MSNBC Guests: 'Racists All Over' 'RepubliKlan Party'; Trump 'National Security Threat'

On Wednesday's All In show on MSNBC, substitute host Joy Reid presided over two recurring MSNBC guests who hurled hyperbolic accusations against Republicans into a discussion of President Donald Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville violence. In one segment, "life-long Republican" Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson asserted that "my Republican Party has racists all over it."

In a later segment, Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi -- who has a history of going on over the top rants -- accused Republicans of being the "RepubliKlan party," and declared that President Trump "is now the nation's number one national security threat."

 

 

At 8:27 p.m., host Reid asked Wilkerson -- a supposed Republican who usually gives liberal commentary on the news network -- to react to Trump's press conference that has been attracting so much criticism. Her Republican guest, apart from identifying himself as a Republican, sounded indistinguishable from a liberal as he responded:

Joy, you know I've said in the past that my party -- my Republican Party has racists all over it. Ever since Nixon's Southern Strategy when we invited all those hard case Democrats -- of which one was my grandmother in South Carolina -- into the ranks of the Republican Party -- we've had that element to deal with.

Near the end of the show, Reid spoke with Republican strategist Gianno Caldwell to discuss his concerns about Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville violence -- particularly the President's odd suggestion that some of the attendees of the white racist rally were "good people." When it was fellow guest Fernand Amandi's turn to speak, the Democratic pollster went on a rant against the Republican party:

What Trump did yesterday was kill the Republican party. Whatever was left of any moral authority that the Republican party had in the denouncing of this type of hate, Donald Trump killed it. And what exists today, 24 hours later, it's not the Republican Party, it's the "RepubliKlan" -- the "RepubliKlan" party.

Caldwell then did something that Republican guests on MSNBC don't typically do: He actually argued against his liberal fellow guest and defended the Republican Party. Caldwell began his objections by injecting, "I don't agree with that. Man, I didn't -- I didn't realize I was coming in to --"

After Amandi continued his rant by ridiculously complaining that no Republicans have switched parties over Trump, Caldwell got his chance to defend the GOP:

First and foremost, I reject the comments of the other guest. I believe they were intellectually dishonest. There have been Republicans all over who have condemned the comments of President Trump.

Reid -- seemingly not aware of some of the Republicans who have criticized Trump -- injected: "By name?"

Her Republican guest continued:

 

 

And in numerous instances -- yeah, John McCain -- you want to talk about them? We can talk about a number of individuals that have done so. But the truth of the matter is, the Republican party is not a party of -- full of racists. Certainly there are some folks within the Republican party just as there are in the Democratic party that are racist and those support racism, but that is not the whole party.

When it was Amandi's turn to speak again, his ranting continued as he repeated his "RepubliKlan" smear, and then claimed that President Trump is the " number one national security threat" for the country:

Unfortunately, this is the Republican party -- or the "RepubliKlan" party as I said earlier -- that exists today. And until we see patriots of conscience to the extent that those are left will leave this party and denounce this President -- not his words -- denounce him by name. The President is the purveyor of hate. The President is now the nation's number one national security threat because his words have opened a Pandora's box that will hurt and kill Americans.

Just this past weekend, Amandi was on Reid's weekend show -- AM Joy -- where he used his rant of the day to accuse some of President Trump's advisors of being "Nazis."

And Colonel Wilkerson has his own checkered history as a recurring MSNBC guest. Just a few weeks ago, he recited an anti-Semitic quote to suggest that "the Jews" are the "biggest enemy" of Christians in the Middle East. And, a couple years ago, he hinted that he would like to do harm to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer for siding with conservatives on the Iran nuclear deal. The recurring MSNBC guest vaguely declared that "I won't say what I'd like to do" to Schumer -- a Jewish Democrat who sometimes sides with Republicans on matters concerning Israel's security.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, August 16, All In with Chris Hayes:

8:27 p.m. ET

JOY REID: And lastly, just, I want to get your take on that press conference that Donald Trump had. As a lifelong Republican, what was your reaction to his press conference?

