Former President Clinton (D) on Thursday advised President Trump to leave fighting impeachment to his staff and focus on his agenda.
“My message would be, look, you got hired to do a job,” Clinton said during a phone interview with CNN. “You don’t get the days back you blow off. Every day is an opportunity to make something good happen.
“And I would say, ‘I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry, and they should just have at it,'” he continued. “Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people. That’s what I would do.”
Clinton is in a rare position to offer insight on how Trump might handle the prospect of impeachment, given the GOP-controlled House impeached the former Democratic president in 1998.
The House held its first public hearings on Wednesday in its impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump pressured a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival.
While Clinton managed to approve legislation and work through an agenda throughout his impeachment process, Trump has said multiple times he will not work with Congress while the Democratic-controlled lower chamber investigates him. That posture has thrown into jeopardy the president’s efforts to pass a trade deal and approve legislation to lower drug pricing, among other items.
Clinton phoned in to CNN on Thursday to discuss a shooting at a southern California high school that left two dead and multiple people injured. The incident is the latest in a string of school shootings that have unfolded with increasing regularity in recent years.
The former president signed off on an assault weapons ban in 1994 that has since expired, and he was critical of Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration for failing to address the surge in mass shootings.
“I mean, I think what happened was — [Trump] did indicate a couple times he might go along with this and then obviously the gun lobby got ahold of him and pulled him back,” Clinton said. “But at some point, you know, denial is no longer an option. And Congress is basically in denial of the consequences of doing nothing. Or at least the people who are opposed to it.”