KEY POINTS

  • Patti Davis argues that Trump has created a culture of fear in Washington
  • She is concerned that the damage to the presidency might not be undone
  • Ronald Reagan Jr. has also spoken out against Trump

President Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, compared President Donald Trump's administration to a dictatorship where his team and Republicans in Congress work in “fear.”

Writing for The Daily Beast, Davis argued that “almost on a daily basis now, we hear about how frightened people are of Donald Trump – Republican Senators, people working in the White House in various capacities, apparently many in the Department of Justice. They fear his wrath and his insatiable appetite for revenge.”

Although she doesn’t refer to it specifically, Davis seemed to be describing Trump’s campaign of retaliation in the wake of his acquittal in the Senate’s impeachment trial. Most recently, the president garnered severe criticism after firing a handful of White House staffers, including the former ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, and the National Security Council’s European Affairs director, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

Both men gave testimony before the House Judicial Committee during its impeachment inquiry; their statements would ultimately go on to form an important cornerstone in the House’s articles of impeachment.

Describing the culture of fear that Trump has brought to the White House, Davis evoked the fear Nazi prison guards were able to instill in their Jewish prisoners. “I asked my father once why the people didn’t turn and trample the soldiers – they outnumbered them by a lot. He told me they were too afraid. When people are frightened, he said, anything can be done to them," she wrote.

Davis expressed her deep concern over Trump’s “wanton disregard for the tenets of our Constitution” and how his general behavior has done great damage to the way Americans view the presidency. She wrote that the only solution is to “remember what it feels like to have as our president someone who puts democracy above personal, selfish interests.”

Davis said that her chief concern is that “those of us who are horrified at the dismantling of our democracy fear him because he may very well be destroying more than we can ever rebuild.”

Davis isn’t the only Reagan child to speak out against the Trump administration. In an editorial for The Daily Beast last month, Ronald Reagan Jr., the late president’s son, wrote that his father would never have voted for Trump or supported many of his policies.

Donald Trump With the impeachment controversy behind him, US President Donald Trump will focus on trumpeting his economic record as he seeks reelection in November. A Florida man was arrested outside the White House on Saturday after saying he wanted to assassinate Trump. Photo: AFP / Nicholas Kamm