Legendary newsman Dan Rather has reported on America’s biggest stories, including the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. Wednesday, during an appearance with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Rather certainly sensed that another seismic moment in this nation’s history is afoot.
Rather told Maddow that President Trump is no longer the hunter, but the hunted, and that Wednesday’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel in the Russia-Trump investigation served as a reassuring moment that the United States remains a nation of laws.
Most of the early stages of the Trump presidency, the question begged, ‘Are we still a country of laws?’ or have we become — are we becoming — a question [country] of men. And a man.
And today’s events, with the appointment of this special counsel — special prosecutor — gives a resounding answer: We’re still a nation of the laws, not of men. And now, facts are going to tell us what our destiny is and what our history will be — not Donald Trump’s version of a thing.
Rather also made it perfectly clear that it is “put up or shut up time” for him regarding the tapes he alluded to about his conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey. Rather said if Trump has the tapes, it’s time to give them up.
While Trump and his most ardent supporters, such as Newt Gingrich, continue to blame the American press for causing the chaos engulfing him and for publishing information leaked by Trump’s own administration, Rather praised the press.
“These [New York] Times stories are big stories. Thank God for the American press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, [and] others who have been doing a terrific job,” Rather said.
Rather said the work of reporters has taken the upper hand away from Trump, who had hoped to strangle the press and control the daily narrative.
“Up until today, President Trump has had the ability to control almost every news cycle,” Rather told Maddow. “From this day forward, he no longer has control […] And, I think, you know, that’s extremely important to keep in mind: from here on out […] he can’t control it.”
Rather continued: “But make no mistake, in many ways, the dam broke today. [Thursday] morning is different than any morning we’ve had so far in the Trump presidency.”