COLONEL LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER COLIN POWELL AIDE: Joy, you know I've said in the past that my party -- my Republican party has racists all over it. Ever since Nixon's Southern Strategy when we invited all those hard case Democrats -- of which one was my grandmother in South Carolina -- into the ranks of the Republican party -- we've had that element to deal with. 

And now we're seeing what dealing with that element over the last 30, 40 years has done to the Republican party. Now, it is responsible in many ways for Donald Trump, and yet it doesn't know how to possess him or to disown him. It's stuck with him. And it's going to deal with that. And I'm afraid that, at the end of that time, we may see this party having committed suicide.

REID: Wow, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who minces no words. That you very much. I really appreciate your time.

(...)

8:56 p.m. ET

GIANNO CALDWELL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's instances where Democrats do bring up race which -- for no purpose at all. It's just everything is about race. Certainly that does occur. But, in this scenario, this is rightly put. This is about race. This is about a President who doesn't understand race relations in this country. This is about a President who said that there were some good people among Nazis and white supremacists. 

So, when I hear that, I wonder, "President Trump, who are these good people you're referring to?" Because certainly good people don't pal around with white supremacists and Nazis. And if there are some folks who just want to hang around, then obviously they're racist people. So this situation I think is very different than some others that I've seen over the years.

(...)

FERNAND AMANDI, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: What Trump did yesterday was kill the Republican party. Whatever was left of any moral authority --

CALDWELL: I disagree with that.

AMANDI: -- that the Republican party had in the denouncing of this type of hate, Donald Trump killed it. And what exists today, 24 hours later, it's not the Republican party, it's the "RepubliKlan" -- the "RepubliKlan" party.

CALDWELL: Man, I didn't -- I didn't realize I was coming in to --

AMANDI: And anyone who is still a part of this -- excuse me, sir -- anyone who continues to be part of this party, I have not seen one Republican member of Congress or the Senate leave the party. I have not seen them switch parties. What we have seen is mealy-mouthed denunciations of racism which every single American is on paper -- but it's been a lot of cheap talk and very little, Joy, by way of real action. 

And I have to say, I was really disappointed by former Presidents Bushes today -- who have shown tremendous willingness to criticize many of the policies of President Trump -- but even in their statement today -- where they appropriately denounced the racism -- and they denounced that hate that Donald Trump's comments assuredly brought about to this country, they didn't call him out by name. And if they -- as former ex-Presidents -- proud Republicans are unwilling to do it -- who is willing to do it next, Joy?

JOY REID: And, Gianno, this is, I guess, the question. Can you remain in the party of Donald Trump as a person of color?

CALDWELL: First and foremost, I reject the comments of the other guest. I believe they were intellectually dishonest. There have been Republicans all over who have condemned the comments of President Trump.

REID: By name?

GIANNO: And in numerous instances -- yeah, John McCain -- you want to talk about them? We can talk about a number of individuals that have done so. But the truth of the matter is, the Republican party is not a party of -- full of racists. Certainly there are some folks within the Republican party just as there are in the Democratic party that are racist and those support racism, but that is not the whole party.

(...)

AMANDI: Unfortunately, the latest numbers suggest even John Kasich -- who was one of the more prominent "never Trump" Republicans -- would get crushed in a primary. Unfortunately, this is the Republican party -- or the "RepubliKlan" party as I said earlier -- that exists today. And until we see patriots of conscience to the extent that those are left will leave this party --

CALDWELL: So similar to the Democrats with institutional racism?

REID: One at a time, one at a time.

AMANDI: -- and denounce this President -- not his words -- denounce him by name. The President is the purveyor of hate. The President is now the nation's number one national security threat because his words have opened a Pandora's box that will hurt and kill Americans.


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CyberAlerts Charlottesville violence Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism MSNBC All In Video Joy Reid Donald Trump Lawrence Wilkerson