President Donald Trump has raised alarms with his authoritarian tendencies — but maybe there’s another word that could be used to describe his anti-democratic urges.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosted Time deputy managing editor Michael Duffy, who wrote the magazine’s cover story this week on Trump’s first year in office, and USA Today senior politics reporter Heidi Przybyla asked him about the president’s business dealings.
“We’ve talked a lot about 2017, things being autocracy, authoritarianism, but looking forward to 2018, how much do you think the word kleptocracy should start to become part of this discussion?” Przybyla said.
She pointed to her newspaper’s new report Trump companies selling $35 million in real estate last year — mostly to secretive shell companies that Przybyla said opened the president up to influence peddling.
“There could be explanations for this, like people just don’t want their names identified with Trump properties,” she said. “But according to our reporters, there’s a lot of people who say these could be used for influence buying, influence-seeking groups including foreign people who have purchased these properties if we’re able to identify.”
Duffy said the president had already tipped off investigators about how much influence peddling could be going on.
“President Trump told, warned special counsel (Robert) Mueller not to look at his family finances which, of course, was a great big red flag to go ahead and look at his family finances,” Duffy said. “I think that’s another theme here. The extent to which outside of government that Trump and Kushner family finances are in this target set of Bob Mueller at the moment has a kind of existential mind concentrating piece for this White House now. Those are things that have probably never been looked at, and if you put them in the context of foreign policy, that could get really ugly. Kleptocracy is a little different. I think the family’s finances will move front and center this year.”
Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.
Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.
Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump
Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.
"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."
Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush
The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.
That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.