Donald Trump’s claim that The New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC News are “the enemy of the American people” has a familiar ring to John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon.

“It’s pretty outrageous talk for a president, but this is a pretty outrageous president,” Dean told Deadline. “He kind of makes Nixon look like a choir boy.”

“What Nixon use to do behind closed doors, Trump does openly,” said Dean, who revealed the existence of Nixon’s “Enemies List” during his testimony before the Senate Watergate hearings.

JOHN DEAN
Associated Press

“They reflect the same attitude,” Dean said, “only Trump has taken it to a much higher lever, a more intentionally intimidating level, and if he’s as hell bent as he seems to be, who knows how much further he’ll take it.”

On Friday, Trump tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!”

“The press is the last check and balance,” Dean said, noting that demonizing journalists as “the enemy of the American people” can have consequences. “He has a lot of supporters who don’t think before they act, and they have a lot of guns.”