Former Rep. Amo Houghton, a longtime Republican representing western and upstate New York, is appalled by President Donald Trump, drawing comparisons to Adolf Hitler’s rise in Germany and saying he is “scared for the country.”
“Enough already. Every voice, every pen, every opportunity to try to get this guy out of office is a good thing,” Houghton, 91, told The Buffalo News.
Houghton will always be a Republican, he said. But that didn’t stop him from heaping criticism onto the party’s figurehead, Trump, and suggesting the Russians are holding dirt on the president to get him to bend to their interests.
“If there’s anything obvious, it’s that they’ve got something on him,” Houghton said in a phone interview with The Buffalo News, conducted after last week’s summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
“He’s doing something for somebody,” Houghton said.
Houghton, a World War II veteran who represented vast swaths of western New York for nearly two decades from 1987 to 2005, indicated he saw similarities between some lawmakers’ acceptance of Trump’s behavior and stories he remembers hearing from his grandfather, Alanson B. Houghton, the U.S. ambassador to Germany in the 1920s.
Alanson Houghton told his young grandson how Germans back then would justify Hitler’s rise to totalitarian power by saying Hitler was leading an economic revival.
“The thing that bothers me so much is that words all of a sudden don’t mean anything anymore,” Houghton said. “I feel things are slipping away bit by bit. … We’re all going to suffer if we don’t pull ourselves together.”
In October 2016, Houghton was one of 30 former Republican lawmakers who rejected Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee.
One reason in their list for renouncing Trump has proved rather prescient in recent weeks.
“He offends our allies and praises dictators,” the 30 former lawmakers said in the letter.
After a swing through Europe bashing allies in Britain and the European Union, Trump sided with Putin over his own intelligence agencies at the press conference last week in Helsinki over whether Putin’s government interfered in and hacked U.S. election institutions in 2016.
The president said he saw “no reason to believe” Russia was behind the attacks.
He later clarified that he has “full faith” in America’s intel apparatus and that Russia did interfere in the elections, but that there was no collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia.