"Gangster in the White House": Noam Chomsky says Trump is undeniably "the worst criminal in history"

The famed author explains why Donald Trump is, hands down, the worst he has ever seen

Published June 23, 2020 3:04PM (EDT)

Donald Trump | Protestors are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House on June 1, 2020 as demonstrations against George Floyd's death continue. (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump | Protestors are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House on June 1, 2020 as demonstrations against George Floyd's death continue. (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Author Noam Chomsky, now 91, is old enough to remember a long list of U.S. presidents, from Harry Truman in the 1940s to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to Barack Obama in the late 2000s and early 2010s. And during an interview on "The Michael Brooks Show," Chomsky laid out some reasons why Donald Trump is, hands down, the worst he has seen so far.

"Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably," Chomsky told Brooks. "There has never been a figure in political history who was so passionately dedicated to destroying the projects for organized human life on Earth in the near future. That is not an exaggeration."

Trump, Chomsky stressed, has been disastrous in numerous respects — from his response to the coronavirus pandemic to his climate change denial and abysmal environmental policies.

"People are focused now on the protests; the pandemic is serious enough that we will emerge from it at terrible cost," Chomsky told Brooks. "The cost is greatly amplified by the gangster in the White House, who has killed tens of thousands of Americans, making this the worst place in the world (for the coronavirus). We will emerge (from the pandemic, but) we're not going to emerge from another crime that Trump has committed, the heating of the globe. The worst of it is coming — we're not going to emerge from that."

Trump, Chomsky noted, has gone out of his way to undermine the United States' system of checks and balances by firing government watchdogs.

"He just fired all of the inspectors general who were put into place to monitor corruption and malfeasance in executive offices," Chomsky explained. "They were beginning to inquire into this fetid swamp that he's created in Washington, so he fired them all. And like any tin-pot dictator, he went out of his way to humiliate the senior Republican senator, Charles Grassley, who had spent his career setting this system in implementation. Not a peep from the Republican Party. They've disappeared as a party. It's worse than the old Communist Party. The leader gives an order; we (fall) on our knees."

During the interview, Chomsky also discussed everything from the "Justice for George Floyd" protests to Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Chomsky asserted that the intensity of the Floyd protests surpasses anything he experienced during the 1960s.

"The first thing that comes to mind is the absolutely unprecedented scope and scale of participation, engagement and public support," Chomsky told Brooks. "If you look at polls, it's astonishing. The public support both for Black Lives Matter and the protests is well beyond what it was, say, for Martin Luther King at the peak of his popularity, at the time of the I Have a Dream speech. It's also far beyond the level of public reaction to earlier police killings."

The protests that followed Floyd's death, Chomsky stressed, have set off a badly needed conversation about racism in general.

"It's not just the police killing — it's background issues," Chomsky told Brooks. "It's beginning to move into concern, inquiries and protests about the facts that lead to events like this occurring. This rise in consciousness is aided by the rise in consciousness of 400 years of vicious repression."

Chomsky cited Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, as one of the many politicians who has expressed her solidarity with the Floyd protestors — asserting that this level of "popular support" is "driving (President Donald) Trump and Fox News insane."

Chomsky considers Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign a raging success even though Sanders ultimately dropped out of the race and endorsed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Chomsky said of Sanders' campaign, "I get letters all the time or see things posted saying, 'We tried, we lost, it's over; so, I'm getting out.' That's not what happened. What happened was a tremendous success, an unparalleled success. Nothing like this has happened in U.S. political history — actually, almost ever, since the real populist movement, the radical farmers' movement, was crushed by force. The spectrum of discussion has been substantially shifted. Things that were not on the agenda not long ago are front and center: universal health care, called for and amplified by the pandemic disaster; a Green New Deal, the result of serious activism by a small group of young people who occupied congressional offices — and the background was the Sanders success, and of young members of Congress who swept into power to support them."

Some on the left have been critical of Sanders and his Democratic ally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, for throwing their support to the centrist Biden, but not Chomsky.

The 91-year-old author told Brooks, "Sanders has made the tactical decision — which some criticize but I think is correct — to join the Joe Biden campaign and push it to the left. His associates are working on planning commissions, and in fact, if you look at the program that's emerged, it's further to the left than anything since FDR (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt). It offers lots of opportunities."

You can watch the interview below via YouTube:

By Alex Henderson

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