Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said the political situation facing President Donald Trump is similar to the one that plagued Abraham Lincoln during an interview on Hannity Monday night.
Gingrich and host Sean Hannity were discussing the recently released FISA warrants that were used by the Justice Department to monitor nefarious conduct by Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
"I guess the question is, in history, we've had some very challenging times, can you think of a bigger abuse of power in our history?" Hannity asked.
"Look, I think the person whose situation is the most like President Trump's was Abraham Lincoln," Gingrich replied. The veteran Republican then implied no president except Lincoln has faced political opposition in the same manner that has vexed Trump.
Lincoln is fighting to preserve the Constitution, he's fighting to preserve the Union, and he's having to do a lot of different things that are very bold and in some cases very radical, and he is trying to do it in a way that he's deeply, bitterly opposed, not just by the slave-owning South, but also by a substantial number of Democrats in the North, and I think that Trump's in a very similar place.
Gingrich appears to be suggesting that Democratic opposition to Trump parallels the slave-owners' disdain for Lincoln and that without Trump, the union is in danger of falling apart.
Twitter didn't take kindly to the comparison. How can Gingrich compare Trump, who lies six to ten times per day on average, to "honest Abe?"
Lincoln "didn't divide the American public" with "violent, false rhetoric."
Nor are the speaking skills of Trump and Lincoln anywhere close to equitable.
Amazingly, this wasn't the first time the former Speaker has tried to put Trump and Lincoln on the same level.
In a radio interview last year with radio host Larry O'Connor, Gingrich said he couldn't help but notice parallels between Lincoln's first inauguration in 1861 and Trump's inauguration last year.
Gingrich said like Lincoln, Trump's speech was a "restatement of the campaign" and that "the core principles were exactly what he campaigned on." Gingrich also compared the Women's March, which took place in Washington D.C. the day after Trump was sworn in, and opposition to Lincoln.
"And I got to thinking about that whole environment and it reminded me of Lincoln in 1861," Gingrich recalled. "The southern slave owners hated Lincoln with the same passion that the left hates Trump." Gingrich, having just equated modern liberals to defenders of slavery, said the similarities between the two men's first days in office was "eerie."