Let's Compare Trump 2020 Comments to Nixon Comments in 1977


How much does President Trump sound like President Nixon? Let's find out.

1977 Nixon Interviews

Please consider the Nixon Interviews in 1977.

Nixon spent more than two years away from public life after resigning from office in 1974, but he granted British journalist David Frost Frost an exclusive series of interviews in 1977.

Nixon's chief of staff Jack Brennan negotiated the terms of the interview with Frost. Nixon's staff saw the interview as an opportunity for the disgraced president to restore his reputation with the public and assumed that Frost would be easily outwitted.

The premiere episode drew 45 million viewers, the largest television audience for a political interview in history — a record that still stands today.

In part 3, Frost asked Nixon about the legality of the president's actions. In the context of American national security, Nixon replied: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Trump Tweets April 13, 2020

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The following video conversation also took place on April 13. It's in reference to Trump's claims made in the above Tweets .

Trump: "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."

Reporter 1: "Total?"

Trump: "It's total. the governors know that. You have a couple of bands of Democrat governors but they will agree to it."

Reporter 2: "You said when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true."

Trump: "You know what we are going to do. We're going to write up papers on this, it's not going to be necessary because the governors need us one way or the other."

Please play the video. Trump had a chance to walk back his Tweets and instead he doubled down with a veiled threat against states that would not comply.


  1. Trump 2020: "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."
  2. Nixon 1977: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Governors Object

More than a couple of governors Object.

Pennsylvania and Six Northeast States Chime In

Also note Pennsylvania One Of Seven States To Work Together On COVID-19 Plans For Reopening

In neither case did the states offer Trump a say in the decision.

I cannot see Republican governors going along with this unconstitutional power grab. Then again, as we all know, "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

After this monstrous fiasco, Trump may wait for the governors to pick dates, then pick the same dates with a further declaration it was all his idea.

How these video clips look in a national election is another matter.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (28)
No. 1-12

Hey it's only Trump.
Don'd worry'boudit.
And he don't sound like Nixon eddah.

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

In other power grab news, the Michigan governor won't even allow lawn care businesses to operate, a Mississippi town mayor shut down a drive-in church service, and many states have closed their parks because "people don't know how to properly social distance, so we must help them..."

Good grief.


So far according to today's corona 19 data:
99.823% of the US population has not gotten the virus, and...
99.993% of the US population did not die from the virus yet.
So... at this rate we need to be locked for how much longer? Just wondering, that's all.


"Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Presidents can pardon people of Federal crimes so that does put them a little above the law.

The Constitution has an exception to this power "in Cases of Impeachment" but it has never been made clear whether this applies only to the impeachment itself or to prosecution after he leaves office.


Trump needs to be talking to a psychiatrist for a couple hours a day to work out his problems, not use a country in crisis to respond to what his father did to him.


The New Yorker suggests governors need to form a country:


mish, you need to cut back on your cnn time. you are much better at market issues.


I think Cuomo is onto something with the schizoid diagnosis. I've noticed this for a while and may be wrong, but watch how T repeats what he considers important 3 times as if it is magical:

'When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that's the way it's gonna be. It's total. It's total.

I think there may be voices telling him to do that. And not from the people standing behind him.

See this picture where he points to the actual problem:


Well picking the only president to resign after being impeached is a rather low bar. Even then, Nixon is arguing that he shouldn't have to go to live in a cage for the things he did, not that he had the power to do whatever he wanted. The trend has been that the presidency has increased its power since congress has abdicated so many of his responsibilities such as war powers, oversight and prudent budgeting.
The current president may reverse that trend since very few take him seriously anymore.


He ran for the wrong office if he wanted real authority over a state. His authority is fake. Just like him. Oh the irony.


Trump does not have the constitutional authority to order the states to open up.
What power he does have, which is almost as powerful as constitutional authority, is the ability to withhold funds from states that do not comply.


Sure, that was the not so veiled threat he made ... should really boost his popularity when he resorts to extortion to force states to do the emperor's bidding by withholding funding in the middle of a pandemic.

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