Donny Deutsch: ‘This is the Big One,’ Dems ‘Need to Storm the Gate’

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On MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, left-wing regular Donny Deutsch was convinced that vague allegations of someone overhearing President Trump making controversial comments to another world leader during a private phone call would be the commander in chief’s downfall. Deutsch promised his fellow liberals that “this is the big one” and pleaded for Democrats to “storm the gate” with investigations.

While admitting that “We’ve sat on this set after so many Trump snafus and, you know, ‘Oh, This is it,’” Deutsch assured viewers that predictions of Trump’s political doom was real this time: “You know, guys, it does feel like a moment in time....This is a game changer.” He then lectured liberal lawmakers: “And if the Democrats can’t smell this....this is the big one. If this is the case, this is the super bowl and the Democrats need to pounce aggressively.”

 

 

Moments later, co-host Joe Scarborough proclaimed: “...it became obvious that the truth was going to come out, that Donald Trump likely, if the news reports are true, the editorials are true, likely did something extraordinarily inappropriate.” His fellow co-host and wife Mika Brzezinski chimed in that Trump’s alleged actions were “Impeachable.”

In a later segment that hour, Deutsch kept up his football analogy: “But this is a moment in time. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings...The guards have opened up a lane. Put the ball under and run through, run off tackle and you will score.”

The sole voice of reason on the MSNBC morning show was Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz, who in the 7:00 a.m. ET hour cautioned:

So, it could be an enormous deal or it could be nothing. And my sense is that people should keep their powder dry because we’re now at two and three quarters years of the Trump administration and every time people think, “Ah, now it’s time to go in for the kill,” either the salient detail that would wrap everything up in a bow doesn’t materialize or the story is a little overblown.

Deutsch dismissed such logical objections: “Two words, ‘urgent concern’....I think you’re going down the wrong path.”

Turning to liberal Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, Deutsch pressed:

This is a moment in time that all the other calls for impeachment, which to me when you’re talking about campaign finance, voting people cannot connect with. This is a very simple tale that is almost unimaginable. And this one does feel different. And this does feel like the time the Democrats need to storm the gate. Are you on John’s side or are you kind of leaning more where I am?

Capehart predictably replied: “Well, I heard what you said in the previous hour and I am on your side.”

Podhoretz again attempted to rein in the speculation: “But you guys are all treating this as though we now know that it’s a quid pro quo.” Capehart wailed: “This is a huge deal!” Podhoretz hit back: “It’s a huge deal if it’s true....We don’t actually know – we don’t actually know if the specifics that we’re reading about are not just....a series of extrapolations based on reporting.”

Minutes later, Deutsch again ranted: “‘Urgent concern,’ ‘urgent concern,’ remember those words. I mean you keep kind of dancing around it....It was such an extraordinary act.” Podhoretz responded: “We don’t know.”

Scarborough at least seemed to change his mind, urging some restraint in the coverage:

But how many times over the past several years have we heard people saying we are absolutely certain that this proved that there’s a smoking gun showing that Donald Trump concluded with the Russians and it’s all going to blow up and everybody who’s last name starts with “T” in Manhattan is going to jail? I think, as John has said and as Benjamin [Wittes] has said, we have to know what those facts are. Because if it is the raising of an eyebrow or if it is something that you can’t nail down.

Deutsch has a lengthy record of making wild and irresponsible statements about Trump, including constantly comparing him to Hitler.

Here are excerpts of Deutsch’s ranting on the September 20 Morning Joe:

6:19 AM ET

(...)

DONNY DEUTSCH: You know, guys, it does feel like a moment in time. We’ve sat on this set after so many Trump snafus and, you know, “Oh, This is it.” This is a game changer.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

DEUTSCH: And if the Democrats can’t smell this. I’ve been the one all along saying step away from impeachment because when it’s a process thing, when it’s a campaign finance, this is the big one. If this is the case, this is the super bowl and the Democrats need to pounce aggressively.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So the questions are so important, I don’t think there’s any way the truth is going to stay hidden, number one. And you wonder if Republicans might start responding to this story in a little bit of a different way.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I think they already have. I mean, you know, I think it’s very interesting, Reverend Al, that as this story was breaking and as it became obvious that the truth was going to come out, that Donald Trump likely, if the news reports are true, the editorials are true, likely did something extraordinarily inappropriate.

BRZEZINSKI: Impeachable.

SCARBOROUGH: That would once again impact America’s democratic process, having a foreign country interfere, I thought it very telling that Mitch McConnell caved yesterday. Very telling that after doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding...

DEUTSCH: He has a good point.

SCARBOROUGH: ...over the past several years and refusing to listen to all the intel chiefs, that Donald Trump appointed, to protect democracy against what they called an imminent threat, that Mitch McConnell chose yesterday, as this story was exploding...

