Trump biographer explains Trump must be 'dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing' because he has a gear missing
Journalist and Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio (Photo: Screen capture)

CNN host Don Lemon couldn't help but notice morality has become transactional in Donald Trump's White House. During a Monday panel about the depraved response from the president in wake of Sen. John McCain's death.

Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio explained the president has to be pulled kicking and screaming to the "high road" in these situations.

"He has to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the normal thing," he told Lemon. "I wonder if he just doesn't have that gear. The normal gracious impulse that everyone has when they are mourning the death of a national figure and really someone part of the American family -- he has to be forced. Ultimately he was forced."

Lemon noted the first thing anyone learns in business or as an adult is not to take things personally.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley agreed, noting Trump has a lot to learn from McCain.

"He needs to learn everything from John McCain. What true patriotism is, worrying about the veterans. They had to plead with the president to do the proper -- you know, going at half-staff and gave proper kind of eulogy. Just learn to be a globalist. Learn to recognize that Vladimir Putin is not the friend of the United States."

he said he also wished Trump would be a better statesman, doing the bipartisan thing to help Americans, not to help his own party.

"Learn to reach across the aisle, create some aura of bipartisanship," he continued. "Try to unite Americans together, not divide them. One could go on, and on. I thought it was one of the worst shows of Donald Trump. I do think he is missing a gear because it is a no-brainer to recognize John McCain was an icon, an American hero. He served as a national symbol of endurance. And the president seemed, begrudgingly, almost like we had to claw out of him a simple kind remark on his death."

Lemon said he was shocked to see so many people who knew McCain making excuses for Trump when "there is no excuse for this."

The host also briefly noted that in D'Antonio's latest book on Pence, the vice president believes that he can save Trump's soul and lead him to Jesus. The theory isn't one lost on the evangelical community.

Watch the full discussion below: