John Podesta Trashes POTUS in Der Spiegel: Trump Having Codes to the Nuclear Football Is ‘Soul-Crushing’
Speaking to the German news magazine Der Spiegel, former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta trashed the man who defeated his candidate, President Donald Trump, saying he is a “danger” and that feeling responsible for Trump having control of America’s nuclear arsenal is “soul-crushing”.
John Podesta, image via RT.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Podesta, the election took place only six months ago. For many, though, it seems like an eternity has passed since Barack Obama’s presidency. Are you suffering?
Podesta: Yeah, Donald Trump has given a new meaning to dog years. The only constant seems to be his unpredictability. America lives in a state of constant turmoil. There were those who thought maybe that would calm down when he became president, but what has happened is that the pressures of the presidency have actually exaggerated those tendencies. So rather than trying to find some sense of normalcy, we get the 6 a.m. Saturday tweets that Obama ordered the bugging of Trump Tower without any evidence and with his entire intelligence community telling him that was not true and a lie.
SPIEGEL: Did it take long for you to get used to the fact that Donald Trump is now sitting in the White House?
Podesta: I have not gotten used to it. I think there’s more of a danger now than at any time since I’ve been working in politics, and that’s a long time.
SPIEGEL: Do you fear he could unintentionally start a war?
Podesta: He’s impetuous. There’s a chance of a horrendous miscalculation that could lead to a conflict with North Korea. But there is good news. He has put together a group of people now that are realists, who are experienced, who know the consequences of false starts in military actions. He’s listening more to James Mattis and less to Steve Bannon. That’s good. That makes things a little more stable. But he’s still on the phone at night talking to Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte and inviting him to the White House without anybody in the government knowing he’s going to do that.
SPIEGEL: Is Trump a threat to American democracy?
Podesta: I think it’s fair to say that to endorse Duterte’s policy of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines is essentially to sweep out American values. He has no respect for the rule of law. He attacks judges personally who enter rulings that disagree with his view and they’re personal. He’s not arguing that his interpretation of the law is different. He attacks the media as “fake news” every time they write a story he doesn’t like. He can do a lot of damage.
…SPIEGEL: Do you sometimes feel responsible for the fact that Trump is now president?
SPIEGEL: Is that your whole answer?
Podesta: How do you think I feel? I feel terrible. It is soul-crushing. It was our job to win, and we failed to do that. The fact that we let Donald Trump have the keys to the White House and the codes to the nuclear football is soul-crushing, and a heavy burden to everyone who had a leadership role in our campaign.
SPIEGEL: Would you go so far as to say that Trump’s election victory was the biggest defeat you have ever suffered in your professional life?
Podesta: Oh, yeah. I mean, I’ve worked on losing campaigns. But this time we spent six months trying to prove that he was unfit and unqualified to be president of the United States. On Election Day, 60 percent of the American people believed that. Unfortunately, 20 percent of his voters believed that too and still voted for him. I still believe that he is unfit and unqualified to be president of the United States. He lacks the temperament, he lacks the knowledge and he lacks the judgment to carry out that office. So, the people have spoken — or at least the Electoral College has spoken — and now he’s our president.”