Fascism expert: Trump was ‘extremely disciplined’ as he sought ‘private profit off of public office’
Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

One of America's leading academics on fascism explained how Donald Trump used public office to personally enrich himself.

New York University Prof. Ruth Ben-Ghiat discussed Trump's fundraising with Business Insider.

"Trump's aims as president were totally different from any other president, Republican or Democrat," she explained. "His aims were autocratic in that he wanted to turn public office into a vessel of making money for himself; to have private profit off of public office."

"He was extremely disciplined in grifting and in trying to use the presidency to make money," she explained. "The sad thing is that autocrats can be very loved by their followers, and people genuinely love Trump. He has a real personality cult. But they despise their followers and they use them. And that's where him grifting off of his followers [comes in]. Because he is not grifting off of Democrats; he's grifting off of his followers, he's bilking his own followers."

Ben-Ghiat was also interviewed on Wednesday by MSNBC's Ari Melber.

"So one lesson for Americans is these things happen slowly and sometimes you have a shock event like Jan. 6th which greatly further radicalized the GOP, but it's a combination of a process where local election by local election your rights are stripped away and you may not notice it because it's been happening at the state level, and then this is all a rehearsal for bringing it national," she said. "And so we see these things happen in a continuum and over time, but we have to be alert to the warning signs and we have a lot of warning signs and they're coming out with these hearings."

Watch:


Ruth Ben Ghia www.youtube.com