Axelrod: ‘It is impossible to ignore the stench that is emanating from the White House’
CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod lambasted the Trump administration on Friday, calling the guilty plea and conviction of President Trump’s former lawyer and campaign chairman “alarming.”
“It is impossible to ignore the stench that is emanating from the White House and from Washington, and this week was a really alarming week,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “New Day.”
Axelrod, who served as former President Obama’s chief strategist, called Trump’s reactions “revealing,” saying that “rules, laws and norms don’t matter” for the president.
“The president himself has been so revealing, because his reactions to all of these stories, calling [former Trump campaign chairman] Paul Manafort, who was convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion, a brave man, suggesting that everyone does what he does, all the lobbyists from Washington do what he did,” Axelrod said.
“Same thing with [Trump’s former longtime attorney] Michael Cohen and the notion that ‘everybody does what we do.’ Well, everybody doesn’t pay hush money to women to stay silent before an election because they think it might impair their chances and then hide the source of the money and lie about it,” he continued.
“That’s not what people generally do,” Axelrod said. “But it speaks to the president’s philosophy which is, you do whatever you have to, take whatever you can, whenever you can, however you can. Rules, laws and norms don’t matter.”
Axelrod’s criticism comes three days after Manafort was found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud. Minutes before Manafort’s conviction, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign-finance law violations.
Alexrod, a frequent Trump critic, compared Trump to fictional mob boss Tony Soprano on Twitter Thursday, condemning the president for his criticism of Cohen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who issued a rare rebuke of Trump earlier that day.
“You hear @realDonaldTrump blithely dismissing crimes as business-as-usual, maligning ‘flippers’ and denouncing the AG for a lack of loyalty and he sounds more like Tony Soprano than the @POTUS,” wrote Axelrod of the HBO character played by the late James Gandolfini.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 23, 2018