concerned politicians, the bloodletting began.

Let’s be clear about this. The president’s target may be new, but the strategy is not. Trump is once again attempting to undermine and sow distrust in American institutions when it suits his political needs. This time it’s the DOJ. But we’ve seen it time and again.

Cupp offered examples of Trump’s previous targeting of American institutions, such as his casting doubt on the integrity of the election (prior to his winning it), his many, many statements about the press, his attacks on the FBI, and then tied it all together as an example of her opening characterization: “Trump the authoritarian.”

“This is a well-worn textbook tactic used by authoritarians to consolidate power and trust. If you can’t trust democratic institutions like a free press, free and fair elections, or law enforcement agencies, that allows a singular influence to enter into that power vacuum, in this case Trump. He doesn’t need evidence to convince you that elections are rigged or the news is fake or the FBI and DOJ are out to get him. He just needs to say it enough times. It’s working, so he continues to do it. But there will come a tipping point. It’s no exaggeration to say this delegitimizing of our institutions and this erosion of trust in democracy will have serious implications down the road”

The tirade that Cupp references, which was part of the pressure from the President that has resulted in Congress being allowed to view classified documents from the Russia investigation, was the already-infamous “hereby demand” Tweet.

Cupp closed by quoting a current federal prosecutor’s comments to the Daily Beast in an article published Monday.

“As my father used to say, history goes forward and backward. And things go backward when the trust in bedrock institutions—which are trustworthy, by the way—is diminished for the benefit of a few. It accelerates, and you wake up one day and we’re in Venezuela.”

A timely reference, considering the administration is currently on offense over Venezuela’s sham election Sunday.

Watch above, via HLN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

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