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Trump says Bill Clinton was more divisive president

Donald Trump said hours before Tuesday’s State of the Union Address that he hopes to rein in some of the divisiveness that came to America along with his presidency – but he insisted that Bill Clinton’s tenure made things far worse than his own.

The president told a group of television anchors at the White House that he asked a longtime Democratic senator if he had ever seen America more polarized.

‘He said, “Absolutely not. During the impeachment of Bill Clinton was much worse than this”,’ Trump recalled the lawmaker saying. 

‘So many of you are too young to remember that. I feel too young to remember it, but I guess I’m not.

Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted him along party lines, with no Democrats casting ‘guilty’ votes.

Hours before a State of the Union address that he hopes will be a unifying gesture, President Donald Trump told TV anchors at the White House that Bill Clinton’s impeachment made him an even more divisive president

Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted him along party lines, with no Democrats casting 'guilty' votes

Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted him along party lines, with no Democrats casting ‘guilty’ votes

At the time, Republicans castigated President Clinton for carrying on an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (pictured) and lying about it both publicly and in sworn testimony; Democrats saw sex-scandal attacks as dirty pool

At the time, Republicans castigated President Clinton for carrying on an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (pictured) and lying about it both publicly and in sworn testimony; Democrats saw sex-scandal attacks as dirty pool

At the time, Americans’ views on the impeachment proceedings were seen as political articles of faith.

Republicans castigated Clinton for carrying on an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and lying about it both publicly and in sworn testimony.

Democrats saw the episode as an attack on their party’s young, fresh face, waged on over personal weaknesses instead of policy.

Clinton’s other reported affairs produced the same chasm of public opinion, with one side arguing a morally compromised president would be a national danger and the other insisting sex scandals were mere shoestring annoyances.

Following weeks of televised testimony, polls showed that two-thirds of Americans opposed removing Clinton from office. 

But the remaining one-third had a new voice in the form of conservative media emboldened by The Drudge Report, the news aggregation website that broke the Lewinsky scandal and accused Newsweek and other outlets of burying it for Clinton’s political benefit.

Barack Obama set the modern record for the average approval gap between Republicans and Democrats during his presidency, with 83 per cent of Democrats approving of his job performance in an eight-year average and just 13 per cent of Republicans agreeing

Barack Obama set the modern record for the average approval gap between Republicans and Democrats during his presidency, with 83 per cent of Democrats approving of his job performance in an eight-year average and just 13 per cent of Republicans agreeing

Trump has so far blown past Obama's 70-point party approval gap with his own record of a 78-point chasm between Democrats and Republicans

Trump has so far blown past Obama’s 70-point party approval gap with his own record of a 78-point chasm between Democrats and Republicans

Trump said Tuesday that he aims to deliver a speech that will give both sides of the political aisle something to cheer.

‘I want to see our country united. I want to bring our country back from a tremendous divisiveness, which has taken – not just over one year, over many years – including the Bush years, not just Obama. You go back to the Bush years. You go back to the Clinton years,’ he said.’You take a look at that impeachment of Bill Clinton.’

While the president acknowledged ‘tremendous divisiveness’ in the United States, he said it stretched back ‘for many years.’

‘I would consider it a great achievement if we could make our country united. If I could unite the country. That’s not an easy thing to do because the views are so divergent,’ he said.

President Barack Obama, too, was a polarizing political figure during his eight years in office.

While Trump acknowledged 'tremendous divisiveness' in the United States on Tuesday, he said it stretched back 'for many years' – all the way back to Bill and Monica

While Trump acknowledged ‘tremendous divisiveness’ in the United States on Tuesday, he said it stretched back ‘for many years’ – all the way back to Bill and Monica

Gallup pollsters found at the end of his presidency that on average, he had enjoyed the support of 83 per cent of Democrats but just 13 per cent of Republicans.

That 70-point gap set a new record in the modern era, eclipsing George W. Bush’s 61 per cent on the heels of a wildly unpopular war in Iraq.

Liberal commentators saw attacks on Obama as the product of latent racism running through America’s veins, just beneath the surface of the nation’s open discourse.

Conservatives justified their apprehension by saying Obama was taking the U.S. into uncharted waters tinged with socialist leanings. 

So far, according to poll numbers from PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist this month, Trump has blown past Obama’s low water mark for a national political disconnect.

Pollsters found 86 per cent of Republicans support Trump’s job performance, but only 8 per cent of Democrats agree.

That’s an approval gap of 78 points.  

Last week a Morning Consult poll found that Trump Hotels is the most polarizing commercial brand in the United States, producing the same 78 point spread between Republicans and Democrats.

The next five most divisive brands were all media companies: CNN, Fox News, NBC News, The New York Times and MSNBC.

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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