President Donald Trump phoned in to the Fox News show “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning to celebrate the fact that Attorney General William Barr decided to drop all charges against former national security Michael Flynn, and he noted that he had “learned a lot” from former President Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign in disgrace as a result of Watergate.
Reflecting on the Russia investigation, Trump bragged:
“I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people.
“I learned a lot. I study history. And the firing of everybody — I should’ve in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t, because look at the way it turned out. They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught.”
As is so often the case with Trump, however, what he said isn’t exactly true. He dismissed Flynn when it was discovered he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about taking money from both Russia and Turkey and failing to disclose those payments.
Realizing that it might not be such a great political move to be associated too closely with one of the most infamous Americans presidents in history, Trump quickly added:
“Of course there was one difference, one big difference. Number one, he may have been guilty. And number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty. I did nothing wrong, and there are no tapes. But I wish there were tapes in my case.”
Trump wasn’t guilty? Apparently he hasn’t read the full Mueller report, which spelled out plenty of illegal activities by him and members of his 2016 campaign. As Mueller himself noted when he appeared before Congress after the release of his report, the only reason Trump wasn’t charged with a crime is because of a DOJ memo which says a sitting president cannot be indicted.
The president couldn’t resist taking a cheap shot at former FBI Director James Comey, too, telling the Fox hosts:
“The one person I did a very good thing in firing was the dirty cop [former FBI Director James] Comey, and when I fired him the whole thing blew up.
“They were ratting on each other, they were going crazy, it was like throwing a rock at a hornets nest. Had I not fired him I probably wouldn’t be speaking to you right now, other than maybe I’d be talking to you about the private sector because I’d be in the private sector had I not, because this was a takeover. This was the takedown of a duly-elected president of the United States.”
While Trump may think he’s been vindicated, voters will decide in November if he gets another term in office or is sent into exile like Nixon. And once he’s out of office, he can be indicted and taken to trial like anyone else.
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