Trump 'tarred and feathered himself': Historians reflect on the reality-TV star's legacy in office
Donald Trump and Richard Nixon

As Donald Trump deals with members of Mar-a-Lago quitting his "sad" club during his South Florida retirement, historians are already debating his place in history.

"In the race to the bottom for the title of worst American president, the same few sorry names appear at the end of almost every list, jockeying for last place. There's Andrew Johnson, whose abysmal behavior during Reconstruction led to the first presidential impeachment. There's Warren G. Harding, responsible for the Teapot Dome scandal. There's hapless, hated Franklin Pierce; doomed, dead-after-32-days William Henry Harrison; and inevitably, James Buchanan, often considered worst of all because of how badly he bungled the lead-up to the Civil War," The New York Times reported Saturday. "But as historians consider the legacy of Donald J. Trump, it appears that even the woefully inadequate Buchanan has some serious competition for the spot at the bottom."

The newspaper interviewed multiple historians for the story.

City University of New York Prof. Ted Widmer said, "I already feel that he is the worst."

"He has invented a whole new category, a subbasement that no one knew existed," he explained.

William J. Cooper, Jr., professor emeritus of history at Louisiana State University, noted a post-election change in perception.

"I would say that before the election it depended on one's political outlook," he explained. "But from the election forward, I don't see how anyone could feel that Trump's behavior was anything but reprehensible or that he hasn't completely destroyed any legacy he would have left."

"He has tarred and feathered himself, and I think it will blemish him for a long, long, long time," he predicted.

Rice University Prof. Douglas Brinkley also had harsh words.

"I find him to be the worst president in U.S. history, personally," Brinkley said. "At least when Nixon left, he put the country ahead of himself at the last minute. Now he looks like a statesman compared to Trump."

Princeton University Prof. Sean Wilentz agreed Trump was the worst U.S. president.

"He's in a whole other category in terms of the damage he's done to the Republic," Wilentz said.

Read the full report.