The last person you'd imagine backing Donald Trump's Muslim ban might be Mika Brzezinski. Yet on today's Morning Joe, a reluctant Mika came close to doing just that. Brzezinski springboarded off the news that the visa screening program failed to stop Tafsheen Malik from entering the country although she was already radicalized at the time.
While professing her opposition to the plan, she called the news "incredibly disturbing." When former Obama car czar Steve Rattner admitted that the process in place "had failed," Mika suggested: "are you saying something that might be in line with Donald Trump's policy?" Mika went on: "I'm not sure Donald Trump's concept is good for our country," but "we just had a slaughter." Concluded Brzezinski: "someone tell me something better than what Donald Trump is saying," adding sarcastically "and there's got to be something better because everybody has been sitting here for days, just lambasting him."
Note: the show aired a lengthy interview that Joe Scarborough recently conducted with Ted Cruz. The presidential candidate laid out his own immigration proposal, which would place "a three-year moratorium on refugees from countries where Al Qaeda or ISIS control a substantial amount of territory." There was praise on the panel for Cruz's concept.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Officials said yesterday that they did not know that Malik was committed to jihad when she applied for a fiance visa and came to the United States.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So?
MIKA: So, um, that's, I think, a little bit problematic when we are looking at our visa process, probably. Right? Am I? I know I'm going to be, like --
JOE: Just annunciate it. What are you saying?
MIKA: Well, I'm just saying this is an issue that happened. That somebody came here and wreaked havoc on our society. I'm not backing Donald Trump's concept, I'm just saying --
JOE: So what you're saying is that we've had all of these arguments about the visa programs being inadequate, Donald Trump saying keep Muslims out until we know who's coming in and here's a prime example of a case where somebody was radicalized --
MIKA: -- came over.
JOE: -- a jihadist, even before they applied for the visa program and then got admitted into the United Stats visa program, right?
MIKA: It's really, it's incrediby disturbing.
. . .
STEVE RATTNER: there was a process, there was a robust process. It wasn't like just going to the post office and buying a postage stamp and the fact it failed does raise some really important questions about how you do keep people like this out.
MIKA: So aren't you saying then that the visa, are you saying something might be in line with Donald Trump's policy?
RATTNER: I'm certainly not saying we should ban all Muslims and I'm not even saying we should ban all Muslims from this area, but I think this whole question has to be looked at a lot more carefully.
WILLIE GEIST: When she did her interview, no red flags were raised.
RATTNER: She had multiple interviews.
WILLIE: Right. She knew everything about Farook; she could answer questions.
WILLIE: She breezed through the interviews successfully, so there were no follow-ups about her jihadist leanings.
MIKA: So I'm challenging you all. I mean, I'm just saying.
JOE: What are you saying?! Say what you're saying! We've been waiting!
MIKA: I'm saying that the visa process obviously has holes. And I'm not sure Donald Trump's concept is good for our country --
RATTNER: Well, obviously it has holes: the 9/11 terrorists were here legally too.
MIKA: So what do we do about it? Because we just had like a slaughter in our country. And now children are traumatized across our country. They feel ISIS is here. And most of us feel like it's going to happen again. So someone tell me something better than what Donald Trump is saying and there's got to be something better cause everybody has been sitting here for days just lambasting him, including me because I don't agree with it. But somebody needs a better idea.