Robert Reich Calls Out Donald Trump for His “Thin-Skinned Vindictiveness”

The former secretary of labor urged him to end the “petty” tweets.

Speaking directly to the camera during an appearance on CNN Thursday, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich forcefully rebuked Donald Trump for his social-media attacks against individuals who appear to have criticized him since becoming president-elect.

“Let me just say, because Donald Trump is probably watching right now,” Reich said. “With all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president-elect of the United States. You are looking and acting as if you are mean, petty, thin-skinned, and vindictive. Stop this.”

“This is not lifting people up. This is actually penalizing people for speaking their minds.”

Reich continued to single out recent tweets, including one on Tuesday that threatened to cancel an Air Force One contract days after the CEO of Boeing expressed concern over Trump’s international trade policies. Immediately after the tweet was published, Boeing stocks plummeted. 

“What you would like is for no one—not a CEO, nobody on television, no journalist—nobody to criticize you,” Reich said. “You take offense at that. Well, you are going to be president very shortly, and you are going to have at your command not just Twitter, but also the CIA, the IRS, the FBI. If you have this kind of thin-skinned vindictiveness attitude toward anybody that criticizes you, we are in very big trouble. And sir, so are you.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend