Douglas Brinkley: Trump Is an Outlaw Like Al Capone

Historian Douglas Brinkley, during Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s special coverage of the Senate impeachment trial, called President Donald Trump an “outlaw.”

Host Jake Tapper asked, “If ultimately what happens is that President Trump is not removed from office from the Senate trial, which is pretty much what everybody expects and it’s a tall order to get 67 senators, what does that mean for future U.S. presidents and their handling of foreign policy and their asking other countries to look into whatever they want?”

Brinkley said, “It means that the country has a president who operates as an outlaw. We always are trying to compare presidents to each other, but we haven’t had an outlaw president before, and that’s what you have with Donald Trump. And incidentally, outlaws in American history get their fans, Billy the Kid or Al Capone, and Donald Trump may be in that swirl.”

He added, “But he’s going to be seen as acting in a demagogic way and acting in a dictatorial way, trying to smash the foreign policy establishment, diss intelligence gatherers, operating in a whole new way of an imperial presidency that we couldn’t have imagined. So it’s very important that Donald Trump was held accountable. He has been, as Nancy Pelosi said, he is wearing the ‘I’ in history. He has been punished. But I’m afraid if no witnesses come forward about what we heard, about what transpired in the Ukraine and stalking of an ambassador. And none of this gets heard, I’m afraid it will make people think our democracy is broken and that the American presidency, the Executive Branch is trying to run shotgun over both the Judicial Branch and certainly over the Legislative Branch. ”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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