During MSNBC’s coverage of the 2020 Republican National Convention on Tuesday, host Rachel Maddow reacted to President Trump’s pardon of Jon Ponder at the RNC by stating that Trump made the event comparable to the Roman Coliseum where “there’s the gladiators before them and the emperor makes a show of showing his divine mercy, right, in deciding who lives and who dies.” And that it is “kind of creepy” for the president to “fixate” on the pardon power.
Maddow said, “I mean, in concept, it’s a little like the Roman Coliseum and the — there’s the gladiators before them and the emperor makes a show of showing his divine mercy, right, in deciding who lives and who dies. So, there’s that in terms of the showmanship of it. But also, to continue to showcase the president’s fascination with the pardon power feels different, even in this presidency than it would in another presidency. It would be kind of creepy for any president to fixate on it in this way, but with what this president has done with pardons for people who have otherwise potentially been able to tell tales about him and his potential criminal behavior to prosecutors who are engaged in ongoing investigations of the president, his cronies, his campaign, his inauguration, and his businesses, yeah, of course he digs pardons. Of course he’s fascinated with that. Of course he wants to talk about that all the time. It’s — it means something different when your son is actively defying subpoenas to give testimony under oath, the week that he’s testifying on your behalf at your convention.”
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