MSNBC Hosts Left-Wing Group Therapy Session for Trump Haters

On Monday, MSNBC decided to mark President Trump’s first 100 days in office by conducting panel discussion with left-wing celebrities, activists, and politicians in which they all shared how disgusted they were with the new administration. Correspondent Chris Jansing led the group therapy session and proclaimed that “Donald Trump has lit a fire under the Democratic base.”

Introducing the segment in the 11 a.m. ET hour, Jansing told anchor Ali Velshi: “You see it in the hundreds of thousands of people who have come out for these protests....You see it in donations to Democratic causes and candidates. And when I talked to these five power players in Los Angeles, they also affirmed....[there] has not been an easing of either the anger or the frustration.”

After Jansing asked if the Trump presidency was “better than you expected, worse, or about what you thought it would be,” West Wing actor Richard Schiff was aghast: “Are you kidding?...I'm every day shocked, surprised, and also I say to myself, ‘Oh, yeah, okay, this is probably what I should have expected.’”

Left-wing activist and professor Angela James melodramatically ranted: “It has been unbelievable the disregard for even the veneer of civility and civil rights and human rights....And the impact of that has been devastating.”

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Hollywood producer and Women’s March organizer Deena Katz chimed in: “I'm amazed at the dishonesty. You know, I think I expected – I actually don’t think I expected this. It scares me.”

Actor Christopher Gorham agreed: “It opens up a really important question, is it okay if your leaders lie to you?” The entire group nodded in approval as he decried: “You know, like we really have to decide as a country – which is crazy that now we're really being asked this question, is that are we going to accept our leader lying to us on a daily basis? Just provably lying.”

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla condemned the President: “It’s about the lying about the lying. I mean, Donald Trump’s biggest contribution to the country in his first 100 days of office is the term ‘alternative facts.’” He did, however, manage to offer this bit of optimism: “The only reason I don’t things have been worse in the first hundred days is because they’ve been so ineffective....good thing for us.”

Schiff pleaded for a Republican “hero” to “stand up” to Trump: “I keep looking to John McCain, and believe it or not, I keep looking to Lindsey Graham....please stand up....Are they actually going to stand up and say, ‘Enough, it’s time to take him out.’”   

Jansing never bothered to clarify what the actor meant by “take him out” when referring to the President of the United States.

James argued that the “real heroes” were “grassroots organizations and ordinary people” protesting Trump. Katz concurred: “And that’s the sliver of what’s been good, in my opinion, in the past 100 days.”

After the taped segment, Jansing promised that she was also going to talk Republican voters in the lead up to the hundred-day milestone.

Here is a full transcript of the April 24 report:

11:44 AM ET

ALI VELSHI: In anticipation of the first 100 days of President Trump being in office, we are talking to people all over the country from both sides of the aisle and they’re sharing they’re impressions of the new administration’s early days. NBC’s Chris Jansing joins me now. Chris, you have spoken with prominent political celebrity and community voices in Los Angeles. What did you hear?

CHRIS JANSING: Well, that Donald Trump has lit a fire under the Democratic base. You see it in the hundreds of thousands of people who have come out for these protests, including the one over this past weekend. You see it in donations to Democratic causes and candidates. And when I talked to these five power players in Los Angeles, they also affirmed what we’re going hear from former President Obama later today, that the community activism is critical, but there has not – there also has not been an easing of either the anger or the frustration.

JANSING [TO PANEL OF LIBERAL ACTIVISTS]: So is the Trump presidency better than you expected, worse, or about what you thought it would be in November?

RICHARD SCHIFF [ACTOR]: Are you kidding?

JANSING: I'm serious.

SCHIFF: I'm every day shocked, surprised, and also I say to myself, “Oh, yeah, okay, this is probably what I should have expected.”

ANGELA JAMES [ACTIVIST & PROFESSOR]: It has been unbelievable the disregard for even the veneer of civility and civil rights and human rights, the disregard for –

SCHIFF: The veneer.

JAMES: Even the veneer has disappeared. And the impact of that has been devastating.

DEENA KATZ [PRODUCER, L.A. WOMEN’S MARCH ORGANIZER]: I'm amazed at the dishonesty. You know, I think I expected – I actually don’t think I expected this. It scares me.  

CHRISTOPHER GORHAM [ACTOR]: It opens up a really important question, is it okay if your leaders lie to you?

KATZ: Right.

GORHAM: You know, like we really have to decide as a country – which is crazy that now we're really being asked this question, is that are we going to accept our leader lying to us on a daily basis? Just provably lying.

ALEX PADILLA [(D) CA SECRETARY OF STATE]: It’s about the lying about the lying. I mean, Donald Trump’s biggest contribution to the country in his first 100 days of office is the term “alternative facts.” The only reason I don’t things have been worse in the first hundred days is because they’ve been so ineffective. If you look at what have the accomplishments been? Legislative proposals? Not nearly the ones he promised. And you know, good thing for us.

SCHIFF: It is going to take a hero to begin standing up. And I keep looking to John McCain, and believe it or not, I keep looking to Lindsey Graham – of all the people.  

KATZ: Yeah, I know, of all the people – I would have never thought those would be our heros right now.

SCHIFF: Of all the people, please stand up and start – because I do believe that those two guys, and they’re a pair, have a genuine love for this democracy and for this country. Are they actually going to stand up and say, “Enough, it’s time to take him out.”   

JAMES: Well, you know, I think the real heroes have been the ordinary person.

SCHIFF: Yeah.

JAMES: The degree to which grassroots organizations and ordinary people have said, “No, not really.”

KATZ: And that’s the sliver of what’s been good, in my opinion, in the past 100 days.

JANSING: So it is interesting in that context, Ali, to look at what we’re going to hear from President Obama today. That group, by the way, is mixed about whether the Democratic Party needs a leader like President Obama to step in. They’re not so sure that they are not the power players in the Democratic Party now. And we should say that across the week we’re going to be talking about the hundred days to people from all stripes, including some Republican voters in Michigan tomorrow.

VELSHI: Good, we’re looking forward to that, Chris. Great to see you, thank you so much for that.

JANSING: Thanks.

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