Sam Harris: A ‘Reichstag fire moment’ is inevitable with Trump
Sam Harris (Screenshot)

Neuroscientist and atheism advocate Sam Harris said President Donald Trump is a "malignantly selfish con-man" who could irreversibly harm the United States.

"What happens with the next terrorist attack?" Harris said on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. "The real fear is that if we have a Reichstag fire kind of moment -- engineered by him or not, I'm not so paranoid to think he's going to do it, but I just think it is inevitable. Something is going to happen. We've had 80 days, 100 days, whatever is has been, of his presidency where basically nothing has happened and it has been pure chaos."

"Imagine a 9/11 style event or something really goes off the rails with North Korea or China or Russia," he continued, "the pressure, one, to normalize him as commander-in-chief will be much greater than it is now and already everyone is feeling that pressure but, two, the ability to clamp down on civil liberties and just use the power of the presidency in the way that would be very difficult for our society to recover from -- it's a scary moment."

Harris said analogies between Trump and Hitler could be misleading, but added "you just don't know how strange things could get with a big negative stimulus to the system."

He said Trump's personality flaws were "as obvious about him as his hair."

"To put that much power in the hands of somebody who is so disconnected from facts and reasonable concern for the well-being of the rest of humanity ... it's an incredible moment. I don't think we've ever had a president who you could look at and say that about so clearly, not even Nixon."