A newly released report from the non-partisan watchdog group Freedom House warns that President Donald Trump's rhetoric and policies are fueling the decline of democracy across the globe.
Released Tuesday by the watchdog group Freedom House, the new report concluded that the Trump administration has facilitated the erosion of American democratic standards and contributed to the decline of global freedom.
"Democracy is under assault and in retreat around the globe, a crisis that has intensified as America's democratic standards erode at an accelerating pace," a summary of the report states.
Freedom House points to two primary factors emanating from the Trump administration: attacks on the press and forgoing the U.S. role as a "leading champion of democracy".
While the press and judiciary have "remained resilient" in the face of Trump's "unprecedented attacks," Freedom House warned that the administration's combative media tactics could ultimately weaken those key institutions -- a result that would carry significant implications for US democracy and America's standing in the world.
"The hastening withdrawal of the United States from its historical commitment to supporting democracy overseas makes the challenge posed by authoritarian regimes all the more powerful and threatening," [said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.]
The U.S. freedom rating given by the organization fell this year, with Freedom House citing the following developments:
- "Newly elected president Donald Trump, who took office in January, defied ethical standards observed by his recent predecessors, for instance by retaining and promoting his private business empire while in office, naming his daughter and son-in-law as presidential advisers, and refusing to divulge his tax records."
- "The president repeatedly made major policy decisions with little prior consultation or transparency even within the executive branch—including a January executive order restricting travel to the United States from a group of Muslim-majority countries and a July directive that sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military—prompting legal challenges, revisions, and reversals."
- "Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election gathered force under the leadership of a special counsel, former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller. Mueller was appointed in May after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who had been overseeing the probe."