Presidential historian Doug Wead highlights President Trump’s achievements and greatest moments on Presidents Day.
Dagen McDowell: It’s Presidents Day, we’re honoring our past leaders but my next guest thinks that the story of our current president is what we should focus on this President’s Day. Joining us now, presidential historian author of Inside Trump’s White House, Doug Wead. Doug, always great to see you. What should we be focused on?
Doug Wead: Well, here’s a president who keeps his promises, surprise, surprise. I mean, he said he’d move the American Embassy to Jerusalem and he did it. And six presidents, Dagan, promised that. George W Bush was so adamant. He was so upset at Bill Clinton he said, I’m going to do it on day one, day one of my presidency, but in eight years he didn’t do it. So when I got the interview of Donald Trump I said, why, what what did you find out when you became president that made, gave you pause. Why did you do it they didn’t do it? He said, well we were told there be war. The Pentagon came in, sat me down, said if you move that embassy a hundred thousand people will die in the Middle East. Erdewan told him. Emmanuel Macron met with him and privately said if you move that Embassy there will be a war in the Middle East, a hundred thousand people will die. He said, I made a promise to the American people sometimes they know better than the experts. He moved the embassy, there was no war. That’s really different.
Dagen McDowell: Will he’s done a lot of other things, NAFTA renegotiated, now we have the USMCA, took on China in myriad ways, not just the trade practices and the theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies, but also they’re kind of threat on a, on the global stage, tax cuts, deregulation, the list goes on. But this sets the stage for voters in the sense that Bernie Sanders is promising all these socialist policies. Do you have to take these individuals at their word that if they get in, that is there a agenda and, they’re going to try to check those boxes just the way President Trump has.
Doug Wead: Yeah, we’ve been warned. Paul Bedard has cataloged 500 promises made and promises kept and you mentioned NAFTA, I asked the president about that he said NAFTA was 17,000 pages long. Conservatives criticize him saying he’s against free trade. He said 17,000 pages, the Bible is a thousand pages, which means nobody on earth ever read NAFTA. It was filled with corruption and double deals. It doesn’t take 17,000 pages to write free trade, so he blew it up and he got a better one, that Mexico, Canada and America like better. Even the Democrats like it better. So there you go.
Hey Doug, Rob Smith here. I have a question
Doug Wead: Hey, Rob.
Rob Smith: There’s no doubt that President Trump is the most spoken about president, probably in history. People talk about him a lot. As a historian, what do you think people on the left and on the right miss when they are talking about President Trump?
Doug Wead: Well, what’s interesting to me, it’s a good question. I’ve met six presidents and interviewed them, and five of them I’ve known pretty well, wrote a book with on and wrote books about three others of them, and what I’ve noticed about them is there all adversarial in some form and that includes Trump. Think of this, 25 of them were attorneys, 29 served in the military, 12 we’re actually generals. So the one thing they all have in common, Trump is the first civilian president who was a businessman, but he was very aggressive and adversarial ias a businessman. So they’re all fighters. I like to get alone and read a book or write a book. I don’t like to fight people, but these presidents are very contentious that’s part of the process.
Dagen McDowell: Doug, really quickly, President Trump is getting some criticism for using taxpayer money during his appearance at the Daytona 500 yesterday. The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted this, “Using the official apparatus of government for what appears to be a political event,” that was what she was referring to, and Kelly O’Donnell was tweeting “this was an official White House Event therefore paid for by taxpayers as real Donald Trump and the first lady attended the Daytona 500 today and “The Beast” limo ran a lap, a pace car lap, around the track. Your reaction to this.
This was an official White House event therefore paid by taxpayers as @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS attended Daytona 500 today and “The Beast” limo ran a pace car lap around the track. pic.twitter.com/xb0QdBYEEI— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) February 16, 2020
Doug Wead: Yeah, its, every president gets that kind of criticism, they all get ridiculed. Abraham Lincoln was called an idiot by his commander-in-chief, and “our dear imbecile” by the Secretary of the Treasury. Ah, that’s what happens to president. We like to poke at them and we do, but he’s allowed to go to a race, he can do that.
Dagen McDowell: Michele Obama and Joe Biden went to the championship race in 2011 and I was there and I remember it and secret service was a long. They didn’t fly Air Force One of course, but nevertheless, nothing like that fly over, Doug Wead. Thank you so much sir, so good to see you.