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Former NYT Editor Howell Raines: Trump’s Epic Failure Of Leadership Will Be Studied For Decades

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Former executive editor of ‘The New York Times’ Howell Raines said the American people now understand President Donald Trump is not capable to lead. Raines told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that Trump’s “failure of presidential leadership” is so sweeping that historians will study this period for decades. Raines also trashed top presidential adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner as incompetent and said he would not have had even a junior position in the Reagan administration. “As Americans, Brian, we’re not used to dreading the future, nor are we used to fearing our president. But the fact is that we are living through now a failure of presidential leadership so epic, so sweeping, that historians and political professionals will be studying it for decades,” Raines said Thursday night on MSNBC. “The brightest spot that I see is that the polls that have come forth in the last week show that the American people have figured it out,” he said. “They understand the incapacity of this man, and they understand, as [New York Times writer] Peter Baker pointed out, that he’s not going to change. Now, ‘The Washington Post’ did a really good survey of those polls, and they predict — they didn’t predict, but they showed that the electorate is on track to possibly giving Mr. Trump’s opponent an electoral count of 352, which would be a huge landslide and I think a justified repudiation of what we are being forced to live through. And, indeed, a reality that will force thousands of us not to see the end of this year.” “I have to believe there’s a cumulative impact that’s taking root now even among Trump constituencies in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where I spend part of the year and where Trump is really in a slide,” Raines said. “And the insult factor I’m talking about is epitomized, I think, by Jared Kushner’s remark yesterday that he and the president are living a great American success story. This is a young man so callow and so lacking in competence for his job that he would not have gotten even a junior position in the Reagan White House or the Clinton White House or the Obama White House. And yet we know from good reporting in both ‘The Post’ and ‘The Times’ that he is, in fact, the de facto chief of staff and probably the greatest influence on health policy that’s affecting our lives next to the president, probably outranking even Dr. Fauci.” “This is a metric of where we are with this presidency,” Raines said. “But I think last week and the rambling about disinfectants and this rash of polls that have sent President Trump into a raging tailspin have marked a turning point. I would be very surprised if this presidency can get back on track.”

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