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.
"Neil, I’d like to ask you a more personal question. As a South Asian-American, in the history of Supreme Court jurisprudence, your position is now cemented for all time," Williams noted. "As an American, in the history of Supreme Court jurisprudence, your position is cemented for all time. And yet, you have a near-daily familiarity with the phrase 'go back to where you came from.'"
"Yeah, I heard it my whole life," Katyal replied. "It started when I was three years old and it continues on."
"This is about a very simple idea, which is we respect people who come here from other countries and, frankly, three of them didn't, they just happen to have brown skin. But we respect people who come here from other countries. We don’t care about that. That’s what we fought a civil war about," he explained.
"So what’s lost, Brian, I think what’s lost is the sense of civic communication and fairness and watching this breakdown in the president -- who is cheering it on, who hopes for this -- as opposed to a president who doesn’t necessarily have to always bring us together, there are always divisions, but to prey on the racial divisions and the kind of hurt and pain that people feel, I mean, I can’t think of something more disqualifying to be president of the United States than the way he has behaved this week," he explained.
"And I’m critical of his obstruction of justice and his conspiracy and all sorts of other things, but this is a true betrayal of everything the country is all about," Katyal added.