Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkley went on CNN Thursday morning to talk about President Donald Trump’s relationship with the truth — and he lashed out at the president for behavior that he described as “just plain nutty.”
Reacting to the president’s recent interview with Time Magazine, Brinkley said that he has never seen an American president so averse to telling the truth — and this even includes former President Richard Nixon, who resigned from office over his role in covering up the Watergate scandal.
“He wants to present himself as a soothsayer, when in truth, he’s a fabricator, and he’s somebody who trades in conspiracy theories,” Brinkley said.
The historian took particular issue with Trump’s insistence that he could ignore FBI Director James Comey’s conclusion that former President Obama didn’t order any wiretap of Trump Tower because he’s read some “articles” claiming it really happened.
“I could download a hundred articles right now that say Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon,” Brinkley explained. “This cannot be the standard for the President of the United States. He’s living in a fantasy realm… That is snake oil medicine.”
Putting things into a broader historical context, Brinkley said that “we’ve never had that kind of lame, lackluster leadership” before from an American president.
“We’ve had devious moments of Richard Nixon moving chess pieces in illegal ways,” Brinkley explained. “But this is just plain nutty.”
Watch the whole segment below.