MSNBC’s Hayes: Trump’s ‘Authoritarian Impulses’ Are ‘Baked In’ to the Country’s Perception of Him

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” host Chris Hayes stated that the lack of widespread calls for President Trump’s impeachment is due to his “disregard for the rule of law, for democratic norms, his authoritarian impulses” being mostly “baked in” to the nation’s perception of him.

Hayes said, “If the country found out the president of the united states had secretly called up his attorney general and ordered him to begin an investigation through the Justice Department of Hillary Clinton, such a brazen abuse of power would immediately provoke calls for impeachment. That is exactly what the president has done over the past 24 hours, only he’s been doing it out in the open instead of on the phone.”

He later added, “This wouldn’t be the first time the president has implied that Sessions’ position depends on his commitment to protecting the White House and pursuing its political agenda. After Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, the president reportedly blasted him for ‘disloyalty,’ later telling the New York Times he never would have hired Sessions if he’d known the outcome. … The president’s public instructions to the Justice Department arguably fit the textbook definition for obstruction of justice, which includes, ‘any threatening letter or communication [that] influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.'”

Hayes concluded, “If we haven’t yet heard widespread calls for impeachment, it’s because this president’s disregard for the rule of law, for democratic norms, his authoritarian impulses, they’re already largely baked in in the country’s perception, even among political insiders. It was just a couple of days ago, for example, that he called the American criminal justice system a ‘joke’ and a ‘laughingstock.’ And on top of that, all indications are that the president is already under investigation for obstruction of justice for his firing of former FBI Director James Comey in the midst of the Russia investigation. And much of the evidence for that has long been public. Not only did Comey testify under oath about what he described as repeated attempts by the president to exert his influence, but the president himself told NBC’s Lester Holt he was thinking about the Russia probe when he fired Comey.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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