CNN's Brinkley Gushes: 'Unimpeachable' Obama 'Like Eisenhower,' 'Highest' Ethics

On Thursday's CNN Tonight, during a discussion of President Barack Obama allegedly being "scandal-free" for eight years, CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley went furthest over the top as he gushed over Obama being "almost unimpeachable" like President Dwight Eisenhower. He also predicted that, in contrast with Donald Trump presiding over a "bog," Obama will go down in history as having the "highest" in ethics "up there with some of our really great American leaders."



Shortly after 10:30 p.m. ET, CNN Politics Executive Editor Mark Preston claimed President Obama was "scandal-free" as he recalled:

I think when Barack Obama came into the office, he came in with some very high expectations and surrounded himself with some very smart, intelligent people, and if you do that and lead by example, you know, in the end, you're going to be scandal-free or at least you will not be tarnished by many scandals. And, you know, that's a notch on his belt as he leaves tomorrow.

Host Don Lemon then read from liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's latest article praising the Obama family as setting an "impeccable example for all the world." He then turned to Brinkley and posed: "That is a high standard. Do you think that the Trump administration can hold that standard?"

Brinkley took aim at Trump as he began:

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No. It's very hard to set the Barack Obama standard. In my mind, he's like Dwight Eisenhower. He is almost unimpeachable. He has governed with such honesty and integrity, and he's not only leaving with that 60 percent we keep talking, but a growing reputation. And the legacy of having eight scandal-free years is going to look larger and larger in history because we're already looking at the bog of what's going to happen in the first months of Trump's presidency.

The liberal historian added:

I'm not saying Donald Trump may not be a very successful President, but when you rank Presidents on ethical standards, Barack Obama's the highest. He's up there with some of our really great American leaders.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, January 19, CNN Tonight:

10:32 p.m. ET
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think when Barack Obama came into the office, he came in with some very high expectations and surrounded himself with some very smart, intelligent people, and if you do that and lead by example, you know, in the end, you're going to be scandal-free or at least you will not be tarnished by many scandals. And, you know, that's a notch on his belt as he leaves tomorrow.

DON LEMON: I want to -- let's put Nick Kristof's quote up, and I won't read the whole thing, but I'll let the audience read it and I'll just read the first part. He said, "We want our children and the world to admire our President -- and that is where Obama is strongest and Trump is weakest." And then he goes on to say, at the end, that "we as a nation will be more appreciative of a First Family that set an impeccable example for all the world."

LEMON: That is a high standard. Do you think that the Trump administration can hold that standard?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No. It's very hard to set the Barack Obama standard. In my mind, he's like Dwight Eisenhower. He is almost unimpeachable. He has governed with such honesty and integrity, and he's not only leaving with that 60 percent we keep talking, but a growing reputation.

And the legacy of having eight scandal-free years is going to look larger and larger in history because we're already looking at the bog of what's going to happen in the first months of Trump's presidency.

I'm not saying Donald Trump may not be a very successful President, but when you rank Presidents on ethical standards, Barack Obama's the highest. He's up there with some of our really great American leaders.

LEMON: Yeah, and you look at the -- it's been carefully and I don't know if it's stagecraft or crafted, don't you think? The Barack Obama image and of course no scandals if you look at the picture that the First Lady tweeted today -- today them looking out on the South Lawn looking at the monument.

NB Daily Trump Inauguration Political Scandals CNN CNN Tonight New York Times Video Mark Preston Don Lemon Nicholas Kristof Douglas Brinkley Donald Trump Barack Obama


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