NJ’s former Republican governor says Trump acts like dictator
Former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman blasted President Donald Trump as a "dictator" in a series of messages on Twitter about the release of the Mueller Report.
Her comments came after the release of a redacted version of the report wrapping up the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote that he could not conclusively determine that Trump had committed criminal obstruction of justice but that the investigation did not exonerate him.
The report details Trump's attempt to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president.
Whitman, a two-term Republican governor who served in President George W. Bush's administration, said the report shows that had Trump's staff not refused to carry out his orders, he "would have thrown this country into a Constitutional Crisis."
Whitman said Trump's actions show "a president with little or no respect for the law, someone who looks at the office as his personal fiefdom. That is the stuff of dictators and potentates. To ignore the intent because the act was never completed is to send a message that we aren’t troubled by this kind of undermining of our Constitution."
Never a fan of Trump's, Whitman told Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran in September she hoped the Democrats would win at least the House of Representatives in the November election. Whitman said a House controlled by a party opposing the Republican president would be a way to keep Trump in check.
"I'm hoping we lose the House. That would be a good thing," she said. "Congress could stand up to him and could be dialing back a lot of this."
She also said she believed moderate Republicans could help keep the government on a steady track.
The GOP held onto the Senate but lost the House election. New Jersey also elected four Democrat representatives to the House, leaving Chris Smith as the only Republican in the state congressional delegation.
Whitman served as governor from 1994 until 2001, when she left office to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She left the office in 2003 after a report showed that her comments made a week after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 that the air near Ground Zero was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink was not accurate because the EPA had no data to justify the claim.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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