On Friday, Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times appeared on MSNBC, and made a rather shocking claim.
During a panel discussion regarding President Trump, the following conversation took place among Caitlin Huey-Burns of RealClearPolitics, John Podhoretz of Commentary, host Katy Tur, and Goldberg:
HUEY-BURNS: Again, this is the most vocal president, at least in real time, that we’ve had in recent memory, right? He’s the leader of the free world –
GOLDBERG: Oh, no he’s not. He’s not the leader of the free world – but sorry.
PODHORETZ: By default, he’s the leader of the free world.
GOLDBERG: Angela Merkel is the leader of the free world, but –
HUEY-BURNS: Well, he is the most important person in the world in politics right now, and he is very vocal, and I do agree with you that this does express a level of exasperation among his aides that they can’t have any control over –
TUR: Your argument that he’s not the leader of the free world – because he’s not standing up for democracy, because he’s not standing up for humanitarian rights?
GOLDBERG: Right, because he’s a sort of junior player in a bloc of authoritarian countries.
TUR: And people like the European Union are no longer looking at him as a leader any longer, and [they’re] thinking of doing their own thing.
GOLDBERG: Of course not, they see him as … he’s part of a bloc that includes Vladimir Putin, Duterte. He’s kind of part of a kind of [unintelligible].
TUR: Well, hold on –
PODHORETZ: It’s worse than that in a certain way. I mean, not that that’s not the worst thing you could have said [because] that’s about the worst you could say about him.
TUR: Well he’s not rounding people up and murdering them without any, you know, due process.
GOLDBERG: He’d certainly like to.
TUR: I don’t think you can say that definitively.