Human Rights Watch warns world’s dictators are encouraged in Trump era

An advocacy group is warning that immigrant-bashing and other populist policies in the U.S. under President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE and in other nations are a threat and encourage the world’s dictators.

Human Rights Watch in its annual report noted the consequences intolerance could have in nations such as the U.S., The Associated Press reported.

It described the threat posed to minority rights as "enormous."

The group’s director also tore into President Trump, saying he has “broken all the taboos against racism, against misogyny, against xenophobia," according to the AP.

Trump “has this insatiable admiration for strongmen,” Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch's director, said.

“This makes it much more difficult to stigmatize these authoritarian leaders when Trump says these are great guys,” he said, referring to leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte.

Roth added that authoritarian populists “take these legitimate grievances and scapegoat vulnerable minorities to say ‘it’s the migrants who are at fault.'”

He also warned about government’s role in preventing the spread of “fake news.”

“We should be very careful not to use the fake news phenomenon as an excuse for governments to get into the censorship business,” Roth said.