Brian Williams Lauds Analyst as 'Really Smart Guy' in Spite of KKK References

On Tuesday's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC, anchor Brian Williams hosted a segment with former Republican Rep. David Jolly and liberal MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson to discuss Jolly's recent contention that he believes the country might be better off if his own party loses to Democrats in the 2018 congressional elections.

Johnson -- who has quite a history of injecting Ku Klux Klan and Nazi references into his political commentary -- again likened the Republican Party to the KKK. After the segment -- which did not include a normal conservative analyst to defend Republicans -- had ended, Williams lavishly praised his guests as "two really smart guys."

 

 

The segment began with a clip of Rep. Jolly from Monday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell in which the Florida Republican was talking up the possibility that it would be better if Democrats took control of the House with Donald Trump in the White House, Williams introduced his guests and allowed Jolly longer to expand on his analysis.

Williams then turned to Johnson and posed:

What if I had told you a couple of years back that some day a former Republican congressman from the great state of Florida and some of his colleagues -- named or not -- would come to this judgment that actually having an opposite party in control of the House of Representatives may be a better check -- or a check, period -- over what we have now?

After Johnson -- politics editor for The Root -- claimed that the U.S. Constitution is not equipped to deal with the contingency of having a President who is both "morally corrupted" and not "competent," Williams bolstered his liberal guest as he followed up:

And, Jason, put another way -- an excellent point on the lack of a mechanism in our government as you see it -- there's no joy in the opposition party if Trump's Republican party splinters -- as we've been saying for days -- into this Bannon nationalist wing, that can't do great things in Washington where a working majority is needed.

Johnson -- who has such a history of bringing up the KKK and white supremacists over and over again that one could incorporate it into a drinking game -- began his response:

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Right, and I've always said, you know, some of these arguments are sort of between the Ku Klux and the Klan, you know, you have such extremists on both sides, that is not something -- look, I come from a family that's voted on every side of the spectrum, but when the Republican party decides that Trumpism is a philosophy as opposed to representing the citizens of the United States, that is dangerous. 

The liberal analyst -- who recently implicated Toys "R" Us in "white supremacy" -- took aim at Steve Bannon as he added:

When Steve Bannon -- with his white nationalist and his white supremacist connections -- is no longer considered an outside fringe person, but a viable political alternative and a supporter of candidates who will primary people across the country, that is a dangerous time. I hope that the Republican party recognizes that integrity and the sovereignty of this nation is more important than power. But so far I don't think they'll learn that lesson unless they get wiped out in 2018.

Unfazed by the hyperbole, Williams gushed over his guests as he wrapped up the segment:

Two really smart guys joining us tonight. If we didn't have a lot more smart people right behind you, we would fill the entire hour with this conversation. But, suffice to say, thank you both for coming on.

Below is a partial transcript of the Tuesday, October 17, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Jason Johnson, what if I had told you a couple of years back that some day a former Republican congressman from the great state of Florida and some of his colleagues -- named or not -- would come to this judgment that actually having an opposite party in control of the House of Representatives may be a better check -- or a check, period -- over what we have now?

JASON JOHNSON: Brian, I wouldn't have believed you until you then told me. "What if you told me Trump will be President?" and then I would have believed you. You know, this is -- it's interesting -- you can go back not just to this administration -- go back to the Constitution, go back to the Federalist Papers. Unfortunately, we don't have a government structured around dealing with this kind of corrosive leadership. The British do -- they had kings. The Brazilians do. But our Constitution is based on the idea that we may have a morally corrupted President, but at least a competent, morally corrupted President. 

In this instance, we don't have either. And so we not only have to depend on the possibility of another party taking over the government in order to hold him in check, but it is also a very dangerous time to realize that the Republican party has been complicit in much of his behavior. The same General Kelly who was unfairly used and his son's death was used by this President has supported most of Trump's policies. He only stands against his behavior, so, while the Democrats may save us in the short term as far as putting a check on Donald Trump, our republic is healthier when the Republicans have integrity as well, and they're losing that battle by allowing Trump to behave this way.

WILLIAMS: And, Jason, put another way -- an excellent point on the lack of a mechanism in our government as you see it -- there's no joy in the opposition party if Trump's Republican party splinters -- as we've been saying for days -- into this Bannon nationalist wing, that can't do great things in Washington where a working majority is needed.

JOHNSON: Right, and I've always said, you know, some of these arguments are sort of between the Ku Klux and the Klan, you know, you have such extremists on both sides, that is not something -- look, I come from a family that's voted on every side of the spectrum, but when the Republican party decides that Trumpism is a philosophy as opposed to representing the citizens of the United States, that is dangerous. 

When Steve Bannon -- with his white nationalist and his white supremacist connections -- is no longer considered an outside fringe person, but a viable political alternative and a supporter of candidates who will primary people across the country, that is a dangerous time. I hope that the Republican party recognizes that integrity and the sovereignty of this nation is more important than power. But so far I don't think they'll learn that lesson unless they get wiped out in 2018.

WILLIAMS: Two really smart guys joining us tonight. If we didn't have a lot more smart people right behind you, we would fill the entire hour with this conversation. But, suffice to say, thank you both for coming on.


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NBDaily 2018 Congressional Congress Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism MSNBC The 11th Hour with Brian Williams Video David Jolly KKK Brian Williams Jason Johnson Donald Trump


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