On Thursday’s Morning Joe, after days of ignoring The Hill’s latest reporting confirming an extensive racketeering scheme organized by Russian government officials that appeared to directly benefit Bill and Hillary Clinton, the show finally decided to cover the story. However, instead of getting worked up about unethical or possibly illegal Clinton-Russian collusion, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Michael Bennet, attacked Trump for tweeting about the new revelations and accused him of undermining American democratic institutions.
After bringing on the Democrats to discuss their latest single-payer health care effort in Congress, Brzezinski ended the interview by turning the conversation towards Trump’s latest tweet at that time:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I’m curious, Senator Tim Kaine, for the second morning in a row the President is starting his day with tweets about Hillary Clinton, your running mate. He fired off another tweet just minutes ago writing: “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow.” What do you think, what do you make of this sort of yearning obsession with Hillary Clinton?
SEN. TIM KAINE [D-VA]: You know, Mika [trails off, chuckling].
BRZEZINSKI: It's sad, but also a little frightening at this point.
SEN. KAINE: It i-, it i-, look, there's a moral vacuum in the White House right now,-
SEN. KAINE: -and when the President feels under pressure on other issues, he'll revert back to attacking Hillary or bragging about the size of the inauguration crowd. And you know, the thing that's sad about all of these instances, whether it's this or whether it’s the dust up yesterday with the family of this poor soldier that was killed in Niger is, you know, what we're seeing is that Americans elected somebody promising greatness when there was no evidence of goodness. And we’re re-learning a very, very painful lesson which is: there can't be greatness without goodness. But that's what's lacking right now.
BRZEZINSKI: [inaudible, talked over by Joe]
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, no doubt about it. It's old saying [sic], America is great because America is good, and when it ceases being good, it will cease to be great. But I am curious though, Senator Kaine, do you ever wake up any mornings with an instinct or an urge to tweet about Mike Pence?
[Senators laugh raucously]
SCARBOROUGH: Because, after all, you ran against him eleven months ago, and I'm just wondering if-
SEN. KAINE: My support group here [pointing at Sen. Bennet].
SCARBOROUGH: -you have some of the same urges, yeah, have some of the same urges that Donald Trump has?
SEN. KAINE: You know, no. I mean, I have my vices, but the desire to tweet early in the morning is certainly not on my vice list.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, it, it, it-
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET [D-CO]: [jumps into convo] I would say though, that this attack, this daily attack on edited content, on curated content, on the leading journalists and leading news outlets in this country by this president is something the American people cannot stand for. The democracy [sic] cannot work if people lose faith in journalism,
SCARBOROUGH: [interjecting] Yeah.
SEN. BENNET: -and the President knows that which is why he starts every day attacking the leading journalists in this country. We can't stand for it.
So, instead of directly addressing The Hill’s troubling new discoveries about the Clintons’ seemingly corrupt dealings with Russian government officials, Morning Joe and their guests immediately pathologized Trump, attacked his moral character, and accused him of harming America’s core institutions, specifically the press. Senator Bennet’s claim that “democracy cannot work if people lose faith in journalism” was particularly odd in light of his and Kaine’s refusal to discuss the important journalistic work that Trump was indirectly referring to. Apparently, unquestioning faith in journalism is only valuable when reporters aren’t casting an ominous shadow over the most prominent Democratic politicians of the past three decades.
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Even though the Senators had to go after their final remarks, Scarborough was not done playing armchair psychologist:
Yeah, well you know, he, of course, I want to thank you guys for being with us. And Mika, he tweeted, of course, about this this morning because it was covered on "Fox and Friends" which, of course, he watches as well as this show, apparently, if you judge his tweets. But he does not get briefings, he does not get regular briefings, his briefings come from watching, you know, watching cable news. And that is, that is, as somebody that works in that profession, that is truly frightening. I know a lot of people who work in cable news, and, you know, you don't want to get your White House briefings from Mike Barnicle or me. But think about this fact, though, that here we are eleven months after the election. Election’s over. He's still attacking the opponent that he won with the electoral votes. I guess he's still angry that he lost the popular vote by over three million votes. But we have over 70% of Americans afraid of a war, a possible nuclear war. We’ve got one sixth of the economy hanging by a thread. We have health care reform going down the drain. We have the President trying to pass a budget. We have the senators and the congressmen trying to get a fix on tax reform. We’ve got all of these things going on. We've got an Iran nuclear deal, again, hanging in the balance. We've got a “dreamers” deal hanging in the balance. We’ve got all of these things ahead of us, and the President is tweeting about a political opponent from a year ago. It’s, it is inexplicable.
Actually, Joe, it has a really simple explanation: a big report just came out this week about the Clinton-Uranium scandal and President Trump wants the liberal media to cover it more. This is not hard to grasp.
Of course, Joe and Mika couldn’t end the segment without taking another opportunity to call for Trump’s removal from office:
BRZEZINSKI: I’m just telling you, if this guy worked for a small company in the Midwest, he'd be dragged out. There’d be an intervention.
SCARBOROUGH: He would, he would, he would be fired. If, if the guy was a CEO at a-
BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] Because he'd be threatening the company.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. If the guy was anything. If he worked in a church. If he worked in a synagogue. If he worked in a small business. If he worked in a mid-size business. If he worked in a large corporation. If he were the coach of a football team, a high school football team,-
BRZEZINSKI: [interjecting] He’d be out.
SCARBOROUGH: -he would be fired. And yet, here he is, the President of the United States, and people in my former party won't even stand up to him other than Jeff Flake and one or two others.