One of Congress' most powerful members just compared Trump to Hitler: ‘This man and his family are threats to democracy’
Rep. James Clyburn (MSNBC)

The third-ranking House Democrat denounced President Donald Trump and his family as a threat to U.S. democracy -- and he called on Congress to stop a president he compares to Adolf Hitler.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) said he'd never seen such a toxic political climate in his 78-year lifetime, but said he's studied similar dynamics in Nazi Germany, reported NBC News.

"Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany," Clyburn said, "and he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into it. Nobody would have believed it now, but swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.”

The lawmaker defended the late Republican Sen. John McCain from the president's latest wave of insults, calling the U.S. Navy veteran a “hero of our United States armed services," and urged Congress to stop Trump and his family's attacks on democratic institutions before it's too late.

“We are asking for dire consequences," he said, "and I think it’s time for the Congress — House and Senate — to grow spines, and do what is necessary to protect this democracy. This man and his family are the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime."

Clyburn said congressional investigations could uncover evidence to support impeachment, but he said Americans should be persuaded that was necessary.

“I think all of us know that impeachment is a political concept, and if the committees do their work properly they will be able to bring the public along with them,” Clyburn said. “They will be able to set the tone for impeachment if that is deserved.”