Rosie O’Donnell at White House Protest: U.S. 'Has Never Been in Worse Shape'

Rosie O’Donnell at White House Protest: U.S. 'Has Never Been in Worse Shape'
Rosie O'Donnell speaks at a rally calling for resistance to President Donald Trump on Feb. 28, 2017, in Lafayette Park in front of the White House. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON – Entertainer Rosie O’Donnell told PJM that the U.S. has “never been in worse shape than it is now,” despite the record low unemployment figures.

The White House and congressional Republicans have attributed the state of the economy to President Trump’s policies, pointing out that the African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates have hit record lows. The overall unemployment rate has dropped to almost a 50-year low.

Nightly protests have continued outside of the White House since Trump returned from his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin three weeks ago. Broadway performers at Monday night’s protest with O’Donnell sang songs including “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “Climb Every Mountain.” Trump was in Bedminster, N.J., on Monday evening.

During an interview at the protest, which was dubbed #KremlinAnnex on social media, O’Donnell rejected any connection between the unemployment rate and Trump’s job performance, adding that the economy is only “booming” for billionaires.

“There are many metrics you can use, and I think everyone tries to parse them up to their advantage. I know the country has never been in worse shape than it is now and largely responsible is Donald Trump, thank you,” O’Donnell said.

Comedian and TV host Bill Maher suggested in June a way to remove Trump from office: “By the way, I’m hoping for it because one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So, please, bring on the recession,” he said.

O’Donnell was asked if she shared Maher’s view.

“I don’t know about wanting a recession. I do know that his tax cuts have only helped the most rich people in the country and everyone is saying the economy is booming – it’s booming for billionaires, it’s not booming for people with all these tariffs on steel in the middle of the country, for soybean farmers, they might have had a big payday today but they’re not going to get it next year when all these horrible tariffs are on everything,” she said.

O’Donnell, who has called for Trump’s removal from office, was asked if it’s too early to call for impeachment, given that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is not yet complete.

“No, I think that the investigation will be complete soon. It would have probably been completed already had Trump sat down with him as he should have, had he any backbone or decency as a human being,” she replied. “But he doesn’t, so I think once Mueller turns in his report, everybody is going to know what Donald Trump did and then it’s going to be time to heal the country.”

When asked what crime Trump has committed that warrants impeachment, O’Donnell replied, “High crimes and misdemeanors, treason.”

A reporter mentioned that Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have stated “collusion is not a crime.”

“I think that’s kind of a very flimsy defense and also a lie. It’s called conspiracy, and there are statutes that he broke and we’re going to all see it as soon as the Mueller probe gets released,” O’Donnell said.

PJM asked O’Donnell why she wasn’t more publicly outspoken during the presidential campaign about Trump’s political positions.

“I was very outspoken, but I will tell you this: I was very shocked when he won,” she replied. “I think it was only through Russian help. I don’t think he ever would have won in this country without that and I think now the illusion of his fabricated history created by Mark Burnett on that show [The Apprentice], which seemed to have seeped in middle America as the reality of Trump when it’s not at all.”