Why Trump is cozying up to strongmen leaders
Updated 3:21 PM ET, Tue May 16, 2017
(CNN)US President Donald Trump's affinity for authoritarian leaders across the globe has been one of the few constants during his chaotic first few months in office.
From Russian President Vladimir Putin to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Trump has gone out of his way to lavish praise on some of the world's most notorious strongmen.
On Tuesday, Trump welcomed one of them -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- to the White House.
The Turkish leader lands in Washington one month after winning a divisive referendum that critics say will grant Erdogan dictatorial powers back at home.
But Trump isn't shy about cozying up to controversial figures. Earlier this month, he said he'd be "honored" to meet North Korean despot Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances." That came just weeks after Trump said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was doing a "fantastic job" during an Oval Office meeting.
It's not new for the US to turn a blind eye to totalitarian regimes in the name of political stability. But Trump's regard for leaders that many consider bad actors goes beyond that.