John Berman asked famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein why he thinks the Georgia tape released yesterday was worse than the Nixon tapes. Bernstein was blunt.
"Because the president of the United States, we're listening in real time to the president propose that there be a conspiracy to steal the election for the presidency of the United States, a coup, a dangerously out-of-control, unstable president of the United States, provoking a constitutional crisis, and it's no accident that the generals in particular, and the Defense Department officials are aware and are now saying out loud that the incumbent president of the United States is the gravest threat to the national security of the United States that we have," he said.
He said it was time for Republican and Democratic leadership of the Senate and House to demand his resignation.
"If this had happened and this tape were released at any other moment in our history except Donald Trump's presidency, I think it's a very certain thing, that the resignation of the president of the United States immediately would be demanded or he would be impeached and convicted in the Senate posthaste," he said.
Berman asked about the open letter released yesterday by former defense secretaries, warning that there is no role for the military in election results.
"They know it even better than I, because they know more classified information than I know, but I do know this. From some of those people's aides who have signed that letter, et cetera, people in the intelligence community, that there already has been something that Trump has done in the past few weeks that deeply, deeply troubled the intelligence community, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the generals, some kind of provocative action somewhere in the world that he had to be talked down from instigating.
"I don't know exactly what it is. We can speculate on trouble areas, Iran, the South China Sea, others, something happened. Look, it has been a known fact that those closest to President Trump in his presidency in the national security area, his chiefs of staff, all concluded years and months ago that he was the principal danger to the national security of the United States, not our foreign adversaries.
"We also have his niece telling us about his mental state, same kind of picture of him we've gotten from his principal aides who have left his presidency but we've heard it from a family member. We are looking at a dangerously unstable president of the United States, such as we've never had, including Nixon, in the final days of his presidency, attempting to create a constitutional crisis to somehow hold onto office in his desperation to selfishly exercise those followers of him, of himself to do something provocative, dangerous, perhaps violent," Bernstein said.
"It's time for leadership of the Republican party, especially Senator McConnell, to say, 'Enough, Mr. President. We will not support you in any way.' This is the shame of the Republican party. McConnell and his fellows in the Senate, particularly who enabled this president in his acts, unstable acts, dangerous acts, illegal acts, a criminal and a seditious president of the United States is what we hear on this tape. Proposing to steal an election, and if McConnell, McCarthy in the House cannot say 'Mr. President, you have to cease and desist,' it is the shame of the Republican Party nofr.
"Carl, we have about 30 seconds left. What are you most concerned about in the next fifteen and a half days?" Berman asked.
"Everything, that the Republicans will not do what needs to be done, because that is the most effective thing that can be done to stop this president from his crazy utterings, actions. He needs to be told, he needs to be told by the leadership of his party that they are going to restrain him in every matter and keep him from exercising his powers, and otherwise, he should leave office and they should demand it immediately."
Dream on, Mr. Bernstein. Party and power over country for Republicans, always.