Excited journalists are salivating at the idea that the events of this week could be the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. On Thursday, the New York Times predicted that Republicans were doomed. On Friday, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell intoned, “The President’s isolation grows.”
She added, “What does that mean for the consequences of the rest of his presidency? Can he stay in office for the next three and a half years?” Face the Nation anchor John Dickerson threw cold water on any impeachment notions. He even cited the concept of media bias:
Well, absent some other event, you've got Republicans who would have to remove him from office. And while the President is quite isolated, as you point out, and that's going to have a real impact on his ability to get any legislation passed, there are a lot of people who believe he's the victim of a pile on by the media. Started by the media and now joined by some people.
The Times on Thursday saw the GOP as in “crisis” and questioned the survival of the party.
[This CBS segment brought to you by Progressive, Dove soap and Nissan.]
A transcript is below:
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CBS This Morning
8:05:19 to 8:09:10
GAYLE KING: CBS News chief correspondent and Face the nation anchor, that’s John Dickerson, joins us at the table to continue the discussion. Always good to see you, John Dickerson.
JOHN DICKERSON: Good to see you.
KING: So, you have Senator Scott there. Then you have Senator Bob Corker say, in words that I think took many by surprise, that he doesn't think the President has demonstrated the stability or confidence to be successful in this job. This is a big deal why?
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, two things. It’s both who's saying the remarks and the nature of them. The first is that Senator Corker is not a hot head who is in the, kind of, traditional, kind of usual suspects category who is always criticizing the President and everything he does. Senator Scott is not in that category either. So, it’s rare for him to criticize the President. They have golfed together. But also, it's the nature of the critique, which is not just about the events of Charlottesville. But it’s a broader critique about the President’s stability and compatibility between his natural instincts and the job he holds. And whether it's possible for him to fit those natural impulses into that job. If this isn't solved, said Senator Corker, the country will be in great peril.
KING: Are you hearing that others share this view, that are wondering about his stability?
DICKERSON: They have shared the view in terms of the President’s incompatibility with the office. But it's always been off the record or they've said, “You know, we hope things change.” Or maybe General Kelly, as chief of staff will help and so on. But to come out and say it in public and not just toss off a remark, this was obviously carefully considered and kind of a methodical critique.
NORAH O’DONNELL: The President's isolation grows. He’s now insulted more Republicans, I think, this week than Democrats on his Twitter feed. Even within his own White House staff the isolation grows. What does that mean for the consequences of the rest of his presidency? Can he stay in office for the next three and a half years?
DICKERSON: Well, absent some other event, you've got Republicans who would have to remove him from office. And while the President is quite isolated as you point out and that's going to have a real impact on his ability to get any legislation passed, there are a lot of people who believe he's the victim of a pile on by the media. Started by the media and now joined by some people. And so, there are some who say, “There’s a dangerous world out there and while we find the behavior of the President objectionable in A, B and C, he's still the President. There’s still an Iran deal we don’t like. North Korea is out there. We must rally behind him. And then there's the second group that says, you know, “We must stay in the White House, we must support him because who knows what he'll do if there aren't people to check him.”
JEFF GLOR: And you look at the polling, a decisive majority of Republicans support what he said about Charlottesville. The overwhelming majority disagree about what he said about Charlottesville. So, again, the issue politicized.
DICKERSON: Right. It sorts to where people were originally. But that’s where somebody like Senator Corker matters because he's breaking out of the usual trajectory these things go in of where things go in. And that’s what could over time shift the view of the President. But at the moment people are pretty much sorting into where you sit is where you stand.