Donald Trump Didn’t Think Alleged Ukraine Pressure Campaign Was Unethical, Says ‘NYT’ Columnist

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During an appearance on Friday’s PBS NewsHour, New York Times columnist David Brooks spoke about the impeachment probe into Donald Trump. In the inquiry, Trump is accused of working with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on the president’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, using foreign aid as leverage.

According to Brooks, Trump and Giuliani likely didn’t believe what they were doing was unethical.

“I think Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, I don’t think it ever occurred to them that this was unethical,” Brooks said. “What strikes me — and this came out in Sondland’s testimony — that everyone was in the loop, that this was not something they tried to hide.”

Brooks believes that the pair thought their actions were in line with “the way politics” and “foreign policy” is accomplished, highlighting that they don’t see a difference between public service and personal gain.

“And so I think that’s the big takeaway for me out of these weeks, is that, when this started, you could have thought, oh, it was Trump just rambling on a phone call, because we had that transcript, if you remember,” he continued.

But now, Brooks notes, testimony reveals that “everybody knew.” And while some people reacted with “shock and horror,” others didn’t view it as any different from the other “crazy stuff” they have become accustomed to dealing with while working for Trump.

Later in the interview, Brooks said he believes the case for impeachment is now legally stronger, but not politically stronger. He points to FiveThirtyEight’s agglomeration of impeachment polls, which shows the nation fairly split — 46.3 percent supportive to 45.6 percentage against, as of Saturday.

“The nation is evenly divided,” he said, noting that in swing states such as Wisconsin, more voters are reportedly against impeachment than those in support.

As The Inquisitr reported, the most recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll reflects the divide that Brooks speaks of, showing that 48 percent of Americans are in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office, while 45 percent are against such a removal. The poll also revealed a significant partisan divide, with 83 percent of Republican voters surveyed opposed to impeachment, and the same percentage of Democrats in favor.

In addition, 58 percent of the voters surveyed believe Trump asked a foreign leader — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky — to investigate a political opponent, 51 percent believe he withheld military aid to get the investigations he desired, and 51 percent believe Trump abused his presidential powers.

Brooks believes the divide on impeachment reflects the fact that while everyone knows is guilty, some don’t understand how the issue impacts their lives.