Steve Schmidt: Trump Is ‘Our Dime Store Mussolini in the Oval Office’

Steve Schmidt: Trump Is ‘Our Dime Store Mussolini in the Oval Office’

Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt has fiercely attacked President Donald Trump for his alleged attempt to extort a quid pro quo from Ukraine in exchange for desperately needed military aid. Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Schmidt said what Trump had done was worse than Richard Nixon and Watergate.

“I think what we’re gonna see when we begin to see this or the American people will see when this begins to play out publicly is an act of corruption unprecedented in its magnitude and its severity,” Schmidt said.

“What we see is the President of the United States extorting a foreign head of state, withholding congressionally approved military assistance to a nation that has a hot war with the Russians on the eastern front for the purposes of getting dirt on the President’s political opponent.”

“There has never been in the entire post World War II period of history from Truman through Obama until Trump, there has never been an act of corruption by an American president quite like this.”

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough interrupted Schmidt to point out that Republicans have been defending Trump against these charges. He asked Schmidt what he would say to those Republicans.

“Well, I would say to them like I would say to my young teenagers, stop it. Stop. Stop lying. Seriously,” Schmidt said. “I mean, we have a — we have a situation where we see the national security of the United States, which is antithetical to Russian security interests, compromised over the President’s political interest.”

“We keep using the terms quid pro quo and I wish everybody would stop, because the American people don’t understand what quid pro quo means. We don’t teach Latin in our schools anymore. What this was was an extortion attempt.”

“This was a shakedown by our dime store Mussolini in the Oval Office who said to the president of the Ukraine who is fighting a Russian invasion on his eastern front, expecting American weapons, the president of the Ukraine is shaked down, shooken down [sic] by the President of the United States to get dirt on a political opponent.”

“There has never been, never been, an act of corruption as significant as this by an American president, not in the 20th or the first two decades of  the 21st century. Never. This exceeds by orders of magnitude anything that occurred in Watergate.”

“And there are fundamental issues at stake when you see the president shaking down a foreign head of state to launch a criminal investigation against a U.S. citizen who he has sworn to expect, we are in uncharted territory. And the behavior of the Republicans in Congress, apologists for this, it’s just unspeakable.”

Watch the video above.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Senior Editor and Political News Writer.