Tapper, Brinkley Compare Trump to 'Demagogues' Like Huey Long and George Wallace

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On Thursday’s edition of The Lead, CNN host Jake Tapper brought on presidential historian David Brinkley and asked him if there was “any historical precedent that comes to mind” regarding the crowd at President Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” when he brought up Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a refugee from Somalia who is now an American citizen. Brinkley responded by saying “not to this degree, where a President is that angry and that bitter.” Brinkley cited the “colonization society…trying to ship free blacks out of the United States” back to Africa as well as the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party of the 1850s as examples of precedents that paved the way for President Trump. According to Brinkley, “we thought when Joe McCarthy got censored and destroyed in the 1950s and George Wallace sort of disintegrated after the Civil Rights Acts…that maybe…we had gotten this out of…our bloodstream.” Brinkley proceeded to imply that the election of President Trump proved that America had not gotten racism out of its bloodstream before arguing that “we put him in the league with demagogues, Huey Long and George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Strom Thurmond, but those people ran kind of third-party activities.” He then suggested that President Trump is even more dangerous than those people he mentioned because “they never really got the pulse of the United States.”

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