Gillibrand lambastes Trump outside his NYC hotel, says she agrees with Richard Nixon's view the public should know if 'their president is a crook'

Kadia Tubman
Reporter

Standing outside Trump International Hotel in New York City, presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held a campaign kickoff rally where she demanded that the Robert Mueller report be released to the public.

“The stakes of this just got higher on Friday,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y., about the day special counsel Mueller delivered the report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr.

“The Robert Mueller report must be made public, all of it,” she said. “Nobody in this country, not even the president, is above the law or immune from accountability.”

“It is not often that I agree with Richard Nixon. But he was right to say that the American people have a right to know whether the president is a crook,” Gillibrand said to audience cheers outside Trump Tower, which she called a "shrine to greed, division and vanity.”

Donald Trump and Richard Nixon (Photos: Evan Vucci/AP, Charles Tasnadi/AP)

In November 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, Nixon infamously declared during a televised press conference that he was “not a crook.”

“People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook,” said Nixon. “Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”

Nixon resigned less than a year after making this appearance at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Trump, who has said there was no collusion with Russia at least 231 times, has been unusually silent since the report’s handoff from Mueller to Barr. Barr is expected to release his “principal conclusions” of the report to Congress and the public Sunday afternoon.

In the rest of her remarks, Gillibrand attacked the president for "tearing apart the moral fabric of our country.”

“He demonizes the vulnerable and punches down,” she said. “He puts his name in bold on every building. He does this because he wants you to believe he is strong. He is not.”

"Our president is a coward," she continued. “We deserve a president who is brave, a president who will walk the fire to do what is right. We deserve a president who inspires us to stand for something greater than ourselves.”

Gillibrand is one of the few candidates taking direct shots at Trump. Former Rep. John Delaney D-Md., referred to Trump as a bully he wouldn’t hesitate to challenge in 2020.

“Listen, bullies are weak,” said Delaney in a Yahoo News interview last week. “They’re totally weak. They have insecurities. Whenever there’s a fight, they’re the first to the doors, and I think Trump is that way. … He’s not really a tough guy.”

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