Expert Says Trump's Presidency Will Be 'Second Shortest' In US History

by John Haltiwanger

President Donald Trump's first month in office has been incredibly chaotic.

Consequently, he's the most unpopular new president of the modern era.

Since Trump became president, it seems like the country can't go more than a few hours without some sort of disturbing news alert relating to Trump, his administration and, of course, his tweets.

Long story short: The US government is a dumpster fire right now, and Trump seems determined to continue to pour gasoline onto the flames.

This is precisely why Professor Ronald L. Feinman, who teaches history at Florida Atlantic University, thinks Trump's presidency will likely be the second shortest in history.

"Many foreign policy professionals are shaking their head at Trump's inappropriate behavior and language every time he speaks in public, or issues a Twitter comment, and his instability and recklessness." — Professor Ronald L. Feinman

Feinman thinks the recent forced resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is a major indicator Trump's time in office will be short-lived, especially due to Vice President Mike Pence's apparent central role in this move. Feinman said,

The fact that Vice President Mike Pence played a major role in pushing Flynn out is a sign that Pence is already asserting himself with Trump, and it seems clear that Pence will not stand by and allow our foreign policy to be damaged, or our national security to be endangered. The American people, ultimately, would not expect anything less. Pence knows how to play “hard ball,” and it is clear by his demeanor and body language that he is often uncomfortable with Trump's freewheeling and careless behavior.

In Feinman's view, Trump will not recover from the controversy surrounding Flynn. He continued,

As the FBI investigates this situation further, which would be expected to occur as a normal procedure after such a high level and immediate scandal, the earliest ever in any Presidential term (25 days), there will be calls for Trump to resign or be impeached.

Only two presidents have ever been impeached — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — but neither were convicted (removed from office).

President Richard Nixon famously resigned as he faced the prospect of impeachment in relation to the Watergate scandal.

So, it's hard to say whether this could actually happen to Trump anytime soon, as he's a Republican president and the GOP controls Congress (and Congress must initiate the impeachment process).

Feinman also noted noted Pence has the option to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet members to declare the president as unable to “discharge the powers and duties of his office."

In turn, Pence would become "acting president."

Theoretically, this is one way to remove Trump from office without impeachment.

If this occurred, Trump would have 21 days to convince Congress he's fit to be president. Congress would then have to settle the matter with a vote.

For the vice president to stay in charge, a majority in both houses would have to vote in favor of it.

If such a scenario were to occur, Feinman thinks Trump would likely resign. But, he also noted Trump is very unpredictable, so it's hard to say.

Regardless, Feinman continued,

It seems likely that Donald Trump will be leaving the Presidency at some point, likely between the 31 days of William Henry Harrison in 1841 (dying of pneumonia) and the 199 days of James A. Garfield in 1881 (dying of an assassin's bullet after 79 days of terrible suffering and medical malpractice). At the most, it certainly seems likely, even if dragged out, that Trump will not last 16 months and five days, as occurred with Zachary Taylor in 1850 (dying of a digestive ailment). The Pence presidency seems inevitable.

Whether Feinman's prediction ultimately comes true remains to be seen.

Many people didn't think Trump would become president in the first place, so it's hard to trust hypotheses like this.

With that said, things are definitely not going well for Trump at the moment, and there are many valid reasons for people to be concerned about what's going on with his administration.

Citations: Donald Trump's presidency 'likely to be second shortest in history', says presidential historian (Independent)