Historians on Trump: We've never seen anything like thisRoundup
tags: historians, politics, Trump
Elizabeth A. Cobbs is the Melbern Glasscock Chair in American history at Texas A&M University and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Kyle Longley is the Snell Family Dean's distinguished professor of history and political science at Arizona State University. Kenneth Osgood is a professor of History at the Colorado School of Mines. Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
We are historians who have researched every president since George Washington, and we've never seen anything like this.
When Donald Trump got on the phone with the president of Ukraine, he had a "favor" to ask. It's not the first time he's reached out to a world leader for personal gain and he has made it clear he sees nothing at all wrong with it.
In fact, several transcripts of similar conversations have reached the public domain, including others from 2017 and some to which the White House sought to limit access. They reveal a striking pattern of a president who consistently uses the Oval Office to advance his explicit self-interest seemingly without regard to national interest.
It is rare to get such a real-time look at presidential conversations with foreign leaders. As historians of US foreign relations, collectively we have read many thousands of similar documents from past presidents. We have also listened to audio tapes of conversations between presidents and their international counterparts. In our numerous books on presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama, we have examined how American leaders conduct US foreign policy — the good, bad, and ugly. Nothing really surprises us anymore.
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