As the collusion narrative finally has finally lost oxygen, President Trump's opponents in the media are moving on to whether or not he obstructed justice. Of the ten alleged instances of obstruction, some serve as potentially more damaging for Trump than others. While others have pondered whether verbs such as "attempted" constitute obstruction that could justify impeachment or whether Trump aides thwarted his worst impulses, MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough was certain on Friday that Trump had obstructed justice.
Scarborough teed up House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings saying: "There's so many instances of obstruction of justice." He pointed out that he voted for two of the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton, one of which was that Clinton obstructed justice and that Cummings had not and then invited Cummings explain: "How much worse Donald Trump's examples of obstruction of justice were compared to Bill Clinton's." He also went after Sen. Lindsey Graham for "running around trying to clean this up for Donald Trump, [when] he was prosecuting Bill Clinton in the Senate."
Cummings responded to Scarborough with this: "I would say it's at least -- what President Trump has done at least 100 times worse. At least." Cummings did not, however, provide any evidence that Trump is 100 times worse than Clinton beyond simply stating it, but Scarborough still agreed, "At least. At least" he repeated.
When Cummings expressed no sympathy for Trump, saying he brought all this upon himself, Scarborough concurred, "Not only that, you remember when Barack Obama got elected President, the Majority Leader of the Senate said our job is make sure he doesn't get re-elected." Mitch McConnell was Senate Minority Leader at the time. "Donald Trump does not deserve protection from his attorney general because people play hardball in Washington, D.C," he concluded.
Here is a transcript of the April 19 show:
8:09 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And there's so many instances of obstruction of justice, I want -- I want to take everybody back to when you and I worked together and worked in Congress together. We also were friends during the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
ELIJAH CUMMINGS: That's right.
SCARBOROUGH: And I voted for two articles of impeachment, you didn't.
CUMMINGS: That’s right
SCARBOROUGH: My standard then is my standard now which is, if a working class guy couldn't get away with lying to the grand jury, then the president shouldn't and of course there were differences and in the way we all approached that, but Elijah, could you just explain to people that weren't around in 1999 how -- forget the personal side of it. Let's just talk about the abuse of public trust. How much worse Donald Trump's examples of obstruction of justice were compared to Bill Clinton's. Because I was there and again, I voted for two of the four articles of impeachment but I am here to tell everybody, there is no comparison, Lindsey Graham running around trying to clean this up for Donald Trump, he was prosecuting Bill Clinton in the Senate for -- for something that pales in comparison to what we read about yesterday.
CUMMINGS: And Joe, I would say it's at least -- what President Trump has done at least 100 times worse. At least
SCARBOROUGH: At least. At least.
CUMMINGS: And then the thing that bothered me about Barr, he seemed very sympathetic to the fact that the president came with somewhat of a cloud being investigated. Well, Duh, he did that to himself.
SCARBOROUGH: Not only that, you remember when Barack Obama got elected president, the Majority [sic] Leader of the Senate said, our job is to make sure he doesn't get re-elected. When Bill Clinton got elected in 1992, I mean, Republicans never ever gave him a break and I was one of those who -- who from the very beginning went after him. Donald Trump does not deserve protection from his attorney general because people play hardball in Washington, D.C.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And want the truth.