The new He Who Must Not Be Named is the late President Richard Nixon ― at least in the final days of the Trump administration.
Soon-to-be-ex President Donald Trump has ordered advisers not to mention the name of Nixon, who resigned in 1974 under the cloud of the Watergate scandal, CNN reported Thursday. In separate conversations with aides, Trump declared a ban on any utterance of his disgraced predecessor ― even cursing out one adviser and demanding “never to bring up the ex-president ever again,” according to CNN.
Trump has shut down calls that he resign with just days to go in his own disgraced presidency. He told people that he didn’t trust that Vice President Mike Pence would pardon him like President Gerald Ford did when he replaced Nixon, CNN reported.
Carl Bernstein, whose Watergate reportage for The Washington Post helped lead to Nixon’s downfall, told Anderson Cooper on Thursday (watch the video above) that Trump’s final days appear to be nothing like Nixon’s ― resignation or not.
In his final days “Nixon was not a deluded, deranged, out-of-control president of the United States who has to be restrained in a constitutional straitjacket, which is really what is going on right now,” Bernstein said. “The military won’t heed his orders, we know something about that. People around him are trying to restrain him because they think he is dangerous.”
On the other hand, Nixon, “though he was drunk part of the time,” turned to introspection at what he had done ― something Trump would be unlikely to do, Bernstein said.
While Nixon deserved his fate, Bernstein had even harsher words for Trump, who finds his ruinous presidency indelibly stained by the Capitol riot he incited.
The reporter called him a “seditious president of the United States who inspired and celebrated a riot to burn down the Capitol, which is really what occurred. He encouraged it.”
It was Trump, ironically, who earlier in his presidency invoked Nixon’s name as a way of bragging about his strategy to subvert the Russia investigation.
“I learned a lot. I study history,” he continued. “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.”