On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," veteran journalist Dan Rather emphasized the importance of ensuring that outgoing President Donald Trump faces consequences for his actions.
"Many of us have followed your reporting and judgment for a long time," said anchor Ari Melber. "And I put that question, paraphrased from Mobb Deep, to you. How long can crime pay? Could there be a different accountability this time?"
"The answer is yes, Donald Trump can be made to pay a price," said Rather. "I would argue that it is absolutely essential for the general health of our democracy in our country that that happen. And we can get things under control. You know, everybody knows if you play with fire, you usually get burned. And the Republican Party, as a whole and overwhelmingly, has been playing with the fire of white nationalism, false grievances, crazy conspiracy theories, lies and outright propaganda. And now for the Republicans, it's a wildfire burning out of control. But it doesn't have to be out of control for the rest of us."
"We can have a lot of arguments about various things concerning what's happening now, but there is one thing very clear, that we are in the situation we're in right now primarily because of Donald Trump and his selfishness and his recklessness," continued Rather. "About that there has to be a consequence for him. And that's the broad overview of what we're going through now with this probability of a Senate trial next week. What consequence does he have to pay. And that's up to us to see that he does pay a consequence."
"I don't want to be sophomoric about it, Ari, but you know in Texas high school football, coaches preach the gospel of clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," said Rather. "And I think that's the best attitude for us as a people in this situation. It's a dire situation. This is perilous times for the country, but clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose, moving forward if we make the determination to hold people accountable starting with Donald Trump. I do underscore for emphasis that process is moving along. We have a few days before he leaves office, given what's been happening the last several weeks, who can say, who can predict what will happen between now and inauguration day, never mind after inauguration day.