On Monday night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper spoke with Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post journalist known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, about recent comments he made about President Trump.
Speaking to CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday, Bernstein said that “Trump’s attacks on the American press as enemies of the American people are more treacherous than Richard Nixon’s.”
A day later, Cooper asked Bernstein to unpack his accusations, questioning whether he really believes what he’s said about the President. Bernstein made it clear that he is sticking by his statement when he explained:
‘I think they’re worse. Donald Trump has shown himself to be an enemy of the truth. That is the terrible reality we are dealing with. And every presidency succeeds or fails to the extent that a president is committed to the truth. And that’s what we’re up against here.’
Bernstein went on to discuss Trump’s claim that the press is the enemy of the American people, saying that that phrase is one that has been used in the past by “despots and dictators.”
‘The phrase “enemy of the people” is a phrase used by despots, dictators, authoritarians going back to ancient Rome and in the 20th century by the worst despots and dictators…it is the most chilling phrase that a leader can utter.’
Bernstein also insisted that President Trump means what he says about the press.
‘”Enemy of the people” has terrifying meaning and Donald Trump means it because he has no commitment to the truth, and he also doesn’t do the work himself of learning what is the truth, he’s lazy about trying to know what’s going on.’
Cooper then brought up Senator Rand Paul, who has said that Trump is just “expressing his opinion” when he attacks the press.
Bernstein responded by saying that Paul’s comments were “ridiculous.”
‘I don’t think Stalin asked for a lot of legislative action before he went after enemies of the people.’
‘I think what Rand Paul said is ridiculous. Trump has vowed to intimidate and to start plugging leaks; there is no question that what he is talking about is anti-democratic.’
Watch Cooper’s interview with Bernstein in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via Twitter screenshot.