Richard Haass: Trump in a Self-Coup — An Attempt to Stop the Legitimate Processes of Government

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, on Wednesday reacted to President Donald Trump saying the impeachment talks are an attempted coup.

Haass told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that if there is a coup going on, it is a self-coup, which he explained as an “attempt to stop the legitimate processes of government” to sow the seeds for violence.

“[T]he president and Peter King and others are describing impeachment as a coup,” Haass outlined. “If there’s a coup going on, it’s not the impeachment process. That is what the Constitution lays out. It is essentially what the president and some of those around him are doing by undermining the normal procedures of government by not allowing Congress to play its legitimate constitutional role, by attacking the deep state, by going after the independence of judges, the independence of the media, by not allowing people to testify. That is what is undermining the political system.”

He continued, “In Latin America, interestingly enough, there’s a phrase called autogolpe: self-coups. It’s when governments fear people and the normal assemblies and legislatures moving against them, and they essentially cut them off, and they stop the normal political process. What we are seeing here in the United States is an attempt to stop the legitimate processes of government, to undermine the legitimate organs of government in order to protect the president.”

“This is dangerous, and what you’re getting at, also this is sowing the seeds of violence. If you delegitimize government, if you delegitimize what is normal, then you’re creating a space for something else, and the something else is either extra-constitutional political activity or even worse in some ways violence. And that is what we’re beginning to see here,” Haass added.

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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