The Bro Code of Trump, Putin & Assange

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, anti-privacy activist Julian Assange & GOP nominee Donald Trump (Photo Credit: Time)

The sustained three-way man crush among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange ranks among the most startling developments of this election year.

In normal times, Republican presidential nominees do not join forces with a Russian dictator and a criminal hacker.

But the Bro Code that unites them is clearly discernible.

Trump/Putin/Assange Bro Code Rule #1: Rape is cool. And funny.

Trump and Assange are accused rapists and sexual predators. Putin and Trump think sexual aggression is hilarious.

The continuing avalanche of allegations confirms that Trump does not just boast about forcibly kissing and groping women; he’s been doing it for decades.

And he thinks it’s funny. Consider Trump’s 2006 exchange with shock jock Howard Stern and his sidekick, Robin Quivers:

STERN: “Donald, seriously … You know about sexual predators and things like that…”

QUIVERS: [To Trump] “You are one!”

TRUMP: [Shrugs, laughs, nods, speaking very quietly]: “That’s true. That’s true.”

On the same show two years before, Trump facetiously (but accurately) referred to his sexual conquests as “victims.”

Trump brutally raped his first wife near the end of their marriage a quarter century ago.

Another alleged victim and two witnesses claim Trump repeatedly raped a 13-year-old girl in 1994; his court date is set for December 16.

Since 2012, Assange has hidden in the Ecuadoran embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where the WikiLeaks founder is wanted for raping and sexually abusing two women in 2010.

Putin wisely keeps his private life under wraps, but his attitude toward sexual violence is discernible in his comments about Moshe Katsav, a former president of Israel now serving a 7-year prison sentence for rape and sexual harassment. Referring to Katsav’s case, Putin joked, “He turned out to be a strong man, raped 10 women…. I never would have expected it of him. He has surprised us all, we all envy him!”

Trump/Putin/Assange Bro Code Rule #2: I love me some me.

Time aptly calls the billionaire, the dictator and the criminal hacker a “triumvirate of narcissists.”

Trump’s grandiose self-regard has become justly legendary:

I am a genius.”

I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”

Asked to name a valued foreign policy advisor, Trump replied, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people… But my primary consultant is myself….”

Traditionally, our leaders ask for help from God and the American people, but at the Republican National Convention, Trump anointed himself as a Messiah who needs no help from anyone: “I am your voice…. I alone can fix it…. I will restore law and order.”

Psychologists usually hesitate to diagnose public figures, but Trump’s four decades of exhibitionism have put his compulsions on display so publicly and comprehensively that several renowned clinicians have noted that Trump routinely displays every symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: megalomania, boastfulness, exaggerated notions of entitlement, a bottomless need for admiration, etc. Consider, for example, his literal inability to refrain from responding to every perceived attack, via Twitter and at rallies.

Digitally altered to spare the horse a broken back (Photo Credit: DTT)

Putin’s public behavior — including the frequency with which he has himself photographed being too sexy for his shirt — has invited similar speculation that he is a narcissist. Assange’s estranged associates affirm the hacker’s similarly bloated self-regard.

Trump/Putin/Assange Bro Code Rule #3: Russian imperialism is OK.

In 2014 — at Putin’s direction — Russian forces invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean Peninsula. At the same time, Putin began supporting pro-Russian rebels in their efforts to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

Trump has consistently supported Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. Earlier this year, his staff altered the GOP platform to remove support for arming Ukraine against the pro-Russian insurgents. In an August interview, the billionaire bizarrely asserted that Putin is “not going to go into Ukraine.” When reminded that Russian forces are already there, Trump immediately pivoted to justify the Kremlin’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty: “the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia….”

An unemployed Ukrainian war widow and her children (Photo Credit: DM)

Assange has also justified Putin’s violent efforts to restore the Russian empire. The hacker blamed the US for encouraging Ukraine to “become… independent from Moscow’s sphere of influence” and “reduce [the] Russian industrial-military complex” by denying it “naval bases in Crimea.” Assange criticized western non-governmental organizations for spending “billions of dollars… to end corruption in Ukraine.”

Assange’s argument is analogous to saying that a divorcée deserves to be kidnapped and raped by her ex-husband if she dares date someone else.

Trump/Putin/Assange Bro Code Rule #4: Privacy & freedom for no one.

In power since 1999, Putin runs a police state. He controls the media and rigs elections. Journalists, political opponents and dissidents who dare challenge his tyranny face surveillance, harassment, imprisonment and assassination.

Trump strongly approves of Putin:

“He’s doing a great job.” (2007)

“I think he’s done really a great job of outsmarting our country [in Syria].” (2013)

“I think I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin.” (July 2015)

Boris Nemtsov, a staunch critic of Putin, shot dead in 2014 on a bridge near the Kremlin (Photo Credit: DM)

In December 2015 — asked about Putin’s penchant for killing journalists — Trump said, “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country… I think our country does plenty of killing also.”

Mounting evidence suggests that Trump, like Putin, has authoritarian, fascist and/or totalitarian ambitions. If he respected personal privacy, he would not make a habit of walking into dressing rooms to ogle beauty pageant contestants in various states of undress.

Most ironically, Assange, who once posed as a champion of people concerned about government surveillance, now works for Putin, a dictator guilty of some of the world’s worst privacy invasions and human rights violations — far worse than anything ever contemplated or committed in this country for more than a century.

The media has taken to describing WikiLeaks as an “anti-secrecy” organization. That may have been appropriate back when the group actually leaked classified government documents.

Now, however, it would be more accurate to describe Assange and his henchmen as anti-privacy and anti-democracy activists. These foreign hackers have violated the privacy of individual Democrats and their party, stolen their intellectual property and published it in an effort to destroy reputations and sabotage an American presidential election — with Putin’s support and Trump’s approval.

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