Trump criticized over human trafficking death penalty proposal, apparent friendly kiss on cheek with Kari Lake

 July 22, 2023

Former President Donald Trump on Friday caught heat in the media for two entirely unrelated events -- a proposal to impose the death penalty on individuals convicted of human trafficking, as well as the apparent exchange of a friendly kiss on the cheek with a woman who is not former first lady Melania Trump.

Those two instances resulted in criticism against Trump from the mainstream media and online social media, and potentially even caused problems for him at home with his wife.

Death penalty for human traffickers

The Hill reported on Friday that former President Trump's proposal to impose the death penalty on convicted human traffickers followed close on the heels of his screening of the surprise box office hit independent film "Sound of Freedom," which dramatically tells the true story of a man who devoted his life to rescuing innocent children from sex trafficking and slavery.

In a Friday statement, Trump vowed to end the "scourge" of human trafficking if re-elected to the White House in 2024, and said, "I will urge Congress to ensure that anyone caught trafficking children across our border receives the death penalty immediately."

He also made reference to actions he took during his prior term in office to combat human trafficking and made mention of the success of the film that he recently screened at his Bedminster golf resort in New Jersey.

The Hill drew comparisons between Trump's new call for the death penalty for convicted human traffickers with his previous suggestion that serious drug traffickers similarly face the death penalty and asserted that both were part of his "tough on crime" agenda.

Of course, as Trump himself alluded to in the statement, it would require an act of Congress, and just an executive action, to elevate the punishment for human trafficking from just a lengthy prison sentence to the death penalty.

Friendly kiss on cheek fuels anti-Trump speculation

Meanwhile, as the liberal-leaning mainstream media freaked out over former President Trump's death penalty proposal for human traffickers, women-oriented entertainment site SheKnows reported on the social media freakout over the friendly exchange of a kiss between Trump and former Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.

Lake, a strong ally of Trump who is believed by some to be under consideration as the leading GOP presidential candidate's 2024 running mate -- or at the very least is angling herself to be picked for that role -- has reportedly been spending a lot of time recently at Trump's residences at the Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida and the Bedminster golf resort in New Jersey.

A brief cellphone video emerged on Thursday of a moment during a recent event at Bedminster when Trump appeared to give an "awkward" kiss to Lake on her cheek.

The outlet noted that the video helped fuel the evidence-free assertions from some of Trump's haters that he and Lake are having an affair -- rumors that have been compounded by the fact that the notoriously shy former first lady has not made any campaign appearances with her husband while Lake has appeared by Trump's side at numerous events on the campaign trail.

Former first lady "annoyed" by Lake getting close to Trump

SheKnows reported separately earlier in July that former first lady Melania has grown "annoyed" by and "may not be too thrilled about" the amount of time that Lake has spent near former President Trump and the apparent relationship that has developed between the two.

Of course, all of the various reports about Trump and Lake are entirely speculative and only the former president and first lady know the true status of their own relationship and marriage that has endured numerous rumored and actual transgressions over the past decade or so.

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