Trump's behavior "terrifying," Congressman Yarmuth says

02/21/2017 12:21 PM

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, is becoming increasingly alarmed with the actions and words from President Donald Trump.

Kentucky’s lone federally elected Democratic official, who is now the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, summed up Trump’s presidency after a recent press conference in a word as “terrifying.”

“It’s terrifying from a number of perspectives,” he said in an interview with Spectrum News on Monday. “One is he’s incoherent; President Trump literally cannot express a thought that is coherent. Secondly, he says things without any regard to the ramifications of them — all of these statements that involve foreign policy have repercussions around the world.

“You’re beginning to hear now, and I’ve been hearing for some time, how freaked out international leaders are, because they don’t know if what he says should be taken literally true or not,” Yarmuth continued. “Whether that represents an official position or whether in fact he’s just being Donald.”

On Saturday, President Trump’s insinuation of a potential terror attack or unrest in Sweden at a rally drew consternation from elected officials including Yarmuth, who said the president’s remarks are a continuation of fear based politicking seen on the campaign trail.

“Part of his agenda, if he has an agenda, is to continually scare the American people, and to remind them of all the damage — all the dangers in the world — and that would clear the way for his immigration bans, for his desire to ramp up the defense mechanism for the country,” Yarmuth said.

“Fear based politics…which is of course one of the things all demagogues and autocrats do. Its reason for concern, I think, in the country — grave concern.”

U.S. Sen. Jon McCain, R-Arizona, has been blasting Trump’s administration on a variety of issues, including the president’s targeting of the press as “the enemy.” McCain has been critical of other GOP presidents, but Yarmuth said there are other GOP members in Congress who are beginning to seek distance from the president in his first 100 days in office.

“When you begin to see other people either hedge their bets in comments, and I think you’re seeing that from Mitch McConnell on a lot of things, that’s when you know that [Trump] is in trouble with his own party,” he said. “I think you’re seeing more and more of that from the type of people who are pretty solidly supportive of Republican administrations.”

As Democrats and some Republicans seek investigations into Trump’s administration after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador, Yarmuth said he does sees scenarios where Congress could potentially impeach Trump.

“In my mind he has not committed high crimes or misdemeanors that we know about yet, but we don’t know much of the story.”

Watch the full interview with Yarmuth for his take on how Democrats can gain politically from unease with Trump, and the future for the Kentucky Democratic Party. Yarmuth did say he will seek another term in Congress in 2018.


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