Long-time GOP strategist Steve Schmidt analyzed the Rob Portman scandal during a Tuesday interview on “Deadline: White House” with MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace.
“The story imploded today like it was a building implosion or stadium implosion you were watching on tv,” Schmidt observed. “What happened here is that the FBI came back and they said, ‘hey, the staff secretary who has a code-word SCI top-secret clearance is credibly accused of beating his two wives.’ And the White House took no action, kept him in place.”
“We see the abject incompetence that was described in the Michael Wolff book. We see recklessness around national security issues, scores of west wing officials don’t have the requisite clearances necessary to see the nation’s most closely guarded secrets,” Schmidt explained.
“We see the usual dishonesty and it’s blowing up in their face. And lastly, we see the cruelty. The cruelty of the press secretary toward these women. Of Kellyanne Conway toward these women. Of the President of the United States toward these women. And really, the whole of the administration toward these women,” Schmidt observed.
Wallace, who worked closely with Schmidt as a Republican Party operative before switching careers to journalism, wondered if the GOP had ever been so flawed.
“Steve, I want you to see if you can come up with any parallel. I reached back through the Palin years, to the Bush years and we were deeply flawed. We made more mistakes before lunch than most people in normal jobs make in five years. But I can’t remember the depravity that I see in this White House,” Wallace admitted.
“That’s for sure,” Schmidt confirmed.
“[I] wonder if you can just talk about how sort of effective it is for them to do such a volume business of chaos and crisis creation,” Wallace suggested.
“I think the important thing to understand, to remember, for the American people, is that this is not normal. This is — there’s never been an administration like this,” Schmidt argued. “In fact, when you look out across all the western democracies, you don’t see lying like this. the constancy of lying, the dishonesty, the allegations of conspiracy, the smearing, the defend-to-the-end at all costs the image and the reputation of the leader”
“There’s never been anything like this. We are in a — we are in unchartered territory with this comportment and it’s vile,” Schmidt added. “The behavior is disgraceful, it’s disgusting.”
“The country has never before now elected somebody who is so manifestly unfit intellectually, morally, temperamentally, for the office of President of the United States,” Schmidt concluded.