During a segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, former Nixon Library director Timothy Naftali explained the differences between President Donald Trump and President Richard Nixon’s relationships to the press.
“Every president is exasperated with the press, but few presidents grow to hate the press,” Naftali began. “What we see with Donald Trump is that he is putting his hatred of the press and making it public.”
Both Nixon and John F. Kennedy “fumed about the press all the time,” Natfali continued — and Nixon acted out on his hatred in private by intimidating them via the FBI and in some cases even wiretapping them.
But Trump, Naftali continued, is different.
“We don’t know what Donald Trump is doing secretly, but what we do know is what he’s saying publicly,” he said. “He is poisoning the atmosphere between the presidency and the press in a way that Richard Nixon did behind the scenes — Donald Trump does it in front of everyone and he does it gleefully.”
“There’s a shamelessness to this behavior that suggests that he believes he’s bigger than the job,” he continued.
He then shifted into more psychological and even moral territory.
“Most presidents recognize the job is bigger than them, that they’re carrying a burden that is historic and important,” Naftali concluded. “One gets the sense with him that his id is so strong, he believes he’s bigger than the job.”
Watch Naftali’s segment towards the end of the clip below, via CNN.