During a question and answer session on the White House lawn with reporters this afternoon, Trump was surrounded by the Indianapolis 500 racing team winners and thus perhaps felt a bit more at ease than usual — which would explain how casually he drew a straight line between himself and the last President who was accused of actual crimes leading to speculation about his impeachment, Richard Nixon.
It’s not like he wasn’t going to be asked; Democrats held a hearing today specifically about the obstruction of justice allegations laid out by special counsel Robert Mueller in his long-anticipated report, and one of the witnesses they called was Nixon’s former White House counsel, John Dean. The comparisons were inevitable — it’s just that nobody thought Trump would be doing it himself.
After the reporter framed her question as speculation that impeachment could somehow help his reelection chances in 2020, Trump was more than happy to answer:
Well, I hear that too, but you can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been anything done wrong. We have a, no collusion… We have no anything. There’s no obstruction, there’s no collusion, there’s no anything. When you look at past impeachments, whether it was President Clinton, or, I guess President Nixon never got there, he left. I don’t leave, there’s a big difference, I don’t leave.”
Ah, so THAT’s the difference between Trump and Nixon: One had enough shame to resign in disgrace when he was faced with the kind of charges that make a presidency look like the beginnings of a banana republic, and the other just goes on the repeat “no collusion, no obstruction.”
It bears repeating, of course, that Trump is dead wrong about the conclusions of the Mueller report — the special counsel laid out a dozen examples of potential obstruction by Trump personally, and encourage Congress to pursue investigations that might result in charges for those allegations.
Watch the clip below:
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