Interviews

Is political anger harming the United States?

Charles Krauthammer Joins 'The O'Reilly Factor' to discuss continuing conflict over the Trump presidency

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 6, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I am Bill O'Reilly. In the "Impact Segment" tonight, as we reported in the "Talking Points" memo, the USA getting pounded all over the world by political warfare between decenters on Donald Trump. We look bad.

Right now, there is absolutely no cooperation between the two parties. And as we just showed you, violence even breaking out across the country.

Joining us from Washington to put things into somewhat prospective, Charles Krauthammer. Are you worried about the toll this is taking on America?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What I do worry about, the trust in our institutions. You know, we don't really realize in normal times how much of a democracy hinges on trust and custom and habit. I mean, after all, you know, the peaceful transfer of power, that depends on the fact that the two sides, two parties, the two teams, accept the rules. That you give it over if you lose an election. Generally speaking, that is held up, for 240 years. And we do it.

Now, so much of what we do, the balance of power between the branches, respect for the judiciary, I mean, one of our presidents said, I think it was Andrew Jackson about the chief justice, he is given his ruling now, let him enforce it. Well, you have to accept the fact, even Nixon, he accepted the fact that he had to turn over the tapes. And that ended his presidency. The fact is that once you start to chip away at the trust in the belief in the institutions, already at a historic low, then, you've got very little to hang onto.

O'REILLY: But that is exactly what is happening. I think Brit Hume is the one who said it. He said that when Donald Trump won, and then, it said in that the press and many in the Democratic Party refused to accept it, and basically said, this is a danger to the contrary, this being Donald Trump. And we are going to destroy him no matter what it takes. So, there wasn't that acceptance of what you just said, a transfer of power. There wasn't rooting for the President to succeed. There was, we are going to get him and it is going to be nonstop. And that is exactly what we are seeing.

KRAUTHAMMER: I think that's true. But I think it's wrong to begin history with the resistance to the Trump presidency. I mean, look at what happened when Barack Obama was elected and who led the movement to discredit his presidency, to say he was illegitimate, to say he should never be in the White House, because he was not born in Hawaii, but in Kenya, but Donald Trump.

O'REILLY: But you can't compare the two because there was no backing for that. That was a French play. Okay. Now, you can chastise Mr. Trump for buying into it, certainly valid. But there wasn't a mass press, tried to get Obama, there wasn't leaks, there weren't leaks. From very high placed people, trying to destroy President Obama. That is happening now.

KRAUTHAMMER: When Trump ran for the presidency, he said many things and he said them very straightforwardly. He said this election is rigged. He said the polls are rigged. He says the media are rigged. He said, for example, George Bush, president of his own party, had deceived us, lied to us into the Iraq war. It wasn't a mistake, it wasn't bad intelligence. He did it deliberately. Now, if that is not shaking the foundations of the trust --

O'REILLY: But you are saying that he is getting what he deserves now? Is that what you are saying?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, I am simply saying history does not start January the 20th of this year.

O'REILLY: But you have to start with the power structure. A campaign is different than a presidency. So, when this president was sworn in, certainly, you know, that the opposition, all right? Said we are going to get him. We are going to get him. All right? Anyway we can get him, we are going to get him. That is a subversion that goes far beyond any campaign rhetoric, does it not?

KRAUTHAMMER: No. Because what I'm trying to explain to you is that these things have a history and the history begins with the erosion of belief in the institutions. When you say that a Republican president lied us into office, you are conditioning the country to believe the absolute worst. That is, by the way, treason. When you say that this system is rigged, and I'm not even sure I recognize the results of the election, for God sakes, Trump wins the election, and then, he said the results were rigged.

O'REILLY: Well, you know, he was talking about Bernie Sanders and that was rigged. Final question. Do you see any kind of detente here, or is it going to be four years of the press and the Democratic Party doing whatever they can to destroy the man? Is that what we are facing?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think that is what we are facing. All I am saying is, and I don't approve of any of this, but all I am saying is, it is not a one- sided affair. This is a two-sided affair with the two sides undermining each other to the point where they really are in a zero-sum game to destroy one side or the other.

O'REILLY: Okay. Charles Krauthammer.

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