President Donald Trump slammed former Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured above right) Thursday for his “disgusting” comments about the need to “kick” Republicans, warning that Holder and other Democrats had “better be careful.”
“He better be careful what he’s wishing for,” Trump said during a Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” interview. “That’s a disgusting statement for him to make. For him to make a statement like that is a very dangerous statement.”
Holder, who is eyeing a potential presidential bid in 2020, riffed on former first lady Michelle Obama’s iconic slogan, “When they go low, we go high,” during a campaign event in Georgia over the weekend.
“When they go low, we kick ’em,” Holder said. “That’s what the new Democratic Party is about … We’re going to fight for the ideals of the Democratic Party.”
Holder later added, “When I say we, you know, ‘We kick ’em,’ I don’t mean we do anything inappropriate. We don’t do anything illegal … But we got to be tough, and we have to fight for the very things that [civil rights leaders] John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Whitney Young – you know, all those folks gave to us.”
The former first lady rebuked Holder’s call to “kick” Republicans, telling NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie Thursday that “When they go low, we go high” still is “absolutely” essential.
“And if you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want them to think about life and their opportunities, do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?”
“Fear is not, it’s not a proper motivator. Hope wins out,” Obama said. “And if you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want them to think about life and their opportunities, do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?”
Obama insisted, “We want them to grow up with promise and hope. And we can’t model something different if we want them to be better than that.”
Political violence has been a very real threat since a crazed supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination used a high-powered rifle and a pistol to fire repeatedly at GOP congressmen practicing baseball in Alexandra, Virginia, last year. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was critically wounded and is still not fully recovered.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) also fielded bipartisan backlash this summer after she repeatedly urged Democrats to harass Trump administration officials.
On Tuesday, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said during a CNN interview that “you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.”
Trump condemned such rhetoric, saying, “They have to be careful with the rhetoric because it is very dangerous what Holder says. Holder was held in contempt by Congress. Holder went after Christians. He went after our great evangelicals. He went after the Tea Party people. You know that. IRS just settled that case. Holder, he has got some problems.”
“They have to be careful with the rhetoric because it is very dangerous what Holder says.”
Should Holder challenge Trump in 2020, the president predicted, “I don’t see him running … If he did run I think he would get gobbled up before he ever gets to the election. I think the primaries would gobble him up.”
Trump also addressed the news that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will not testify before congressional committees about his “wire” comments after he was supposed to appear Thursday.
The president said he was “a little surprised” that Rosenstein is balking.
“I was surprised by that. Actually, I was surprised of that. I would think he would,” Trump said. “He mentioned certain things to me that, you know, are very positive about that event. And I would imagine that you’d want to put that down. And, frankly, whether you were under oath or not shouldn’t matter.”
“But [Rosenstein] mentioned things to me that I would think would be fine for him to testify,” Trump added. “I’m a little surprised that Rod wouldn’t do it. I have a good relationship with Rod, because we work on a lot of other things.”
Rosenstein’s own future with the DOJ became uncertain in late September when The New York Times stunned much of Washington, D.C., with a report that Rosenstein “suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration.”
The Times also reported that Rosenstein allegedly discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.
Rosenstein’s suggestions reportedly occurred shortly after Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
Although The Times’ sources suggested that Rosenstein’s wiretapping comment was made seriously, a source for The Washington Post insisted it was a quip made in jest. Even if Rosenstein ever made such suggestions, reporters noted that they never came to fruition.
Trump and Rosenstein met Monday in the wake of the bombshell reports. The president later insisted that he has “no” plans to fire Rosenstein.
“No, I don’t. No,” Trump told reporters when asked if he planned on firing the deputy attorney general. “The press wants to know, ‘What did you talk about?’ ‘We had a very good talk,’ I will say. That became a very big story, actually. We had a good talk.”