'Morning Joe' Rips Mark Meadows for 'Pathetic' Response to Trump/Cummings Feud

July 30th, 2019 9:28 PM

Over the weekend, President Trump unleashed a series of tweets that attacked House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings for the high crime rates and poor management in his home district in West Baltimore. For Democrats and their allies in the media, the President criticizing an African-American member of Congress and pointing out facts about the horrific state of Baltimore was, of course, a sign of his unmitigated hatred for people of color.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe has been leading the charge in labeling the President a racist whenever he has criticisms of any African-American Democrat in Congress. On Tuesday, the hosts ripped into North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows for not forcefully condemning Trump for stating facts about the state of Elijah Cummings’ district.



First, co-host Mika Brzezinski went on a long rant blasting the “pathetic” Meadows for not forcefully sticking up for Cummings after the Maryland Democrat did the same for Meadows when Rashida Tlaib tried to call him a racist during a committee hearing in February (click “expand”):

Really? Mark Meadows, just a couple of questions, can you feel Elijah Cummings' pain when he's called a racist because you were crying there. You were truly upset. You were deeply shocked and appalled that you were called a racist and Elijah stood up for you. Right there in front of the cameras, come what may, no matter what happened to him, he stood with his friend and you couldn't even do it. But you were so upset you were crying like a baby. You were crying so hard at the thought of being called a racist so you know how much that hurts especially if it's not true and you did not stand up for your friend, so you have just shown America that you cannot be counted on. You have just showed your voters you cannot be counted on, that you will take the weak way out. That was pathetic. You had a moment yesterday when you could step up and return the favor because it was the right thing to do and you took a pass because you're weak and spineless. And you think that some sort of relationship with this President is going to bring you somewhere good. If he leaves office after four years there's a chance he won't go back to Mar-a-Lago. This doesn't end well, Mark Meadows. And also, it's a matter of right and wrong. It's a matter of right and wrong. You know what it feels like to be called a racist. When you believe you're not, which many would question about you, but he didn't. He took a stand in real time. You took a pathetic many moments to figure out some sort of pathetic statement that said nothing. You did nothing. Gene Robinson, any problem with anything I'm saying? 

Washington Post associate editor and columnist Eugene Robinson then suggested that Meadows’ response is indication that “there is no Republican Party anymore” (click “expand”):

And that really ridiculous and again disgraceful sort of, "I know both men" response is not the same thing as coming to the defense of someone who you claim as a friend, who showed he was a friend to you. A real friend to you. It's just -- it's just awful. It's amazing the whole -- Michael Steele was talking earlier about what he is seeing among Republicans about Trump. It is simply true that there is no Republican Party anymore. It is the Trump party. You know, I have serious questions about whether Donald Trump can expand his base to the point where he could actually get re-elected. But I have no doubt about his control of the vast majority of self-identified Republicans right now. He is the Republican Party. It's not the party of Lincoln, it's the party of Trump and Republicans and Republican office holders and the Republican base are following him I believe off a cliff. But following him like some sort of demented pied piper. It is appalling, but this is the world we live in.

Finally, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who participated in a Monday press conference with MSNBC host Al Sharpton condemning the President, concluded that Republicans have “thrown virtue and value out the window”:

They have thrown virtue and value out the window because those things anchor down your choices. It makes it hard to stand with Trump if you still value the propositions and the ideals of the Republican Party of let's say, oh, gosh, let's say Ronald Reagan. Or even, you know, William F. Buckley. All of the stalwarts who built the modern conservative party have largely been set aside, let's just put it that way. There's a stronger word I could use. But, the reality and the truth I think boils down to that moment that Mika was just talking about and clarified so well with one word: pathetic, because it applies to so much that we've seen. As a life-long Republican, it has been hard for me to watch the pathetic, child-like display of sycophantic behavior by a party that said it belonged to Lincoln. 

The statement released by Congressman Meadows read:

I am friends with both men, President Trump and Chairman Cummings. I know both men well. Neither man is a racist. Period. Both love America. I think if we put aside partisanship with investigations, we can find bipartisan solutions that will benefit, not only Chairman Cummings’ district, but the country as a whole. I’m committed to working to that end with both of them.

Morning Joe’s standard is apparently that Meadows must completely trash Trump when he points out facts about Cummings’ district. Yet, MSNBC was perfectly willing to slander Meadows as “shedding crocodile tears” and “racially retarded” when Cummings defended him from charges of racism levied by Rashida Tlaib back in February.

The hypocrisy of Morning Joe never ceases to amaze.

The full transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.

MSNBC's Morning Joe


6:11 A.M. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Really? Mark Meadows, just a couple of questions, can you feel Elijah Cummings' pain when he's called a racist? Because you were crying there. You were truly upset. You were deeply shocked and appalled that you were called a racist and Elijah stood up for you. Right there in front of the cameras, come what may, no matter what happened to him, he stood with his friend and you couldn't even do it. But you were so upset you were crying like a baby. You were crying so hard at the thought of being called a racist so you know how much that hurts, especially if it's not true, and you did not stand up for your friend, so you have just shown America that you cannot be counted on. You have just showed your voters you cannot be counted on, that you will take the weak way out. That was pathetic. You had a moment yesterday when you could step up and return the favor because it was the right thing to do and you took a pass because you're weak and spineless. And you think that some sort of relationship with this President is going to bring you somewhere good. If he leaves office after four years there's a chance he won't even go back to Mar-a-Lago. This doesn't end well, Mark Meadows. And also, it's a matter of right and wrong. It's a matter of right and wrong. You know what it feels like to be called a racist. When you believe you're not, which many would question about you, but he didn't. He took a stand in real time. You took a pathetic many moments to figure out some sort of pathetic statement that said nothing. You did nothing. Gene Robinson, any problem with anything I'm saying? 

