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Leader of Free World Defends Brutal Authoritarian Dictator: What DJT told Fox News about KJU

Thursday, June 14, 2018
An Indian activist of the right-wing group Hindu Sena feeds cake to a cutout of President  Donald Trump at a celebration of Trump's 72nd birthday in New Delhi Thursday. Credit: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Today is President Trump's Birthday: POTUS turns 72

Leader of Free World Defends Brutal Authoritarian Dictator: What DJT told Fox News about KJU

What Actual Nutritionists Think of Ivana Trump's Diet: "I would say it's a lot of 'snake oil,'" one said

Kate Bennett is off. Her section will return next week.

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Members of Congress will take the field at Nats park today for the annual congressional baseball game, on the anniversary of the Alexandria shooting. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET, and Rep. Steve Scalise will play starting second baseman and lead hitter for the Repubs (follow C/L on Insta for updates from the game). And the Justice Department is expected to release an Inspector General's report today at 2 p.m. ET about federal officials' investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

What America is Talking About:
It's Flag Day, and opening day of the (America-free 😞) World Cup, and following a federal judge's ruling to allow a merger between AT&T and Time Warner (which is CNN's parent company), all eyes are on other possible mega-media mergers and acquisitions.

Today is President Trump's Birthday:
He turns 72 years old, and his schedule for the day has no public events.
Credit: White House Office of the Press Secretary

The President of the United States, Leader of the Free World, Defends Brutal Authoritarian Dictator:
First off, shout out to Fox News' Bret Baier, who after almost 600 days of lobbying for an interview with Trump finally got one (Trump has done multiple interviews in that time period with FNC's opinion pundits and on "Fox & Friends," so it's good to see him sit for an interview with one of the network's actual reporters). It included this jaw-dropping exchange:

Baier: You were asked in the press conference a number of times and different ways about human rights, and that you called this relationship really good and that he was a very talented person. You know, you call people sometimes killers, you know, he is a killer. He's clearly executing people.

Trump: He's a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don't care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have, if you can do that at 27 years old, you, I mean that's one-in-ten-thousand that can do that. So he's a very smart guy, he's a great negotiator, but I think we understand each other.

Baier: But he's still done some really bad things.

Trump: Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things.


The chyron Fox ran through this portion of the interview read "Trump On Denuclearization":
Credit: Fox News

Kim K Meets Alice Johnson:
Kim Kardashian just met Alice Johnson face-to-face for the first time. During their meeting, shown on "Today" Thursday morning, Johnson said she didn't know who Kim was when she learned the reality star had taken up her cause. "As soon as I found out who she was, I started getting every magazine I could find," she said. "I started reading everything that I could about her. And everyone was amazed. And I was amazed, too."

Kim said she's asked if she's "getting into politics," but she's not. "I'm still doing me. But I enjoy this," she said.
Credit: Nathan Congleton/Today

Johnson also showed a photo of Kimye she keeps in her Bible, and said Kim was "anointed to do this."
Credit: Nathan Congleton/Today

Kim's Reportedly Prepping to Push for More Pardons:
She allegedly gave Jared Kushner a list of people to pardon, including hip-hop artists, and the pardon push is part of J-Kush's "strategy to repair his reputational damage with liberals," per Vanity Fair.

What Actual Nutritionists Think of Ivana Trump's Diet:
I spoke with four D.C.-area nutritionists about their professional thoughts on the Italiano Diet Ivana Trump promoted last night at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. They all basically said it would be best if you found another way to lose weight. Here's what they told me:
  • "There is no herbal product that loses body fat. The detoxification claims have no basis in science. I would say it's a lot of 'snake oil.'" -- Katherine Tallmadge
  • "It resembles a lot of diet trends out there that we don't know the long-term effects of," and, "When you miss food groups you're going to have cravings." -- Allison Tepper
  • "The diet seems to alternate between keto and low carb but not quite keto. In that case, I think that people should approach this with caution, as the research isn't clear on the long-term effects of keeping carbohydrates so low." -- Janis Jibrin
  • "I'd rather you have fruit than a crunch bar." -- Andrea Goergen 
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Ted Cruz is Not Good at Basketball:
Cruz is playing Jimmy Kimmel in a one-on-one basketball game Saturday with the proceeds benefitting Houston-area charities, and he shared some footage of him gearing up for the game. It is not good, but I appreciate the knowing self-own. Former Duke player and Cruz doppelgänger Grayson Allen has offered to stand in for the Texas senator.

Edel Rodriguez Does MAGA Ye:
Dragon energy. 🐉
Credit: @edelrodriguez/Instagram

Street Art Sighting:
The Trump administration has come under criticism this week for immigration policies that are separating families. Rev. Franklin Graham called it "disgraceful," a mother and undocumented immigrant from Honduras said her daughter was taken away while she was breastfeeding her at a detention center, and in New York, this floral poster was spotted Tuesday by Regina Bresler. It reads, "To: ICE & Border Patrol / What Have You Done / Where Does Your Conscience Sleep At Night?" and is by the group Unapologetically Brown Series.
Credit: @cloudsandcandy/Instagram

And this mural of Trump can be found in a Brownsville, Texas building that once housed a Walmart but is now the largest migrant children's center in the US. It reads, "Sometimes By Losing A Battle You Find A New Way To Win The War." The facility holds 1,469 boys, ages 10 to 17, mostly from Mexico and Central America.
Credit: Department of Health and Human Services

If you spot political street art, tweet me @hunterschwarz, tag me on Instagram @hunterschwarz, or email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com with your sighting so I can feature it in COVER/LINE.

P.S.:
Drake's new music video for "I'm Upset" is the actual Degrassi reunion of your dreams, Ariana Grande teamed up with Troye Sivan for "Dance To This," and that #spon fit tea post from Jamie Lynn Spears I mentioned in this space yesterday is now back up online
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.

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