Gary Johnson is being criticized for having another “Aleppo moment” Wednesday after he was unable to name a foreign leader he admired. Some even criticized running mate William Weld for naming Angela Merkel. However, what the other presidential candidates have said on this issue is much more troubling.
Hillary Clinton was at least once a fan of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Clinton said in 2009 that:
We look forward to President Mubarak coming as soon as his schedule would permit. I had a wonderful time with him this morning. I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.
As noted by Jonah Bennett of The Daily Caller:
Mubrak ruled Egypt for almost three decades before his reign ended unceremoniously in 2011. While serving as “president,” he wielded virtually unlimited power, and was functionally equivalent to a dictator. He presided over political suppression and police brutality. While it doesn’t seem as though he personally tortured anyone, he simply handed that responsibility over to the Ministry of the Interior.
An expression of friendliness and “admiration” toward such a person is quite concerning. What, then, about Donald Trump? The Republican nominee has on numerous occasions expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump recently praised Putin for his “very strong control over a country.” He has also remarked that “Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
In 2014 alone, Putin infamously cracked down on free speech, gay rights, and civil liberties. Putin’s first impulses often involve punishing political opponents and in general operating an authoritarian regime.
Watch Trump compliment Putin below, including on his “82% approval rating:”