WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Now that President Donald Trump has become the only Commander in Chief to be impeached twice, it raises an important question: when all is said and done, how will his presidency be remembered?
According to three historians, the answer — is not well at all.
"Catastrophic," said Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph J. Ellis.
"Disastrously self-serving," added American University Distinguished Professor of History Allan J. Lichtman.
And in a third interview Wednesday afternoon, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University Jeffrey Engel said, "incompetent I think, and that is actually quite a frightening word."
Engel called Trump’s second impeachment "as big of a constitutional deal as we have seen," and big-picture, the historians’ takes on the overall Trump presidency weren’t much better.
FILE - President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images)
"Trump’s impact on the office of the presidency will be regarded as nearly catastrophic," Ellis said.
Among other things, the historians cited Trump’s role in the attack on the Capitol, his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current state of the economy, and his refusal to accept his re-election loss.
"He’s going to leave office not having accomplished, well frankly almost anything that he wanted to do except to be a disrupter," Engel said.
And when asked how they’d rank Trump’s legacy among presidents all-time, every one of the experts answered — dead last.
"I’m hard pressed to think of a president who leaves office with a recession, with a pandemic, and having just launched an assault against a coequal branch of government. I think you gotta be last on that one," Engel explained.
If there’s an upside for Trump, it’s likely this: while he’s consistently ranked poorly among scholars, he fares better in popular polls. For instance, a Fox News poll released in December has 22 percent of voters saying Trump will be remembered as one of the country’s greatest presidents of all time.