House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell says, “Donald Trump is going to be defeated in 2020.”
“You have to wonder if he is capable of surviving all of these investigations and just the stress that continues to be on him,” the California Democrat told David Axelrod on The Axe Files, a podcast from The University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
Swalwell says he hates that he’s lost a lot of friends across the aisle throughout the Trump era, but he “wouldn’t do it any other way.”
“My hope is that there’s going to be a day after Trump. I want to have a reset and go back to working with (Republicans). I’m going to actually try in this new Congress. … That’s not my default setting, to go at Republicans the way I go at Trump, but this guy, I just think, needs to be held accountable.”
As a member of the Intelligence Committee, Swalwell defends the continued Russia investigation, and not just because of any “palace intrigue into what’s going on at the White House.”
“There’s an election coming up in 2020,” he said. “The Russians are just as determined. … They’re going to continue to try and weaponize social media. So we want to have a way to make the American people aware; make sure our intelligence community can intervene as these attacks happen.”
Before being elected to Congress in 2012, Swalwell served as a prosecutor in the Alameda County District in California. He has applied a lot of the lessons he learned in law enforcement to his job as a representative, especially the “devastating effects of gun violence.”
Swalwell sat down with Axelrod ahead of another trip to Iowa — he had already made 12 trips to the early voting state before the midterm elections last month — where he spoke to students alongside Parkland school shooting survivor Cameron Kasky to start a conversation on legislation surrounding firearms.
“I think we need bold solutions, not nibble around the edges, not go for the lowest common denominator,” Swalwell said. “I think the American people are with us. They spoke loud and clear by taking out 17 A-rated NRA members of Congress this last election. And I think it’s time that we showed them we can deliver.”
Swalwell, who’s 38, is considering a run for president in 2020. He said his experience alone will help him stand out in what is expected to be a crowded field.
“My experience on the Intelligence Committee and on the Homeland Security Committee while our democracy has been on the ropes makes me one of the most experienced national security candidates in the field,” he said. “I think only Joe Biden … would have more national security experience than I’ve had.”
But when it comes to planning a potential presidential campaign, Swalwell said, he’s taking things “day by day.”
“I’m going to treat this the same way, the same mountain I climbed, running against a 40-year incumbent, which is just build a coalition of supporters, knock on the doors that people don’t normally knock on and, you know, put out the ideas you have to lift the fortunes of the people you want to help,” he said.