During a phone interview that aired this Friday on Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump claimed to have “learned a lot” from disgraced former President Richard Nixon, who resigned after evidence came to light indicating that his team had been working to spy on Democrats, among other egregious abuses of power. Nixon is not exactly the individual that an average observer might expect to become a touted teacher of the latest U.S. president, but here we are, with Trump insisting upon reaching into the darkest corners of American history and doing so proudly.
Trump saying he learned from Nixon's mistakes how not to get caught. https://t.co/Nn92RPCvL4
— Kate Brannen (@K8brannen) May 8, 2020
The direction that he claims to have taken from Nixon’s case is that Trump shouldn’t “fire people.” When Nixon dismissed a slew of top justice officials, it only heightened the scrutiny on his administration’s belligerence. The bizarre thing about Trump claiming to have taken that perhaps unanticipated result to heart is that Trump has himself repeatedly kicked out top justice officials. He’s fired or overseen the firing of officials ranging from FBI Director James Comey to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Yet, Trump wants us to believe that he’s learned the problems inherent in firing people anyway.
A quote that will be much talked about.
President Trump said on Fox News moments ago: “I learned a lot from Richard Nixon, don’t fire people. I learned a lot by watching Richard Nixon.”
He added, “I did nothing wrong and there are no tapes in my case.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020
He told the Fox & Friends hosts:
‘I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people. I learned a lot. I study history. 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. They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught. 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.’
Nixon’s attorney general went to prison and Harding’s only avoided the same fate after two hung juries, and yet Trump’s attorney general is still in the running to be the worst person ever to hold that office.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) May 7, 2020
Nixon “may have been guilty”? Is Trump seriously trying to come to the defense of Richard Nixon? If he wasn’t as guilty as all of the rest of the indicted individuals, then why did he resign? Why did the following president, Gerald Ford, feel the need to grant Nixon an unconditional pardon? If Trump is as much of a student of history as he dubiously claims, then he could have anticipated these questions rather than laughably suggesting that maybe Nixon wasn’t so guilty after all.
Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts.
His lies do not now become truths.
This dismissal does not exonerate him.
But it does incriminate Bill Barr.
In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 7, 2020
Trump has wrapped himself into the delusion that he himself did nothing wrong. Is that why numerous members of his inner circle have faced criminal charges and jail time stemming from the Russia investigation? Whether behind-the-scenes or publicly, it’s “wrong” for Trump to have called for and de facto accepted help from the Russians during the 2016 presidential race. Trump can’t just wish that fact out of existence.
Trump’s campaign invited Russian help, made full use of it, then covered it up.
Then, Trump sought more illicit help from Ukraine, leading to his impeachment and a bipartisan vote to convict.
Read just released transcripts from our Russia investigation:https://t.co/NdE68xDBCW
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 7, 2020
Trump’s team is still trying to sweep the Russia investigation under the rug. In recent days, the Trump appointee-led Justice Department dropped charges against admitted liar Michael Flynn. House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) insisted in response that “the Justice Dept lost 50 years worth of ground in maintaining its independence post-Watergate… And once again, Barr has undermined the legitimacy of our justice system and the rule of law.”
By dropping the case against Flynn, the Justice Dept lost 50 years worth of ground in maintaining its independence post-Watergate.
Once again, Bill Barr is doing Trump's dirty work.
And once again, Barr has undermined the legitimacy of our justice system and the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/lUuRoqFqeD
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 8, 2020