Watergate Reporter Bernstein: Trump’s Presidency ‘Tainted’ by Disdain for Democracy (VIDEO)
The presidency is getting disgraced according to Carl Bernstein
Many top-ranking individuals in various sectors have spoken up against President Trump’s actions this past year. There were the former directors of the CIA and national intelligence James Brennan and James Clapper who condemned his open relationship with Putin; there was the Bush Administration Ambassador to NATO who criticized him for his threats against pulling funding from the United Nations, and there were the numerous intelligence figures who expressed deep concern over his campaign’s close affiliation with Russia.
We can now add to that list legendary journalist Carl Bernstein. Best remembered for helping expose the Watergate Scandal with Bob Woodward as part of The Washington Post, Bernstein has continued to remain an icon in the press, making it no surprise that he is an open critic of the President. Trump, going all the way back to his campaign trail, has been firmly against news outlets that are not right-wing rags like Fox News and Breitbart. Trump not only had his first Press Secretary Sean Spicer essentially declare war on opposition media, but also entertained the idea of removing network broadcast licenses.
In an interview with CNN’s national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, Bernstein explained how he he was having a serious problem with Trump’s disparaging of the FBI, particularly his ironic continual use of the word “tainted” to describe the intelligence agency:
“Everybody else is the issue here, not Donald Trump and his actions or those [around] him. The key word in all of this that he keeps using is ‘tainted.’ There’s only one institution that has really been tainted through these months and that is the Trump presidency. It’s tainted by the president’s lies, by his disrespect for American institutions operating under the law with traditional American democracy and the instruments thereof. He’s contemptuous of those instruments.”
Bernstein’s critiques of Trump extend back to December 2016, a month after it was announced that he had won the presidential election, where he stated that the President-elect was even more disparaging of facts than Richard Nixon. He continued this train of thought in January 2017 when he declared that Trump was projecting greater government authoritarianism through his executive orders. When the Russia Investigation started to gain steam in February 2017, Bernstein channeled some All the President’s Men by telling investigators to follow Trump’s money/assets.
His statement here continues that chain of denunciations by pointing out how Trump is essentially doing what other anti-democratic figures do: attacking the pillars of democracy by creating an ‘us vs. them’ mentality between his supporters and everyone else. This hearkens back to the campaign trail when he made horrible suggestions to his followers in the event that he lost the presidential election.
Let us hope we get through the next year in one piece. Check out the video below:
Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker