‘I want to see front and center what he [Trump] is saying, no matter how ridiculous some of the press conference commentary ebbs into…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) “The View” co-host Meghan McCain claimed on Monday that a “totalitarian” President Donald Trump might use the coronavirus pandemic to push “draconian” measures “akin to the Patriot Act” passed shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But McCain also called into question equally dictatorial left-wing demands that sought to silence the president entirely while accusing him of spreading disinformation and playing politics in his now-daily press briefings.
“There is an argument being made by some people in media that the press conferences shouldn’t be being covered,” McCain said on The View.
“My argument for keeping the press conferences is I think we’re at a place where President Trump, he’s always been a sort of totalitarian president, in a way that we’ve never historically seen before.”
The daily briefings conducted by Trump alongside the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force maintain accountability, which is important now more than ever since Trump could exploit this crisis for his own gain, McCain continued.
“I want to see front and center what he [Trump] is saying, no matter how ridiculous some of the press conference commentary ebbs into,” she said.
Her “fear” with the press briefings, she continued, is that Trump “is going to play on the American public’s fears in a draconian way and possibly do something akin to the Patriot Act going forward where he uses this moment in time to play off our fears for his own benefit.”
The Patriot Act, passed during former President George W. Bush’s administration with broad support at the time, significantly expanded government surveillance powers.
Civil liberties advocates have since come to question the benefit of the anti-terrorism measures following revelations of substantial abuse by the FBI and other intelligence agencies.
A recent renewal of some of the post-9/11 provisions was able to garner only enough support in Congress for a temporary stopgap as the secretive FISA court undergoes what are expected to be significant reforms in the warrant process.
McCain also blasted Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, calling him “inept.”
“I, for one, became even more fearful of what was happening when I saw how inept Jared Kushner was,” she explained. “So, while he [Trump] has a team of doctors like Dr. [Anthony] Fauci that we are all in agreement is doing a great job, my fear is that this is a moment in time that can be manipulated by our powers and the government in place.”