Morning Joe Hypes Future Possibility of Calling Trump Racist…Again

In an apparently never-ending crusade to brand Trump as a KKK-supporting white supremacist, on Wednesday's Morning Joe, MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinksi, Joe Scarborough, and Willie Geist conducted a segment with Associated Press Political Reporter Jonathan Lemire in which they salivated over the prospect that a new congressional joint resolution asking the President to once again condemn “White nationalists, White supremacists, the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups” would become political cannon fodder for undermining Trump if he failed to sign it.

As Scarborough and Brzezinski introduced the segment:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Congress is forcing the President's hand unequivocally to [sic] condemn the violence in Charlottesville.

(...)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The legislation, which now awaits the President's signature, comes after his much criticized response to the deadly Charlottesville violence, which he blamed on both sides, and said that, quote, “some very fine people” were among the white supremacist protesters. 

After mischaracterizing Trump’s statement on Tuesday, August 15th about the violence in Charlottesville as an endorsement of the quality of the character of white supremacists (Trump actually stressed that there were protesters and counter-protesters who were both fine people because they were neither violent nor supremacists of any stripe), Willie Geist had some refreshingly transparent commentary:

Pretty shrewd political move here from Democrats to put that literally on the desk of the President. Say one more time: Do you condemn what happened? Do you condemn the people in Charlottesville? And if you do, sign it. Now he’s in a position if he doesn't sign it, we know what that means, this opens it up again.

This was quite an honest take on what some political operatives in D.C. are probably hoping for with respect to the political consequences of passing the joint resolution.

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However, it does bear mentioning that even as Geist said, Congress was asking Trump to condemn white supremacists and nationalists “one more time.” This is quite the understatement, considering that President Trump not only condemned white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-nazis, et al. on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday after the violence in Charlottesville took place, but he has condemned specific figures like David Duke many times over the course of several decades. Just as one example that was highlighted by Factcheck.org last year shows, back in 2000, Trump declined to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party expressly because he did not want to be associated with Pat Buchanan and David Duke.  As Trump explained it: “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.”

Instead of letting any facts intrude into the inner sanctum of the show, Jonathan Lemire chimed in to agree with Geist, saying that Charlottesville would not just “fade from the headlines,” even with other major stories occupying air time like tax reform, DACA, and Hurricane Irma.

Unsurprisingly, Scarborough followed up Lemire by stating, unopposed, that: “Steve, we don’t always, we don't believe in resets and we don't believe in pivots around here as it pertains to this President.” Perhaps if the hosts at MSNBC were a bit more open-minded, they would be able to shake off some of their personal animus towards Trump and cover the news more objectively. That pivot is still forthcoming. 

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Here is a transcript of the September 13th exchange:

6:29 AM ET

(...)

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Congress is forcing the President's hand unequivocally to [sic] condemn the violence in Charlottesville.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: A joint resolution which passed by unanimous consent in the House last night and the Senate the night before rejects, quote, “White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups and urges the President and the President's Cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.” The legislation, which now awaits the President's signature, comes after his much criticized response to the deadly Charlottesville violence, which he blamed on both sides, and said that, quote, “some very fine people” were among the white supremacist protesters. Meanwhile, the president is set to meet today with Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate's only African-American Republican, to discuss racial issues.

WILLIE GEIST: Pretty shrewd political move here from Democrats to put that literally on the desk of the President. Say one more time: Do you condemn what happened? Do you condemn the people in Charlottesville? And if you do, sign it. Now he’s in a position if he doesn't sign it, we know what that means, this opens it up again.

JONATHAN LEMIRE [AP, POLITICAL REPORTER]: Sure, just as Charlottesville was beginning to fade from the headlines, right? Like, suddenly, it is back. We’re, you know, not gonna be lost amid the hurricanes, not gonna be lost amid the push of whether it’s DACA or tax reform, but to suggest like: Hey, we want you one more time to say this. And it's also the Tim Scott meeting today, though perhaps coincidental in timing, is also striking. He's a Republican, the only African-American Republican in the Senate as you just said, who strongly condemned the President's response to this, suggested he did not have the moral leadership to lead the Republican party saying: If you can’t condemn the KKK, how can the American people trust you to condemn things like ISIS?

BRZEZINSKI: I hope he asks.  

SCARBOROUGH: Steve, we don’t always, we don't believe in resets and we don't believe in pivots around here as it pertains to this President.

(...)


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CyberAlerts Congress Charlottesville violence Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism Associated Press MSNBC Morning Joe Video Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Willie Geist
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