Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) compared President-elect Donald Trump to third-world regime dictator Fidel Castro of Cuba, saying the two men had the same personality traits.
Cohen, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, made the comment on Tuesday to CNN's Carol Costello, who later pushed back against against the comparison.
Citing Trump's skepticism of U.S. intelligence sources saying Russia is responsible for attempting to sway the U.S. election by hacking the Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta's email and the Democratic National Committee's email system, Cohen told Costello:
The last two people in the Western hemisphere that I remember being so close to Russia were Armand Hammer, who loved oil and money, and Fidel Castro, who loved to talk for long periods of time, hated disloyalty and dissent and eliminated it and was very much an egocentric individual.
Castro died in November, but for decades he ruled over the Cuban people, denying them basic human rights, executing his political opponents and siding with Russia against the U.S. throughout the Cold War. Armand Hammer was an American businessman who ran Occidental Petroleum, developing close ties to the former Soviet Union as he went about his corporate dealings.
Costello pressed Cohen, asking if he was really comparing Trump to Castro. The Democratic congressman replied: "Personality traits, indeed."
Cohen went on to cite a Netflix show while explaining how he arrived at that conclusion:
You watch the Netflix program on Cuba Libra. Castro needed to be the center of attention at all time. He executed certain of his comrades for trumped up charges because he wanted total control and put that fear into people. He was very close to his family and he had a multitude in his family. He didn't trust others and it was all about him and public speaking and he liked to speak on... [inaudible].
Cohen asserted that, with the exception of the fact that Castro was dedicated to a communist philosophy and making allegiance with Russia, "there are a lot of personality traits that are similar" between Trump and Castro.
But Cohen didn't stop there, claiming that Trump doesn't even know it is his committee that can start impeachment proceedings.
"I don't really think he knows it's Congress, and really the Judiciary Committee, that can bring impeachment charges," Cohen said.
Cohen then charged that people at the bottom are "going to die" under a Trump presidency because they can't get healthcare, while people at "Lago Maro" will continue to enjoy a great life. Cohen was referring to Trump's South Florida estate, which is called Mar-a-Lago.
Cohen eventually corrected the name of the world-renowned beachfront property.
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)