MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough would like viewers to know that he is not a fan of Attorney General William Barr. On Thursday's show, Scarborough launched into Barr for telling a Senate subcommittee that, "I think spying did occur" against the Trump campaign and he was going to look into it to make sure there was nothing nefarious going on.
Scarborough repeated the charge that Barr is no different than Joseph McCarthy attorney Roy Cohn. He accused the AG of making "an outrageous claim that Roy Cohn would make." He criticized any notion of illegitimacy, "we all know about Carter Page and the FISA warrants" saying that FISA judges are "the best, and the brightest, and most careful." That Page was never charged with anything is a fact and that the disinformation in the infamous DNC-funded Steele Dossier was presented as credible by the FBI is not disputed.
Barr conceded in the hearing that there may very well have been nothing wrong with the way the intelligence agencies conducted themselves, but it was worth taking a look at because the American people and Congress need to have have faith that the intel and law enforcement agencies stayed in "their proper lane." But, after two years of defending the Special Counsel against anyone who even dared to ask questions, Scarborough mocked Barr's comments, "'How do I answer this question so Trump doesn't tweet at me, so I keep my job, but still not make a jackass of myself for life?'"
It is true that after years of being accused in the media and by Democrats of collusion, the only crimes Trump associates were charged with were unrelated to the campaign. Scarborough, however, was uninterested in potential abuses of power, circling back to Barr's original letter, "He wanted to poison the well. He wanted right-wing talkers to go out and blab for the last three weeks and make fools of themselves."
The lesson that should have been learned from the initial Barr letter was that the rush to conclusions during an investigation can result in shows like Morning Joe being discredited, but Scarborough is repeating the same mistakes. If the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the federal government abused their power because they didn't like a certain Presidential candidate, that is something everyone should be concerned about, even if they hate said candidate.
Here is a transcript for the April 11 show:
6:13 AM ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Someone's been Trumped.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, Mike, so earlier I said last week and I think it's caught on that Donald Trump wanted his Roy Cohn, he got his Roy Cohn. Except, you can tell Barr doesn't really feel it like Roy Cohn did. That's why he got halfway out and ran back to shore, wasn't going to wrestle that alligator like Terry McAuliffe would have. But he makes an outrageous claim that Ray Cohn would make, the spying claim, after we all know about Carter Page and the FISA warrants -- and we all know who FISA judges—we don’t know exactly who they are, we know they’re the best, and the brightest, and most careful. We know they're in four, five FISA judges that supported this warrant. He knows what he is saying is unbelievably reckless and you can almost see in his mind, Barr going, “How do I answer this question so Trump doesn't tweet at me, so I keep my job but still not make a jackass of myself for life.”
BRZEZINSKI: That's tough.
SCARBOROUGH: That's tough. In the beginning
MIKE BARNICLE: He better rethink it.
SCARBOROUGH: In the beginning he was really making a fool of himself, humiliating himself, and then he started to clean it up a little built more at the end saying, “Well wait, I don’t have evidence this is fine but I'm going to look into it.” Because It's very interesting, very Trumpian to, first of all, put out a summary and make conclusions that you know is doing the president's bidding, the type of summary that Roy Cohn would put out and then when people are on to you and you know you have to release that summary, now you throw more meat to the Trump ecosystem.
BARNICLE: Well, I mean, Bill Barr has become the gift that keeps on giving for Donald Trump. Here's the headline of the day in "The Washington Post." This is the headline they've been waiting for in the White House. Headline reads, I don’t know whether you can see it close up "Barr thinks U.S. Spied on Trump.” I spoke yesterday with two people who have known Bill Barr for 30 years. They are stunned at his verbal behavior over the past two weeks, up to and including yesterday but specifically the gratuitous interpretation that he quickly put on the Mueller Report without a conversation apparently with Bob Mueller before he made that statement, basically clearing the president --
SCARBOROUGH: Can I just say this is what judges would call dicta.
He draw as conclusion that is meaningless, just words, because he himself has said that Donald Trump can't get indicted. A president can’t get indicted. And if that's the case, then your job, Mr. Attorney General, is to do what Mueller wanted him to do, pass it on to Congress, but he wanted to poison the well. He wanted right-wing talkers to go out and blab for the last three weeks and make fools of themselves “Told you so” before the report comes out. Now the report has come out, he's thrown more red meat, which they just can't help taking and their making fools of themselves again in fact, they did the first half of the meeting, and then they had to back off by the end of the hearings.
BARNICLE: But in their terms and I’m talking about the Trump political apparatus now, in their terms on their grounds, it’s working, and this only adds to its effectiveness.