White House

Trump reflects on impeachment: 'I think of Nixon more than anybody else'

In a rare moment of introspection, the president talks about the personal toll the months-long impeachment battle has taken on him.

President Donald Trump

Donald Trump reflected Thursday on his place in American presidential history in the aftermath of his Senate impeachment trial — revealing in a rare moment of introspection that he experiences "a little bit of a different feeling" when he gazes upon Richard Nixon's White House portrait.

"Well, it's a terrible thing," Trump told Geraldo Rivera on the television personality's weekly podcast, when asked about the personal toll the monthslong impeachment battle had taken on him.

"And, you know, I think of Nixon more than anybody else, and what that dark period was in our country," he continued. "And the whole thing with the tapes and the horror show. It was dark, and it went on for a long time. And I watched it."

Trump went on to reference the Iran–Contra affair which rocked Ronald Reagan's presidency, remarking that Reagan "went through that for years" and "never really got over the spell" of the arms-sale scandal.

"It was dark, but not — nothing like Nixon," Trump said, before offering an unvarnished glimpse into his frame of mind post-impeachment.

"I would always think, well, every time in the White House, I pass this beautiful portrait of various presidents, right?" he said. "But the portrait of Richard Nixon, I sort of — I don't know. It's a little bit of a different feeling than I get from looking at the other portraits of presidents."

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December after the chamber approved two articles accusing him of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

The Senate earlier this month acquitted him of those charges, which stemmed from his efforts to pressure Ukraine's government to open foreign probes into his domestic political rivals.

Trump also allegedly withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in vital military aid to the Eastern European nation until its leadership agreed to assist in his favored investigations.

The House proceedings made Trump the third president in U.S. history to be impeached, following Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Nixon resigned before lawmakers could formally rebuke him.

Trump, who closely guards his public image and is notoriously brand-obsessed, has sought to claim total vindication following the Senate trial. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has repeatedly needled the president in recent weeks by arguing that he is "impeached for life."