Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley has studied racist comments and racist presidents in the past, but to him, President Donald Trump’s “sh*thole” comments is a whole new level.
“Donald Trump is the most racist president since Woodrow Wilson,” Brinkley told CNN host Don Lemon. “He probably, at this juncture with Sh*thole-gate beats Wilson out, has no compassion for people of the world, Donald Trump. It’s not a partisan comment I’m making. George W. Bush did amazing work with AIDS in Africa, saved millions of lives. Jimmy Carter won a Nobel Prize for working with Norman Borlaug in Africa doing crop yields increases, or fighting worm disease, river blindness. The Clinton Foundation was all over Haiti down there doing amazing work. All former presidents, in recent times, have love and compassion in their heart, Donald Trump has a heart of stone and he doesn’t like these people.”
Brinkley went on to say that he was shocked that there weren’t religious leaders coming out to denounces the words from Trump. He was also shocked the GOP wasn’t quick to stand up against Trump.
“I think we need to have people from the Catholic church, Mormon church,” he said. “Tonight, to me, is some kind of tipping point. I know it’s a Trumpism, but no sane person can say this isn’t just blatant racism that we heard utters out ever the American president’s mouth. Where is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)? Where is their tweet? They always want the to do their interview on television. Denounce the president loud and clear. It’s a loser in history hitch your kite with on this one.”
With Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Brinkley said that Trump has no right to even say the man’s name. “He knows nothing about him, nothing about his historical legacy.” He noted that King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” begged southern pastors to speak out.
“What’s deafening tonight is the silence coming out of the Grand Ole Party of Lincoln,” he continued. “They’re just sitting this one out. It’s inconvenient for some and I think Trump needs to pay a heavy price and Republican party needs to distance them self very quickly.”
Watch the full commentary below: