CNN political analyst April Ryan said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "big pimping" President Donald Trump, adding the United States is "going down a line of a dictatorship" like Russia or China.
Ryan is a White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks who has been praised in the press for her sparring with the administration. She has in the past asked if Trump thought slavery was wrong, asked Trump personally if he was racist, asked if Trump considered resigning, and suggested White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wanted to physically fight her.
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During a panel appearance Wednesday on CNN's "Tonight with Don Lemon," Ryan and fellow guests discussed Trump's poor poll numbers in key states like Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and their connection to Trump's imposition of tariffs against the European Union and his overtures toward Russia.
"The president sees that his numbers are waning," she said in a clip flagged by RealClearPolitics. "He cannot be this dictator that he's trying to be at this moment. It reminds me of a song. Jay-Z. Prolific rapper. Prolific philosopher. I'm taking a quote from him. Putin has got Donald Trump big pimping—big pimping Donald Trump right now," Ryan said. "Donald Trump thinks he can do whatever he wants to the world and this nation, and it's not happening."
"Big Pimpin'" was a huge hit for Jay-Z when released in 2000, but in 2010, he renounced his song's sexually aggressive lyrics as "really harsh" and wondered what kind of "animal" would write it.
Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed on Wednesday to work toward eliminating tariffs and the E.U. importing more soybeans and natural gas, with Trump characterizing the talks as a breakthrough.
Ryan and Lemon said Trump was fixing a problem of his own making.
Ryan went on to say Trump was getting Congress to do his bidding in undermining the Russia investigation after some GOP lawmakers called for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
"The rule of law is gone now," she said. "Donald Trump, and we don't like to say it, but we are going down a line of a dictatorship. Russia and China, that's what we are."