Ex-GOP Strategist Accuses Trump of Starting 'Cold Civil War'

On Thursday night, a former Republican strategist accused President Donald Trump of starting a "cold civil war," and claimed he was "complicit" in the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, disappeared from inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, and Turkey claims to have a recording of his brutal murder at the hands of Saudis.

Steve Schmidt, a strategist who worked for George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and John McCain, has gone rabid anti-Trump, and went on MSNBC to give advice to the Democrats on their messaging for 2018.

"There’s one question on the ballot. Does the country want to put a check on Donald Trump? Do we want to put a check on Trumpism? Do we want to repudiate it or do we want to validate it?" Schmidt asked. "Because should the Republicans maintain majority control in the House, should they maintain majority control in the Senate, this president will not only be unchecked, he will be emboldened."

Schmidt defined "Trumpism" in the worst possible terms. "At the core what he’s doing is stoking a cold civil war in this country between the American people," the Never Trump strategist argued. "He is the first president in the history of the country who makes no pretense about being the leader of the American people."

(It remains unknown why Schmidt seems to have forgotten Barack Obama, who constantly demonized conservatives and whose IRS actively targeted conservatives...)

Schmidt claimed that Trump "is the leader of a faction and he is dividing us and those divisions will take years and years and years to heal." (Again, remember Obama?) The strategist added, "We are one people, we are one people, we are the American people, and when you see a President of the United States doing what he’s doing to this country."

Schmidt also accused Trump of "unraveling ... the U.S.-led liberal global order that emerged from the horror and the catastrophe and out of the death camps and the ruin of a war that killed 80 million people."

Has Trump actually achieved this? His tariffs may have done some damage, but many of them succeeded in creating new trade agreements. The president has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. While he may have been too gullible with them, he has also achieved some results.

Accusations like this are entirely premature, and they overlook the booming economy and the massive tax cuts. Trump has also kept his promises in naming originalist judges, especially to the Supreme Court, but also on so many other levels. Supporting the Constitution will help bolster the liberal order, not undermine it.

Yet Schmidt continued his diatribe, concluding it with the least defensible claim yet. "His fidelity to democracy is nil, his fidelity to small-l liberalism is not there, and you see it with his complicity — and it is complicity — in the murder of a Washington Post columnist by a Middle Eastern thug," the strategist concluded.

It remains unknown just what happened to Khashoggi, and Trump admitted that the journalist is likely dead. Trump has also been coordinating with Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally. None of this means, however, that Trump is "colluding" with Saudi Arabia to cover up Khashoggi's alleged murder, as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said (while admitting he hadn't even been briefed on the subject).

There is nothing to support the idea that Trump is covering up the murder, and certainly nothing to suggest he was complicit in it, even if he were currently covering it up. Steve Schmidt has let his Trump Derangement Syndrome take him over the deep end.

Watch the video below.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.