Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, MSNBC contributor Steve Schmidt claimed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "delegitimized" Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court -- and the Court itself -- as he reacted to the selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as Kennedy's replacement.
He also repeated a debunked claim that "Kennedy's son is Trump's banker at Deutsche Bank" -- a claim which was even disputed by his liberal MSNBC colleague, Stephanie Ruhle.
As he introduced Schmidt as a veteran of both the George W. Bush administration and Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, host Brian Williams neglected to inform viewers that his guest recently officially left the Republican party and has repeatedly hit his former party from the left for years.
After Williams turned the segment's attention from foreign policy to the Kavanaugh Supreme Court pick, Schmidt began by recalling that he has previously supported Supreme Court nominations by both parties. He noted that Kavanaugh is the kind of nominee other Republican Presidents might typically select, but then pivoted to tearing into McConnell. Schmidt:
The issue here is the illegitimacy of the seat caused by Mitch McConnell's unprecedented tampering with this process. And so, not only has McConnell broken the institution of the Senate -- its comity -- he's delegitimzed to some degree the third branch of government, the Supreme Court. And so Democrats will never look at this seat as legitimate, and that further frays our already toxic political culture.
He then suggested corruption in the selection of Kavanaugh as he added:
Lastly, and I want to say this, we're not talking enough about the deal here. When the White House deputy press secretary today dodges around the question of whether Trump and Kennedy had a meeting where Kavanaugh was discussed as the replacement should Kennedy retire, and maybe Kennedy suggesting, 'I'll retire if it's Kavanaugh,' when Kennedy's son is Trump's banker at Deutsche Bank. There are aspects of this that stink, and we haven't talked enough about that.
Williams soon concluded the segment by lauding Schmidt as joining him from "the straight-talk studio."