Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss on Trump: ‘He Did Literally the Worst Thing an American President Could Ever Do’
As a debate rages within the Republican party about how best to handle the looming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, noted presidential historian Michael Beschloss is now weighing in and putting Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 in perspective.
Beschloss is not some partisan hack — though, in our divided media landscape, that will likely be the allegation from the dwindling pro-Trump media set. He is the NBC News Presidential Historian and a frequent commentator on the PBS NewsHour. He is also a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and sits on the board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He is, in laymen’s terms, no joke.
He has published nearly a dozen books documenting the legacies of a number of presidents, so his commentary is far more authoritative than that of, say, Dan Bongino or Ana Navarro. And so his words about Trump’s actions on the day of a deadly insurrection on the Capitol should carry far more weight than typical cable pundit pablum.
“This is the only president in American history who incited an insurrection against Congress that could have resulted in assassinations and hostage-taking and, conceivably, the cancellation of a free presidential election and the fracturing of a democracy,” Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, told me. “That’s a fact, and it won’t change in 50 years. It’s very hard to think of a scenario under which someone might imagine some wonderful thing that Donald Trump did that will outshine that. He did, literally, the worst thing that an American president could ever do.”
Beschloss’s clear assessment of Trump’s actions on that fateful day should resonate with a potentially divided Republican party that is currently struggling with the albatross of holding the former president accountable for, what some see, as a clear encouragement of insurrection.
Senator Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy have both publicly blamed Trump for the capitol violence, but a number of Senators fear the impeachment of the former president could force the MAGA set to leave the GOP forever. There are whispers that Trump is considering a third “Patriot” party, that would not only be a disaster for future Republican efforts but also seems to be a bit of a threat against GOP lawmakers who want to proceed with conviction.
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