Trump uses Erdoğan’s playbook to discredit Russia investigation – Washington Post

U.S. President Donald Trump is imitating methods that ‘authoritarian despots’ use to discredit credible allegations against them, an opinion article on The Washington Post said, showing Turkey as a bad example.

Brian Klaas, a fellow at the London School of Economics, wrote that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was challenged in 2013 by prosecutors who launched a corruption investigation on his close circle.

Instead of facing justice, Erdoğan turned the tables by accusing Turkish “deep state,” whom he said, had launched a “witch hunt” against him, Klaas wrote. Soon enough, his supporters were cheering for the failure of the “dirty plot,” as prosecutors were being replaced, and the probe faded.

This is exactly how Trump tries to avoid the FBI investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, Klaas said.

Trump labelled the investigation as a “witch hunt,” compared FBI to “Nazi Germany,” and his supporters are talking of a “deep state” in the U.S. judiciary that needs to be “purged,” Klaas wrote.

Trump’s increasingly authoritarian calls to politicize the rule of law is strikingly parallel to that of Erdoğan who “has become a despot,” Klaas said.

“We know how the story ended in Turkey,” Klaas concluded. “We must not let Trump write the same ending here, one tweet at a time.”