This is not to say that strategic autonomy is a bad idea — or that the EU is doomed to geopolitical irrelevance. The prospect of a trade deal with Europe or the threat of EU sanctions can shape the behaviour of countries all over the world. But economic power and moral suasion are not always an adequate substitute for military might. (As Stalin once reportedly asked: “How many divisions has the pope?”)
In lieu of a suitable source proving that Stalin uttered the quip, a number of similar quotes attributed to sources other than the Soviet dictator were offered up as possible progenitors:
“‘I care not who casts the votes of a nation, provided I can count them,’ Napoleon failed to remark.” — New York Times editorial (26 May 1880).
“There’s more to an election than mere votin’, my boy, for as an eminent American once said: ‘I care not who casts the votes of a nation if they’ll let me make the count.‘” — from Uncle Henry, a novel by George Creel, 1922.
“It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting, Archie says.” — from Jumpers, a play by Tom Stoppard, 1972.
“Indeed, you won the elections, but I won the count.” — Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza (1896-1956), Guardian (London), 17 June 1977.
These other renderings proved, if nothing else, that the thought wasn’t necessarily original to Joseph Stalin, whether a variant uttered by him could be traced to a published source or not.
Besides there being no evidence that Hitler said or wrote these words, in „Mein Kampf“ or otherwise, it also represents the opposite of his actions.
Instead of small changes that slowly eroded the rights of the German people, Hitler made large changes over a short period. Within a month of rising to power in January 1933 as Germany’s chancellor, Hitler used the Reichstag Fire (the assembly location for parliament) as an excuse to issue a decree that overrode individual rights and authorized mass arrests. A month later, he passed the Enabling Act that granted him full power without having to consult other government representatives.
Similar quotes positing the idea that fascism would come to America disguised by a different name can be traced at least as far back as 1936 (although they weren’t attached to Churchill’s name until decades later). On 18 March 1936, for example, the Cincinnati Inquirer reported on words delivered by Norman Thomas, an American Presbyterian minister who was running for president as the Socialist Party of America’s candidate, at an informal luncheon: “Fascism is coming in the United States most probably, but it will not come under that name.”
Giuliani was attempting to defend the president after the release of a 2016 audio in which Trump is heard speaking with Michael Cohen, who was his personal attorney at the time.
The two appeared to discuss buying the rights to the story of Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who claims she had an affair with Trump. Trump’s representatives at the time said they had “no knowledge of any of this.”
Giuliani had several other unusual moments in the interview.