Carl Bernstein said Wednesday night that President Trump is “sucking the oxygen out of the American story” and is “writing a new American narrative.” Trump wants to turn our backs on the “last 250 years” of the American story according to Bernstein.

Bernstein also said the U.S. is in a “cold civil war” and that Trump has now brought it to the point of initiation.

“Donald Trump is sucking the oxygen out of the American story,” Bernstein told CNN’s Don Lemon. “He is taking the American story and saying, ‘We are going to turn our backs, not just on the last 75 years at home, abroad, really on the last 250 years.'”

“We are becoming a different kind of country because of his conduct of the presidency,” Bernstein said. “And in the process, the American narrative about what we stand for in terms of civil rights, civil liberties, who we are as a people, immigration, no king in this country.”

“What he is doing is writing a new American narrative, and what those elections are going to be about in the midterm is whether or not this country is going to go along with this new American narrative that is in total opposition to what our history has been in this country,” he said.

The veteran reporter said the president wants nothing to do with the rule of law and doesn’t believe in the precedent of Watergate, that the president of the United States is accountable.

Bernstein asked where does the Republican party stand on the rule of law and are they willing to continue down the path they have with Trump thus far. Republicans will say off the record they do not approve of Trump’s conduct but they like “the narrative” he is providing, according to Bernstein.

“What is the Republican party today?” he asked. “Where does the Republican party stand in terms of the rule of the law? Are the Republicans in Congress willing to go along as they have been so far, in a craven way?”

“If you talk to Republicans privately, a good number of them, they will tell you they do not like the conduct of this president of the United States. And at the same time they like the narrative that he is providing,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein also said Trump “may not let” the Mueller investigation to proceed.

“He also may not let this investigation proceed,” he said of the Russian probe. “He’s doing everything he can to undermine it… if you talk to the people in the White House, if you talk to the people who are closest to him, he wants to bury this investigation. He wants to make sure that Mr. Mueller does not have an opportunity to issue a really full report on his dealings.”

DON LEMON, CNN: I’m just wondering, Carl, one senior European diplomat told CNN, that in trying to make sense of Trump’s attack on Germany, they’re thinking that it has everything to do with the midterms. So even if he’s on foreign soil, is he looking at the midterms and his Republican base in terms of staying in power and getting re-elected?

CARL BERNSTEIN: Yes… Donald Trump is sucking the oxygen out of the American story. He is taking the American story and saying, ‘We are going to turn our backs, not just on the last 75 years at home, abroad, really on the last 250 years.’

We are becoming a different kind of country because of his conduct of the presidency. And in the process, the American narrative about what we stand for in terms of civil rights, civil liberties, who we are as a people, immigration, no king in this country. The idea of a democratic process in which no one is above the law, the rule of law, the primacy of the rule of law. He is sucking the oxygen out of our very history and it might well be what 40, 50% of the people in this country want, and we’ll find out in the midterms. But the Democrats have to fight back if they want to succeed and say, this is not the American story, Mr. President. The last 250 years, particularly the last 75 years, America leading the world and democracy, that’s the story.

LEMON: You may have answered that. But if you can just drill down, because you say it’s not just about tenor, it’s about substance.

BERNSTEIN: Absolutely. He’s very successful in terms of getting his way. He’s successful because of that base. But what he is doing to feed that base, and also to make sure that he is not caught in a vice by Mueller, the one thing he is terrified of.

What he is doing is writing a new American narrative, and what those elections are going to be about in the midterm is whether or not this country is going to go along with this new American narrative that is in total opposition to what our history has been in this country…

He also may not let this investigation proceed. He’s doing everything he can to undermine it. But he also — if you talk to the people in the White House, if you talk to the people who are closest to him, he wants to bury this investigation. He wants to make sure that Mr. Mueller does not have an opportunity to issue a really full report on his dealings, on Trump’s financial dealings, on his dealings with Russians, on matters of his family, on money laundering. He wants to make this go away. But if the price is impeachment, as Mark [McKinnon] is suggesting, then he’s betting that he can do better with impeachment proceedings than allowing these facts to go out there unfettered.

LEMON: I wondering though if the same poison is spreading the GOP writ large and the case in point is Congressman Jim Jordan who is accused of ignoring serious sexual allegations that we have been reporting here.

He denies knowing and he’s attacking the media. He tweeted, ‘Now CNN is contacting all 100+ …read more

Read more here: Bernstein: Trump “Writing A New American Narrative,” “Sucking The Oxygen Out Of The American Story”

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