The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is warning Donald Trump that he will have no credibility as president if he continues to defend Russia while attacking the US intelligence community.
KARL: So let’s pick up with the Russian hack. You heard from president-elect Trump last night saying he’s still not convinced it’s the Russians. He says hacking is a very hard thing to prove so it could be somebody else. OK. You have been briefed on the intelligence.
How solid is the evidence that it was the Russians?
SCHIFF: It’s very solid. It’s indeed overwhelming and the president-elect, as you know, also said that he knows things that other people don’t know. He needs to stop talking this way.
If he’s going to have any credibility as president, he needs to stop talking this way. He needs to stop denigrating the intelligence community. He’s going to rely on them. He’s going to have to rely on them.
And this is the overwhelming judgment of the intelligence community and, frankly, all of the members of the intelligence committees in Congress, Democrats and Republicans. None of us have any question about this. The only one who does apparently is Donald Trump.
And this is the problem. There’s only one thing worse than someone who wins elective office after everyone told them that they would win and that’s someone who wins after everyone told them that they would not because they believe in the infallibility of their own judgment. And this is very dangerous.
It can be argued that Trump has no credibility as president-elect, so it is possible that Rep. Schiff was being overly generous by assuming that Trump would have credibility as president.
Trump’s behavior could harm the credibility of the presidency itself. Trump may not only lose credibility as an individual, but he could harm the respect for the presidency itself at home and around the world.
It is ironic that in 2000, Republican George W. Bush ran for president in part based on a promise “to restore honor and dignity” to the White House. Seventeen years later the idea of restoring honor and dignity to the office of the president seems quaint compared to the real damage in credibility that the presidency is poised to suffer from Donald Trump occupying the Oval Office.