Former Vice President Al Gore can't remember a time when our democracy was more directly threatened than today under President Trump. He shared his concerns with CNN's Van Jones over the weekend.
With a serious tone and a furrowed brow, Gore recalled the era when President Richard Nixon was "authorizing burglaries, break ins and fire bombings," and still America's resilience proved victorious. With that hopeful history, he thinks we can do it again in the Trump era, when the Constitution is "under assault."
"I would bet on American democracy surviving this bleak period, for sure, but the challenge is stiffer than any we've faced in my lifetime," Gore said.
Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary from 2001 to 2003, told Gore to reevaluate the phrase "bleak period," it's time to move on.
Gore perhaps thought that one way to get the country back on track (if Trump himself can't be removed) is for the president to fire EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has been fielding several ethics scandals. Reports suggest he has taken advantage of taxpayers with his travel expenses, and that he enjoyed a cushy deal on a Capitol Hill condo last year.
"I will tell you that I would be very surprised if 90 percent of the American people looking at that situation did not think that there was the appearance of outright corruption there," Gore said.
Gore, a prominent environmentalist, is perhaps also dismayed by Pruitt's role in getting the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, considering he's committed to fight for the accord's principles.
Still, Fleischer would argue, we've been in worse predicaments.