DEUTSCH: That’s a great point.

SCARBOROUGH: ...about other foreign interference in American democracy, that that’s when he timely caved and stopped worrying about Vladimir Putin and started worrying about defending and protecting American democracy in the 2020 election.

AL SHARPTON: I think when you look at the fact yesterday, and as I walked around the hill after the hearings and started seeing even Democrats that had said they were not for impeachment start saying, “Wait a minute, this may change everything.” I think the thunderbolt was what you just pointed out, Joe.

(...)

6:38 AM ET

DEUTSCH: But this is a moment in time. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings, this is –

BRZEZINSKI: This is on you.

DEUTSCH: The guards have opened up a lane. Put the ball under and run through, run off tackle and you will score.  

(...)

7:09 AM ET

JOHN PODHORETZ [EDITOR, COMMENTARY MAGAZINE]: So, it could be an enormous deal or it could be nothing. And my sense is that people should keep their powder dry because we’re now at two and three quarters years of the Trump administration and every time people think, “Ah, now it’s time to go in for the kill,” either the salient detail that would wrap everything up in a bow doesn’t materialize or the story is a little overblown. And there’s a sec – there are two secondary things. One, a real danger for the Trump people and another a real danger for opponents of Trump. The danger –  

SCARBOROUGH: Well, let’s just talk first of all, and let’s just assume what the Financial Times has reported, what The Washington Post has reported about, what they editoralized on, actually occurred. Which they’re reporting that Donald Trump said that he was going to withhold military aid unless they spied and did investigations on the Bidens.

PODHORETZ: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: So let’s say those are the facts that we assume that are before us. Where do we go from here?

PODHORETZ: Well, then – this is a weird thing because it’s obviously a very big deal, on the one hand. And institutionally and constitutionally the idea that the President of the United States particularly a free wheeling, you know, norms-breaking President of the United States, is having his own private conversations with other foreign leaders kind of monitored by somebody under him is constitutionally problematic. I mean, Jack Goldsmith, who writes for Ben Wittes’s Lawfare, is a key figure in the study of secrecy and the presidency, did a long tweet storm yesterday in which he pointed out that there is a huge constitutional problem if the President’s ability to talk freely with foreign leaders is somehow interfered with by – by this kind of process. That, you know, if you want to go after him for this, what happens when Biden’s president and he has a conversation where somebody says something or he says something that is problematic? Are you going to go after him too? It’s a –  

DEUTSCH: Two words, “urgent concern.” That does not have –  

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

DEUTSCH: I think you’re going down the wrong path. Jonathan, I want to bring you in here. In the last hour, I suggested this is not a false start. This is a moment in time that all the other calls for impeachment, which to me when you’re talking about campaign finance, voting people cannot connect with. This is a very simple tale that is almost unimaginable. And this one does feel different. And this does feel like the time the Democrats need to storm the gate. Are you on John’s side or are you kind of leaning more where I am?

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, I heard what you said in the previous hour and I am on your side.

(...)

7:14 AM ET

PODHORETZ: All I’m saying is, if then, yes. So – but you guys are all treating this as though we now know that it’s a quid pro quo.

CAPEHART: This is a huge deal!

PODHORETZ: It’s a huge deal if it’s true.

SCARBOROUGH: Okay, but –

PODHORETZ: We don’t actually know – we don’t actually know if the specifics that we’re reading about are not just –  

CAPEHART: I’m choking on the smoke. There’s so much smoke.

PODHORETZ: What? No, but a series of extrapolations based on reporting.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, I think we’re going to get the truth here.  

PODHORETZ: So obviously if the line is he said to [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, “Investigate Biden or I’m holding the aide back,” and that’s absolutely the case, that it’s a huge story. But we don’t know that that’s the story yet.

(...)

7:23 AM ET

DEUTSCH: “Urgent concern,” “urgent concern,” remember those words. I mean you keep kind of dancing around it.

PODHORETZ: No, I’m not dancing around anything.

DEUTSCH: It was such an extraordinary act.

PODHORETZ: We don’t know.

SCARBOROUGH: But we don’t know – we don’t know what the act is.

DEUTSCH: No, the act of coming forward, as far as to kind of whistleblow – for the whistleblower to do what he did.

PODHORETZ: I’m sure that the whistleblower believed –   

SCARBOROUGH: But how many times over the past several years have we heard people saying we are absolutely certain that this proved that there’s a smoking gun showing that Donald Trump concluded with the Russians and it’s all going to blow up and everybody who’s last name starts with “T” in Manhattan is going to jail? I think, as John has said and as Benjamin has said, we have to know what those facts are. Because if it is the raising of an eyebrow or if it is something that you can’t nail down.

(...)

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