David Cay Johnston talks Trump and dares to dream about impeachment and President Nancy Pelosi during an in-depth interview with Salon.
Providing some background for the interview, DeVega wrote that “The saga of President Donald Trump consists of several parallel and intersecting stories.”
Continuing, he wrote about the current state of America that led to Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat. “America’s crisis in civic literacy, political polarization, rampant intellectualism, deeply embedded sexism and racism” are but a few of the factors DeVega detailed.
He also wrote of “Trump the man, who seems to revel in the very worst human values. His closest family members — including his father and grandfather — taught him the “value” of unrepentant greed and ambition. He also displays the symptoms of malignant narcissism, as well as sociopathy. In all, Trump is a master of manipulation who leads a political cult.”
These factors combined raised several questions that he hoped to have answered by Johnston who has covered Trump’s life and business for 30-years, “as detailed in the bestselling book ‘The Making of Donald Trump,‘” and his new book: “‘It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.'”
Below are some excerpts from that interview and you can click here to listen to a longer discussion on DeVega’s podcast.
Asked what the public should know about Trump based on his 30 years of research and observation, Johnston replied that there were three key points to keep in mind:
- The Trump Crime Family: “[Trump] comes from a family of criminals: His grandfather made his fortune running whorehouses in Seattle and in the Yukon Territory. His father, Fred, had a business partner named Willie Tomasello, who was an associate of the Gambino crime family. Trump’s father was also investigated by the U.S. Senate for ripping off the government for what would be the equivalent of $36 million in today’s money. Donald got his showmanship from his dad, as well as his comfort with organized criminals.”
- Trump’s Clash with Christianity: “I think it is very important for religious Americans to know that Donald Trump says that his personal philosophy of life is revenge. He has called anyone who turns the other cheek — which is a fundamental teaching of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount — a fool, an idiot or a schmuck. Trump is a man who says things that are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. He also denigrates Christians.”
- Racism: “He is a racist through and through. He has been found in formal judicial proceedings to discriminate against nonwhites in rentals and employment…. He is bluntly a racist.”
Asked about Russian involvement in the 2016 election, Johnston replied that the “the evidence” we already have such as emails, “strongly indicate” that Trump “is a traitor.”
Let me be very clear and quotable about this. At an absolute minimum, Donald Trump has divided loyalties, and the evidence we already have suggests that Donald Trump is a traitor. In fact, I would say that the evidence we already have, the public materials such as emails for example, strongly indicate that Donald Trump is a traitor. However, I don’t even think he understands what he’s done. [emphasis added]
Turning to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, DeVega wrote that Johnston “dares to imagine impeachment — and President Nancy Pelosi.”
If the overwhelming conclusion of the Mueller report is that the Russians put Trump in the White House, then you face a second terrible problem: What do you do about Mike Pence, who is also the beneficiary of Russian interference?
If the Congress impeaches and removes Trump and Pence, it will only be because the Democrats control Congress. So unless something else changes, we get President Nancy Pelosi. You can just imagine the people who will be in the streets screaming coup d’état if she’s president. I think the only way to address that is for her, or whoever is speaker, to announce they will be a caretaker president who is not going to do anything extreme.
Concluding her remarks about the outcome of the Mueller investigation, Johnston ominously predicted:
There is no good ending to the story. America will survive this, we’ll get past it, but whenever Trump leaves, there’s no good ending. If Trump is removed by impeachment or by the voters, whether in a Republican primary or a general election, I know what he will do. He’s already told us what he will do by his actions. Trump will spend the rest of his days fomenting violence and revolution in this country.
He’s careful not to directly say “revolution,” but he will call the government illegitimate. He might even call it criminal, since he called Democrats who didn’t stand up during his State of the Union speech treasonous. If they’re going to impeach Trump, I believe they have to have a plan to indict, try, convict and imprison him. But Trump will be a role model for some people, and there may well be violence over it.