EUGENE ROBINSON: No, no problem. I think you used the word pathetic three times I think that's the right word. Unconscionable, disgraceful. Those are another couple of words that you could use for Meadows' performance. Cummings didn't have to go out on that limb for him. Cummings didn't have to -- 

BRZEZINSKI: Sure didn't. 

ROBINSON: At that point, when Meadows was under attack, Cummings didn't have to come to his defense. So -- 

BRZEZINSKI: Do you remember, Gene, do you remember what happened leading up to that moment where Meadows was crying crocodile tears? 

ROBINSON: I remember. 

BRZEZINSKI: Do you remember that woman they brought out -- it was a pathetic display. And Elijah Cummings put his hand up and said, "No, we're not using the word racist. I know this man, I have worked with him." He stood up for him in real time. 

ROBINSON: And that really ridiculous and again disgraceful sort of, "I know both men" response is not the same thing as coming to the defense of someone who you claim as a friend, who showed he was a friend to you. A real friend to you. It's just -- it's just awful. It's amazing the whole -- Michael Steele was talking earlier about what he is seeing among Republicans about Trump. It is simply true that there is no Republican Party anymore. It is the Trump party. You know, I have serious questions about whether Donald Trump can expand his base to the point where he could actually get re-elected. But I have no doubt about his control of the vast majority of self-identified Republicans right now. He is the Republican Party. It's not the party of Lincoln, it's the party of Trump and Republicans and Republican office holders and the Republican base are following him I believe off a cliff. But following him like some sort of demented pied piper. It is appalling, but this is the world we live in.

WILLIE GEIST: You know, Michael Steele, I hope Elijah Cummings and Mark Meadows really are friends. I think it’s good for government. It’s good for the country. They can work on legislation together, but I don't know a lot of friends who would have sat there for three days and waited and waited and calculated what's the right thing for me to say so I don't anger the President of the United States and it goes, as you know better than anyone, to Gene's larger point, which is that Donald Trump has done something to Republicans and to the Republican Party, where they are not behaving the way they want to behave. In other words, they're doing things to please Donald Trump. They're calculating, they’re thinking through, how do I say this? How do I legislate even in a way that will please President Trump, even when it's a direct attack on a friend? They can't respond the way that a normal human being would respond for fear of upsetting President Trump. 

MICHAEL STEELE: They have thrown virtue and value out the window because those things anchor down your choices. It makes it hard to stand with Trump if you still value the propositions and the ideals of the Republican Party of let's say, oh, gosh, let's say Ronald Reagan. Or even, you know, William F. Buckley. All of the stalwarts who built the modern conservative party have largely been set aside, let's just put it that way. There's a stronger word I could use. But, the reality and the truth I think boils down to that moment that Mika was just talking about and clarified so well with one word: pathetic, because it applies to so much that we've seen. As a life-long Republican, it has been hard for me to watch the pathetic, child-like display of sycophantic behavior by a party that said it belonged to Lincoln. 

MIKE BARNICLE: Okay, Michael -- 

STEELE: That it belonged to Frederick Douglas and, yet, in a moment like that it took Mark Meadows three days to come up with that support. 


STEELE: For his friend. With friends like that, Elijah Cummings, brother, you need to check that because I don't know if I'd go into the fight he's going to have my back the way you had his in front of the nation a few weeks ago. 

BARNICLE: Michael, we have -- I have been listening to you for a long time you make a lot of sense, but history is a constant stenographer, it never stops recording what happens. There's got to be some explanation other than fear of being primaried on your right from all of these people in the House and the Senate other than fear of Donald Trump. What is the answer here? Why do they fold unceasingly one after another? 

STEELE: I think it's probably -- again, it's driven more from the bottom up here. This is not the leadership and elected officials necessarily taking these positions on their own. They're reacting to a base of Republicans that has turned on itself. And a lot of it -- a lot of it, Mike, goes back to the promises that were made that were broken. The sense that you promised us these things, that you said these things were of value, and then went off and did something different. You know, you have folks who looked at the spending in the Bush era. And yet, here we are with Trump spending three or four times that amount and seemingly they don't care. And I think that's pretty much the attitude is, look, all those things you told us and promised us were true, we realized they're not so Donald Trump is the guy who’s exposing that and we support him for exposing that lie. But there's more to it than that, because it has an impact. It rips at a fabric about who we are as a country and who we are as a party and I think that's going to be what the party is going to have to grapple with when Trump is no longer the center of their universe. When that star is gone how do those planets revolve, what do they do revolve around and before it was always those ideas that we proposed were true. Now maybe they're not so true.