Dan Rather on Trump: "It's never been this bad"

The journalism legend is fed up with Donald Trump and says the office of the presidency has zero nobility left

Published November 8, 2017 12:00PM (EST)

Dan Rather (Ben Baker/Redux Picture)
Dan Rather (Ben Baker/Redux Picture)

"We're better than this," journalist Dan Rather told Salon's Andrew O'Hehir on "Salon Talks," referring to President Donald Trump and the deep divisions in American politics today.

The legendary investigative journalist and anchor has interviewed every president since Eisenhower and covered nearly every major political event in recent U.S. history: Watergate, President John F. Kennedy's assassination, 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the jailing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The list goes on.

Rather occupied the anchor chair at "CBS Evening News" for 24 years. Now 86, he is the author of the new book "What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism," which is out this week.

What's missing from the presidency today is "nobility," Rather said. "Our great presidents, the best presidents," he added, "Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Rosevelt, right on through, had a certain noble approach to the office, which we have zero of that now."

Rather, who says calls himself an "optimist by nature," remains hopeful that America will get through these dark times. "While we're in a extremely difficult period now, a perilous time for the country," he said, "we need to remind ourselves, we've come through a lot worse before."

But, Rather cautioned, change won't happen magically. Watch the video above for Rather's tips on moving forward and finding unity today.

And, watch the  full "Salon Talks" conversation on Facebook.

Tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage," daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon and on Facebook.

By Rachel Leah

MORE FROM Rachel Leah