- The Washington Times
Friday, May 8, 2020

President Trump credited and compared himself to late former President Richard Nixon during a lengthy phone interview Friday on Fox News.

“I learned a lot from Richard Nixon — don’t fire people,” Mr. Trump said on the “Fox & Friends” morning program.

“I learned a lot by watching Richard Nixon,” Mr. Trump said later in the interview. “Of course, there was one difference, one big difference: Number one, he may have been guilty and, number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty, I did nothing wrong and there are no tapes. But I wish there were tapes in my case.”

Mr. Trump made the remarks about Nixon in response to a question about the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Mr. Trump during the interview if he believed William P. Barr, the president’s current and second attorney general, would have allowed the Russia investigation to take place if he had been in office earlier.

Mr. Trump subsequently responded by slamming Jeff Sessions, his first attorney general who recused himself from the Russia probe early on in the administration and thus allowed it to continue and culminate in the convictions of several former members of the president’s election campaign.

“Jeff Sessions was a disaster,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he “should have gotten rid of him” before he was even confirmed by the Senate.

On a Saturday evening in 1973, Nixon infamously ordered his attorney general, Elliot Richardson, to fire the special prosecutor who was investigating the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the president’s resignation. Richardson refused and instead resigned, and his successor, William Ruckelshaus, followed suit when given the same order.

Impeachment proceedings against Nixon began within days of the “Saturday Night Massacre,” and central to them were a series of taped conversations recorded from inside the White House. He ultimately resigned from the presidency before they could conclude, however.

Mr. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives last year but ultimately acquitted by the Senate, meanwhile.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.