In an interview Sunday morning with MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke
JOY ANN REID, MSNBC: So you have called on Donald Trump to resign. Is this specifically in your view over the national security threat presented by what the whistle-blower revealed vis-a-vis his call to the president of Ukraine?
BETO O'ROURKE: This is about the national interest, about making sure that a country that has never been more divided is able to come back together again and to heal. It's about knowing the facts now beyond a shadow of a doubt.
We have the reconstructed transcript or call notes from the call between President Trump and President Zelinsky of Ukraine from July. We have the whistle-blower's accounts. We have the understanding that there are many around the president in the White House who are deeply concerned, concerned enough to try to hide the transcripts of the call. But also concerned enough to share that information with the whistle-blower.
Thinking about the precedent of President Nixon. And in 1974, Republican senators and those closest to him making the case that impeachment was a certainty. It was likely that he would be convicted in the Senate. And for his best interests and the interests of the country, the right thing for him to do was to step down. In hindsight, that was the best decision for America.
Looking forward, the best thing that we can do is for Donald Trump to step down. I don't expect him to make that decision of his own accord. That's why I think as a country, we need to call on those who are closest to him, who still have some faith in this country and want to do the right thing for America to help him to make that decision.
JOY ANN REID: We know in the case of President Richard Nixon, his resignation was brought on by Republican members of Congress and Republican senators going to him and saying, you have lost support, you are going to lose, if you get impeached, you will be convicted, step down for the good of the country. Now, we know that Richard Nixon had a far greater knowledge of history and I would daresay, even with all of his crimes, sort of better sense of the national interest when it came to what the president's job is, so he did step down for his own dignity, et cetera. You know some Republicans pretty well. You know Congressman Will Hurd who is stepping down, who is a Republican from nearby you in Texas. Are there any Republicans, Mr. Hurd or anyone else who you can think of that would actually go to Donald Trump and say such a thing to him?
BETO O'ROURKE: I believe, perhaps, more in the constituents of these Republican senators and Republican members of Congress, perhaps than I do in them. And their constituents, I hope, I believe, will provide the public pressure that will ultimately form the political will to cause them to do the right thing. As more Americans understand what this president has done in their name, to undermine the genius of this country, what distinguishes us and sets us apart from the rest of the world, which is that we can freely, democratically, choose those who will represent us, participate in our elections, and guide the course of our country, that that has been so badly undermined by President Trump, who's using this position of public trust, which is not his. It was granted to him temporarily by the American people, to call on a foreign power to involve themselves in our election, to dig up dirt on a potential political rival.
There must be consequences or this will set a new precedent that some people really are above the law in this country. So I believe in my fellow Americans. That they're going to ask their representatives, their senators, and yes, Joy, to answer your question, I do think there are Republicans who will listen to their constituents, know that their re-election is on the line if they don't do the right thing. And perhaps even more important than that, their legacy, the way that history will judge them in this defining, deciding moment of truth, much like Barry Goldwater in 1974, traveling to the White House to talk to President Nixon, there is that Republican senator or senators who will do the right thing right now. And I think they're going to be forced to do that by their constituents.