Former Richard Nixon aide more worried about America under Donald Trump than during Watergate scandal

David Gergen also expresses concern over President's inability to 'see reality' 

Will Worley
Monday 20 February 2017 18:14 GMT
Former Nixon adviser: I'm much more worried about the country now than I was during Watergate

A former advisor to President Nixon has said he is more worried about America under Donald Trump than he was during the Watergate scandal.

David Gergen served as an advisor to four different administrations – mainly Republican – and saw the downfall of Mr Nixon from the inside.

The Watergate episode is remembered as the most tumultuous time in modern American politics and generally serves as the point of comparison for all other political wrongdoing in the US.

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein: Trump’s attacks on the press are more dangerous than Nixon’s

Mr Trump himself has drawn comparison to Mr Nixon, who resigned from office before he could be impeached over the scandal – which linked his administration to the burglary of the Democratic Party headquarters.

Mr Gergen, who now works as a political pundit, has been deeply critical of Mr Trump, particularly criticising his administration’s chaotic conduct in its first few weeks.

Speaking to CNN, he said: “I just can’t describe the sense of both helplessness and of people just being awestruck of what we have here – we’ve never seen anything like this in the White House in the historical memories of anyone alive today.

“I’ve had the privilege of serving in four White Houses, this is completely different, he’s completely off … it’s so wholly different.

“It’s hard to describe but the bottom line is, I was in the White House during Watergate, I was a young aide, ran the speech writing shop. And I was really worried about the country then. I am much more worried about the country today than I was then.”

Mr Gergen also expressed his concern for Mr Trump’s disregard for facts, alluding to Mr Trump’s claim that he won the largest proportion of electoral college votes since Mr Regan.

“I’ve worked with President’s before who have had mistaken notions,” he said, citing Ronald Reagan.

“But the staff could go in and talk to them, and help him see why he misunderstood something, and then he would change. He had no reluctance to change, once he understood the facts.”

Mr Gergen asked where the “adults” were around the President who could “help him see reality”.

He also suggested the White House was being poorly managed.

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