MSNBC's Morning Joe Airs Distorted 'Horror Show' Video of White House Aide

On Monday, the hosts of Morning Joe mocked and berated White House adviser Stephen Miller for his recent comments regarding the court ruling against President Trump's immigration order. Tuesday morning was no different, as the show came back from a commercial break by airing a distorted, grainy black-and-white video of Miller. The video contained the statement he gave on the network Sunday shows concerning the President’s executive powers and spliced Miller’s quotes attempting to make him look sinister and menacing.

After the video concluded, host Joe Scarborough declared, “Wow,” and journalist Willie Geist agreed, “That’s terrifying.” Co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed as well, proclaiming, “It’s like a horror show.” She was right, it was like a horror show because the clip was not real, made to look scary, and not representative of Miller’s actual comments. Scarborough continued with the mocking, asking, “Remember that part of Lion King where Rafiki says to Simba, what was that? What was that? It was Mufasa's ghost actually.” 

Scarborough said this implying that Miller’s career in the White House was going to come to an end soon because of the matter. Political analyst Mark Halperin played along and asked, “Was that from the past or future?” Scarborough answered, “I think that was from the past. I think that was from Sunday...That happened on Sunday.” Brzezinski chimed in with, “That happened on Sunday. So much happens that we watch the most amazing things just go by in this White House. Like that little guy! That little Napoleon.” Scarborough, obviously being sarcastic, said, “Oh come on that’s hurtful.”

Scarborough, getting back to the interview said: “So that Sunday interview you said you went back and re-saw the interview again. It was one – It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen, where you have a guy who was an unknown staffer in the Senate, get on TV and say the powers of the President are not to be questioned.”  

Halperin interjected: “Speaking on behalf of the President who praised the performance.” 

Brzezinski added: “So I guess the point that [Jon] Meacham made, we ought to really put some quotes around and take a closer look at. And that is that, the only reason [Michael] Flynn is resigning is because these lies and discussions about sanctions with Russia and improper behavior pertaining to our foreign policy became public... they were caught” 

Scarborough turned the conversation to Meacham, asking the historian, “Can you remember any time that a President or his spokesman or spokeswoman has ever gone out, short of Richard Nixon, saying – I think did Nixon say, the law is what the President says the law is?” Meacham answered, “That was only after – that was [in the interview with David] Frost.”

Scarborough replied, “Oh that was after, Frost. So he wasn't even President then. Can you think of a time when any person on national television has claimed that sort of power for the President?” To no-one’s surprise, Meacham answered, “No.”

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Here is the February 14 exchange:

MSNBC’s Morning Joe
6:40 a.m. Eastern
[6:44:47 - 6:47:22]

Distorted video of Stephen Miller:

STEPHEN MILLER: The whole world will soon see the President’s powers will not be crushed. The apex of executive authority will not be crushed. The powers of the President will not be questioned. Worldwide to all of planet Earth, the powers of the President will not be crushed. The powers of the President will not be crushed. Unquestioned military strength. Shawn Spicer is 100% correct. The powers of the President will not be crushed. The President of the United States is correct 100%. The powers–powers of the President will not be crushed–not be crushed–will not be crushed–the powers of the President will not be crushed.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Wow.

WILLIE GEIST: That’s terrifying. 

SCARBOROUGH: You know, you remember--

MIKA BRZEZINSKI:It's like a horror show. 

SCARBOROUGH: --that part of lion king where rafiki says to simba, what was that? What was that? It was Mufasa's ghost actually. 

MARK HALPERIN: Was that from the past or future?

BRZEZINSKI: It it wasn’t so– 

SCARBOROUGH: I think that was from the past. I think was from Sunday -- 

HALPERIN: Sunday?

SCARBOROUGH: That happened on Sunday. 

BRZEZINSKI: That happened on Sunday. So much happens that we watch the most amazing things just go by in this White House. Like that little guy! That little Napoleon. 

SCARBOROUGH: We were talking about this. Oh come on that’s hurtful– 

BRZEZINSKI: What?

SCARBOROUGH: So that Sunday interview you said you went back and re-saw the interview again. It was one – It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen, where you have a guy who was an unknown staffer in the senate, get on TV and say the powers of the President are not to be questioned. 

HALPERIN: Speaking on behalf of the President who praised the performance. 

SCARBOROUGH: Right. 

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah– Okay. So I guess the point that Meacham made, we ought to really put some quotes around and take a closer look at. And that is that, the only reason Flynn is resigning is because these lies and discussions about sanctions with Russia and improper behavior pertaining to our foreign policy became public. 

SCARBOROUGH: Yes.Yes. Jon Meacham--

BRZEZINSKI: They were caught. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there ever -- can you remember any time that a President or his spokesman or spokeswoman has ever gone out, short of Richard Nixon, saying – I think did Nixon say, the law is what the President says the law is.?

JON MEACHAM: That was only after– That was Frost. 

SCARBOROUGH: Oh that was after Frost. So he wasn't even President then. Can you think of a time when any person on national television has claimed that sort of power for the President? 

MEACHAM: No. Al Haig tried to do it for himself. 

Alexis Thomasi
Alexis Thomasi
Alexis Thomasi, an intern in the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division