Donald Trump wants us to know he learned a lot from Richard Nixon, an appropriate admission given that both men managed to inflict historic and irreparable damage to the American people’s faith in the office of the presidency.
During. an appearance on Fox News, Trump ranted about the Robert Mueller probe, saying that picking Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General was a mistake and something he never wanted to do. The president has long resented Session’s appropriate decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe because he expects absolute loyalty from his lackeys.
Trump claimed that Bill Barr, his current lapdog AG, would have immediately stopped the Russia probe, which is a disturbing implicit admission that Barr is far more interested in serving his master than upholding the rule of law. He then pivoted back to attacking Sessions and accused him of not being a “man” before bringing up the disgraced 37th president.
“But I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people! I learned a lot. I study history,” claimed the man who infamously never reads. “And the firing of everybody, I should’ve in one way but I’m glad I didn’t because look at the way it turned out,” Trump went on, presumably referring to the Saturday Night Massacre when Nixon caused several high-ranking DOJ officials to resign.
“They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught,” Trump continued. “But I learned a lot by watching Richard Nixon. Of course, there was one difference, one big difference. Number one, he may have been guilty and number two he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty, I did nothing wrong and there are no tapes but I wish there were tapes in my case. But learned a lot from Richard Nixon and you don’t do that.”
It’s incredibly telling that the lesson Trump took from Nixon wasn’t “don’t be crooked and abuse the powers of the Oval Office” but was instead “don’t get caught abusing the powers of the Oval Office.” As he so often does when he speaks at any length, Trump revealed that morality never factors into his decision, it’s always cynical political calculus. For that reason alone he will be remembered as poorly as Nixon is now.
TRUMP: "I learned a lot from Richard Nixon — don't fire people. I learned a lot. I study history … of course there was one big difference: Number one he may have been guilty and number two he had tapes all over the place." pic.twitter.com/wgzKCumavL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 8, 2020
Here's the transcript of Trump's comments this morning about what he learned from Richard Nixon. (Of course, Trump did fire a bunch of people.) pic.twitter.com/Ltl8WKvTPe
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 8, 2020
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