John Harris

Journalist & Author

Liberals can’t hope to beat Trump until they truly understand him | John Harris

Rightwing populists are operating according to different rules. If everything is a circus, who cares about bread?

This week brought a fascinating spectacle indeed: Donald Trump telling the unvarnished truth. The occasion was a joint press conference with the stoic-looking president of Finland, three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall and Trump simultaneously announced his pardon of Joe Arpaio – the notorious former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who was facing a possible jail sentence for defying a court order to stop racially profiling Latino people. Up popped the White House correspondent for Fox News with a couple of simple questions: why had Trump done it, and what was his response to those people who insisted he was wrong?

Related: Trevor Noah: ‘For a guy who’s not racist, Trump has a lot of racist friends’

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