Appearing on CNN this Sunday, the veteran reporter who helped exposed the Watergate scandal said that President Trump‘s attacks on the media are much more dangerous than former President Richard Nixon‘s.
“Trump’s attacks on the American press as ‘enemies of the American people’ are more treacherous than Richard Nixon’s attacks on the press,” former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein said during the segment with CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter.
Trump’s comments which were made in public, whereas Nixon’s were made in private, reminded Bernstein of “dictators and authoritarians, including Stalin, including Hitler.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
“There is no civic consensus in this country like there was at the time of Watergate about acceptable presidential conduct,” Bernstein said.
“Trump is out there on his own, leading a demagogic attack on the institutions of free democracy,” he continued. “We are into terrible authoritarian tendencies.”
“The press is your enemy,” Nixon said during his first term. “Enemies. Understand that? … Now, never act that way … give them a drink, you know, treat them nice, you just love it, you’re trying to be helpful. But don’t help the bastards. Ever. Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”
But an important contrast between Nixon and Trump’s comments is that Nixon was speaking to one person, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, who was chairman of the then-Joint Chiefs of Staff.. Trump’s words were blasted from his Twitter account to his over 25 million followers.
“We’re not enemies of the American people,” Bernstein said. “In fact, we’re the last resort of the American people to a dictatorial and authoritarian-inclined president.”
Watch the segment in the video below:
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