Rep. Steve Cohen: Trump and Fidel Castro Are Similar

January 3, 2017

Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) compared President-elect Donald Trump to the recently deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on Tuesday, describing the two as similar.

While discussing Trump's Cabinet selections and his views on Russia, Cohen told CNN host Carol Costello that the president-elect and the former communist dictator share "a lot of personality traits."

"The scary thing is about his [Trump's] position with Russia, the last two people I remember in this Western Hemisphere that were so close to Russia were Armand Hammer, who loved oil and money, and Fidel Castro, who loved to talk for long periods of time, hated disloyalty and dissent, and eliminated it and was very much an ego-centric individual," Cohen said.

After Costello clarified that Cohen was comparing Trump to Castro, who ruled Cuba for nearly five decades and died in November, the Democratic lawmaker doubled down on his comments, using a program on Netflix to defend his statement.

"Personality traits, indeed," he said. "You watch the Netflix program on Cuba Libre, Castro needed to be the center of attention at all times. He executed certain of his comrades for trumped up charges because he wanted total control and wanted to put that fear into people. He was very close to his family and he had a multitude in his family. Didn't trust others, and it was all about him and public speaking."

After Cohen finished his comparison, Costello pushed him on his statements, and Cohen refused to back away from the claim.

Castro, an ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, was known for committing human rights abuses and oppressing the Cuban people during his rule.