Presidential historian Michael Bechsloss told CNN on Wednesday that President Donald Trump may have done more to hurt victims of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre than he’s done to help them.
In an interview with CNN’s John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Bechloss said he was particularly troubled by the fact that Trump paid tribute to the eleven Jews murdered by a white nationalist over the weekend before attending a campaign rally where he proudly called himself a “nationalist.”
“He went ahead with his campaign rally, he pronounced himself a nationalist,” Bechloss said. “And the best explanation of that is he didn’t know what he was saying on that sacred day.”
Bechloss then explained the troubling historical connotations that arise from embracing nationalism as an ideology.
“‘Nationalist’ has been used to describe some pretty ugly people in American society,” he said. “George Lincoln Rockwell, the head of the American Nazi Party, wrote a book called, ‘The Nationalist Perspective.’ So not only did you have a president who didn’t do what other presidents do in terms of comforting those who felt afflicted and hurt, but he may have even rubbed salt in the wounds.”
Watch the full interview below.
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as "a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Don Lemon notes the GOP panic after their own witnesses gave testimony harming Trump: ‘Worried much?’
CNN anchor Don Lemon explained how witnesses called by Republicans in the impeachment inquiry destoryed the defenses employed by President Donald Trump and his allies.
"Now, let's just be honest, the shakedown -- that's exactly what it is -- the shakedown is exposed, people," Lemon said.
"And the evidence comes from the Republican's own witnesses," he noted. "The former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- who resigned just one day after the release of the whistleblower's report -- telling the president's defenders exactly what they did not want to hear."
"They called him apparently expecting him to say what he said in his closed-door testimony, that he saw no evidence of a quid pro quo, or let's call it for what it is again -- a shakedown," he continued. "Well, now he says he was wrong."