ATLANTA - President Trump’s troubles have a familiar sound to Andrew Young. The former Atlanta mayor and UN ambassador was a member of Congress during the Watergate hearings and the resignation of President Nixon. Young thinks Trump’s troubles are worse.
Andrew Young was first elected to Congress in 1972 – the same year Richard Nixon was re-elected and the same year of the Watergate break-in. Young arrived in Washington in 1973 to find it consumed in scandal.
"I always thought that (Watergate) was a whole lot of foolishness about nothing," Young said in an interview Wednesday. "We disrupted the nation over a piece of tape on a door" found by a security guard the night of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972.
Part of the reason Young ran for Congress in 1972 was to get Atlanta’s MARTA rail system funded.
"We were trying to get the MARTA bill passed. That was all I was interested in. We didn’t care about Watergate. We needed transportation," Young said. Watergate was a distraction that delayed funding.
He views President Trump’s troubles now through a similar lens. "It really is a serious time in the life of the world," Young said.
But as in Watergate, Young sees a parallel now in a potential cover-up. Asked if he thinks President Trump's troubles are as deep as Nixon's were, Young said: "I think President Trump’s problems are deeper."
Young, a Democrat, says Trump is making mistakes that a president with more government experience would not make. "It's not that you’re not smart. But in government, sensitivity is probably more important than brains," he said, referring to Trump's disclosure of classified information to a Russian official in the Oval Office.
Nixon "was a lifelong politician. And while he made those mistakes, the (fatal) mistake was covering it up and trying to hide it," Young said. "And I’m afraid President Trump doesn’t quite – I mean, if half the things are true... I’m afraid we’re already in too deep to turn around."