Tags: Donald Trump | Durbin | Dangerous

Sen. Durbin: 'President Trump Is Dangerous'

Sen. Dick Durbin (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 12 May 2017 10:36 AM

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, pointing to President Donald Trump's statements, tweets, and actions, warned Friday that the nation's leader is "dangerous."

"We ought to get to the bottom line here: President Trump is dangerous," the Illinois senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, responding to a Trump tweet where the president warned ousted FBI Director James Comey that he "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."

He may be obstructing justice in terms of the investigation," Durbin told the program. "That goes to the heart of our democracy."

Such comments also call the president's accountability into question, including his ability to "protect our democracy from an invasion, a cyber invasion by the Russians," said Durbin.

In addition, Durbin said Trump's credibility "has been destroyed" by his actions.

"When you are the leader of the free world, you need to be credible not only in your own country, to be an effective president, but around the world," said Durbin. "This episode this week is a demonstration this president's credibility is not very strong."

Earlier this week, Durbin expressed concerns on the Senate floor that any attempt to stop or undermine the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign would raise constitutional issues. On Friday, he called for a special prosecutor to step in.

The FBI, he explained, works under the attorney general, and as Attorney General Jeff Sessions "misrepresented himself in his conversations with Russia" and has recused himself from involvement in prosecuting matters dealing with Russia and the Trump campaign, it will be left to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to continue the case.

"I voted for him just a few weeks ago," said Durbin of Rosenstein, whose letter discussing Comey has been cited as a reason behind his dismissal. "I believe in his integrity. He has an amazing record he has written as a prosecutor. Right now, he has two very stark and important options. The first is to appoint a special prosecutor. An independent person outside the government with no political label initiating and finishing this investigation. The second thing is to resign."

Durbin also said that it's "laughable" to believe contentions that Trump fired Comey for any other reason than the Russian investigation, including initial claims the decision was made after the former FBI director's actions on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's email server investigation.


"This idea that President Trump was dismissing Comey to defend the honor of Hillary Clinton, that's laughable," said Durbin. "This is a man that invented the phrase 'lock her up.' The fact that he is standing up for poor Hillary Clinton, nobody bought that."

There is also a "serious question" about Sessions' role in Comey's firing, said Durbin.

"He recused himself from anything involving this and then is a party to dismissing the person who is leading the investigation," said Durbin. "There is a serious ethical question raised by that conduct."

Durbin also said he thinks Rosenstein was "duped" into writing his report concerning Comey.

The senator also ridiculed the idea being floated by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah and others about making President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, the next FBI director.

"This notion of picking Merrick Garland as the head of the FBI is some consolation prize for the miserable way he was treated by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans," said Durbin.

He said he also hopes Garland remains where he is.

"He is the chief judge now in the D.C. Circuit, the second highest court in the land," said Durbin. "I hope he stays there. I want him to continue to lead in that capacity. In terms of potential people to run the FBI, I don't have a short list but I want to make sure whoever it is is credible."

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Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, pointing to President Donald Trump's statements, tweets, and actions, warned Friday that the nation's leader is "dangerous." "We ought to get to the bottom line here: President Trump is dangerous," the Illinois senator told MSNBC's...
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2017-36-12
Friday, 12 May 2017 10:36 AM
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