Growing up, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) recalls a time when his parents weren’t allowed to vote because of persistent racist policies in the South.
Despite his personal experience with that deeply undemocratic era, the House’s third-ranking member apparently still views President Donald Trump as the greater threat to American democracy. In an interview with NBC Tuesday, Rep. Clyburn described Trump and his family as “the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime” and revived earlier comparisons he’s made to Hitler.
“Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into” it,” he said. “Nobody would have believed it now. But swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.”
Clyburn offered the seemingly unprompted comparison in response to a question about Trump’s persistent attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, whom Clyburn labeled a “hero of our United States armed services.”
Pondering the possibility of impeachment ― a proceeding he’s previously shied away from ― the representative seemed to indicate he’s receptive to the idea, so long as it’s justified.
“We are asking for dire consequences. And I think it’s time for the Congress — House and Senate — to grow spines, and do what is necessary to protect this democracy,” he said. “This man and his family are the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime.”
“I think all of us know that impeachment is a political concept. And if the committees do their work properly they will be able to bring the public along with them,” Clyburn continued. “They will be able to set the tone for impeachment if that is deserved.”