The newspaper board’s article ― titled “Rather than defend democracy, Trump jokes with Putin” ― noted how Trump “kissed off the concerns” about Russian interference in American elections as he joked with Putin about meddling.
It also described Trump and Putin’s shared attack on the media as “an unctuous display of his personal strongman impulses in front of a Russian president who leads a system that imprisons, persecutes and kills journalists and dissidents who become too curious or critical.”
“This is no time to joke,” the board warned.
Today’s generation of autocrats and tyrants cynically uses the trappings of democracy while subverting freedom from within. The U.S. president should stand as a guardian against this threat, but instead Mr. Trump inexplicably cedes the field to Mr. Putin.
To conclude, the board said America needs “at this critical juncture” to “lead the world in showing why a free people, a free press, and the freedom to speak, worship, assemble and travel are not and never will be obsolete.”
“Mr. Trump is not capable of playing that role,” it added. “But hopefully a new president will be.”