U.S.

Madeleine Albright: Trump 'Most Undemocratic President in Modern American History'

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has described President Donald Trump as “the most undemocratic president in modern American history” in an interview broadcast Sunday 

In the interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Albright expressed concern at Trump’s attitude towards democratic institutions, but stopped short of branding the president a “fascist.” 

GettyImages-680974564 Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

“I don’t think Donald Trump is a fascist. I do think he’s the most undemocratic president in modern American history, and that troubles me. And by the way it’s not easy as a former diplomat to be in a foreign country and criticise one’s own president, but I am concerned," said Albright.

Albright fled European fascism in what was then Czechoslovakia as a child, and served as the first female secretary of state from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. 

I her new book Fascism: A Warning, she explores far-right authoritarianism in the 1930s, and finds parallels in the emergence of contemporary far-right populist movements.

“Fascism is hard to define by the way, but a fascist leader is someone who identifies himself with one group, tribal of some kind, in order to really isolate and insulate the people who are disagreed with,” she told Marr. 

“Ultimately a fascist leader is someone who uses violence to achieve what he wants, though I do not think that Trump is a fascist leader but I think his attitude towards freedom of speech, and the role of the media and his disregard for institutions, that worries me.” 

Albright, who campaigned for Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, now teaches at Georgetown University. 

In the interview, she also criticised Trump's use of language about immigrants, with the president claiming Democrats want to "infest" the country with immigrants. 

“I believe every country had the right to make its immigration laws but I find it totally offensive the language that president Trump uses,” she said.  

America's former top diplomat went on to describe Trump's recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as not so much a "win win as a Kim win," and claimed the only result of the meeting was to bring an end to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. Trump claimed after the summit that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat, but reports Friday citing U.S. intelligence indicate North Korea is still developing nuclear fuel. 

In January, the Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded the U.S. from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy.” 

“Popular trust in government, elected representatives and political parties has fallen to extremely low levels in the U.S.,” wrote the report’s authors, noting the trend began long before Trump’s election. 

The president’s attacks on the media, admiration for authoritarian strongmen, and calls to “jail” political opponents have disturbed critics, who have questioned the president’s commitment to democracy. 

Editor's Pick
Meghan McCain on Legacy Admissions

Meghan McCain Ridicules Trump for Attack on Her Father

“If I had told my dad, ‘Seven months after you’re dead, you’re going to be dominating the news and all over Twitter,’ he would think that it’s hilarious that our president was so jealous of him,” John McCain's daughter said.