What to Know
- Former Republican governor of New Jersey Christie Whitman says she stands by her tweet that compared the president to Adolf Hitler
- Her statement was in response to a violent 2-minute video shown at a conference held by conservative supporters of the president in Florida
- In an exclusive interview with NBC New York, the 71-year-old says she's worried for the country and that "we're going down a dark hole"
Christie Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, deleted a tweet in which she said Adolf Hitler "has nothing on" President Donald Trump, but in an exclusive interview with NBC New York, she says she stands by her statement.
Her tweet was a response to the New York Times' report about a graphic and violent parody video that depicts a likeness of the president shooting and stabbing political opponents and members of the news media, which was played during a conference held by conservative supporters of the president at his Miami golf resort last week.
"Hitler took a long time to get where he was and he had to do a lot of other things. Trump is going much faster. We are going down a dark hole and I really worry for the country," Whitman tells News 4 at her Somerset County home on Tuesday.
While Whitman admitted that the comparison was "inflammatory" and that she thought about it before sending out the tweet, she says the shock value might make people think more about why she said what she said.
"Hitler is a kind of person with what he wanted was unadulterated adulation. I think our president wants unadulterated adulation and he doesn’t stand for anyone who was going to question that," the 73-year-old said.
The White House on Sunday released a statement condemning the violent 2-minute video but it's not enough for Whitman. She sent out another tweet on Tuesday, saying the video was "the stuff of dictators."
"The US is a land of discourse with those who disagree, not violent destruction of opponents in a church. #Trump & his defenders should be ashamed. What is America becoming?," she wrote.
The video was first posted in July 2018 on the YouTube channel "TheGeekzTeam," where it has been viewed more than 250,000 times. It uses a violent clip from the 2015 spy thriller "Kingsman: The Secret Service." In the original scene, actor Colin Firth is depicted shooting a crowd of possessed churchgoers.
The Florida event's organizer, Alex Phillips, distanced himself from what he called the "unauthorized video" in a statement, saying that it was shown last week "in a side room."
The video controversy comes as the president has increased his criticism of the news media as Democrats continue their impeachment inquiry but with no House vote in sight.
"I’m really frightened for the country if we have another four years of Donald Trump," Whitman said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.