Robert Reich: Trump’s Tweets ‘Designed to Intimidate,’ Judges Around the Country

Tuesday on MSNBC, discussing President Donald Trump’s tweet calling the judge who temporarily halted his executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries a “so-called judge,” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said Trump’s tweets “are designed to intimidate and put down and demean his opponents.”

Reich said, “His tweets are not just public statements of the sort that most presidents make. They are designed to intimidate and put down and demean his opponents. I have heard many times of presidents who disagree with court outcomes and disagree with certain judges, but this is the first time in my memory—and I go back a lot of presidents—that a president has actually attacked a judge personally. A “so-called judge,” he said of the judge in the district court in Washington who put a stay on his travel ban. And then went on to say that judge, that if there is an incident in the United States, that judge will be blamed as will the courts. Well, this is tough stuff. If I were Donald Trump I would probably be saying to myself, well what do I want to do? Why am I doing this? Because I want judges around the country to be put on notice that I will go after them personally if they rule against me.”

He added, “Well, you see all of these instances, the judiciary and the press and states, particularly big states run by Democrats like California, you have push back. You have independent centers of power that are not bowing and cow towing to Donald Trump. Donald Trump doesn’t like that. So when it comes to these independent centers of power in our political economic system, again, the judiciary, and the press, and state governments like big state governments like California, Donald Trump really unleashes his venom. He doesn’t like independent centers of power. He wants control. That’s why he has striven for his entire life. That’s what his mentor Roy Cohn taught him about. And one of Roy Cohn messages also, really, from the Joe McCarthy days of the communist witch-hunts, is to take no prisoners. That is, you spew venom, you intimidate, you use lies, you use whatever you can to undermine opponents and that is what Donald Trump is doing as president, president of the United States.”

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