Donald Trump got caught on camera offering to do something that would make his buddy Vladimir Putin proud — putting out a hit on an opponent. In Trump’s case the hit is a figurative one, thank goodness. He hasn’t gone that far yet. But it was still shocking to hear, coming from the man who occupies the Oval Office.
During a meeting on Tuesday morning with sheriffs from around the country one of them, Harold Eavenson from Rockwall County Texas, complained of a bill being proposed by an unnamed state senator. Eavenson’s complaint was that the senator wants due process to play out and require a conviction before law enforcement can seize the assets of a defendant. He thinks that would benefit Mexican drug cartels.
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“Do you believe that?” Trump muttered. Then he looked at Eavenson and said:
Who is that state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career.
The remark brought chuckles, and Trump threw one of those “If you get upset I was kidding but I would so be happy to do this” looks that he gives. But kidding, semi-kidding, or claim-to-be-kidding-but-I’m-really-serious, what an incredibly Nixonian — and stupid — thing to say.
Yes, there are definite parallels between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. But one of them is not intelligence. Nixon was a lot of things, but he also was smart enough to never let himself be caught saying something like that with cameras rolling. Trump is either too stupid to think before he speaks or he just couldn’t care less.
Here’s video of the remark, via the Associated Press: