Vengeful Trump is in 'destruction mode' after 'being fired by the American people': Historian Brinkley
Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate in Cleveland. (Christos S /

On CNN Saturday, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley broke down outgoing President Donald Trump's state of mind as he issues a flurry of pardons for his former associates and threatens to blow up COVID-19 stimulus negotiations.

"Let's dig in. Put this in perspective," said anchor Jon Avlon. "There have been ethically dodgy pardons before, but has any president rewarded lawbreaking in this way before?"

"No, we've never seen anything like this," said Brinkley. "Donald Trump is simply emptying the jails of all of his corrupt cronies and he's willing to do it in a willy-nilly fashion. I think there will be many more to come, because he hasn't come to grips with the fact that he's lost power. I mean, over the holiday here, he has been fired by the American people, while he's golfing with Lindsey Graham, so he's kind of simply, John, you know, pardon anybody that he knows or he possibly can or destroy any legislation."

"He's just in a steamroller of destruction mode right now," added Brinkley. "But I suspect you'll see 50, 100, and maybe even thousands of pardons of people because he likes that he has the power to do that."

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