'The Constancy of the Lying Is Pernicious in a Democracy'
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President Donald Trump's press conference Thursday afternoon may go down in history as the most unhinged 77 minutes of any American presidency, and nearly every political pundit has weighed in on it. But Thursday night on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour With Brian Williams," Steve Schmidt delivered the best, most important critique of 45's madness.
Schmidt, as you know, was Senator John McCain's 2008 senior presidential campaign strategist and advisor. And yes, he is a Republican. One who's not afraid to ignore party for the greater good.
Here's what he tweeted during the presser:
NO American President has EVER comported themselves like this. Endless self pity , Dishonest assertions and scapegoating .— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) February 16, 2017
Schmidt Thursday night denounced Trump's his "going after" Hillary Clinton, his "self-pitying," and "the attacks on the media."
"You've never seen an America president, the commander-in-chief, the head of state of the United States of America, the most powerful person in the world use this mantle of victimhood."
Calling Trump's performance "disturbing," Schmidt makes it clear: Trump was talking not to reporter or the larger American polulae, he was talking to his base.
Schmidt says that Trump's base believes "if the leader says it's true, it must be true."
"The constancy of the lying is pernicious in a democracy,” he warns. And he warns Republican leaders they are going to have to stand up against Trump, which will at some point mean realizing lower tax rates are not more important than democracy itself.
"All of us," says Schmidt, are "stewards of" thi democratic republic and have a responsibility to future generations to hand it "intact" to the next generation.
Steve Schmidt on Trump's embrace of the “mantle of victimhood”—and bigger stakes: “the constancy of the lying is pernicious in a democracy” pic.twitter.com/mCdVQsVdj8— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 17, 2017