Virtually every morning, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough vociferously reject the notion that they're in the tank for Donald Trump. And it's true that in word and print they can occasionally be critical of him. But on today's Morning Joe, Mika came up with an odd defense to the assertion that Trump often lies: "He's not just blurting out outright lies--he's kind of making people think in some ways." Um, okay.
Mika's odd formulation came in response to the allegation by guest Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama Defense Department official with expertise on Russia, who has a current Politico piece suggesting that Trump and Putin are "two liars separated at birth." On the show, Farkas claimed that with Trump "there is sort of lie after lie" to the point she considers him "dangerous for democracy." That prompted Mika's response that he ain't lying, he's making us think.
DONALD TRUMP: And I like [Putin] because he called me a genius and said Trump is the real new leader, Trump should be the leader, he's a total genius, and it got out in the paper. So he called me a genius.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Joining us now former DOD official and former executive director of the WMD Commission, Dr. Evelyn Farkas. could you tell testify director of the wmd commission Dr. Evelyn Farkas. She's a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and her latest piece in Politico asks whether Trump and Putin are two liars separated at birth, and Evelyn you write in part this: "among the many dangers of Donald Trump is that he will make the United States 'great' again in exactly the way that the GOP front-runner’s one-time admirer, Vladimir Putin, claims he is making Russia 'great' again . . . rump, in his own way, is seeking to turn the United States into a post-factual society analogous to Putin’s Russia. He makes claims that are false, doubles down on them when challenged and seems to care not a whit for video or documentary evidence that proves him wrong."
So you're saying you are a little concerned about the foreign policy side of things here.
EVELYN FARKAS: I'm a little concerned about the truth and I think it's kind of rich because, you know, this morning you also had clips about Donald Trump calling Cruz, you know, lyin' Ted and, I mean, over and over again we've seen trump just say things that were not true, including this last trip where he calls Putin a cookie, which is kind of interesting. Where he says that Putin said this, this and this about me. Actually, Putin said he was bright, or something like that. That's as far as he went, he did not endorse him for the presidency.
MIKA: He exaggerated.
FARKAS: He exaggerated. There is sort of lie after lie and the problem I think -- so my bottom line is I think the reason that Trump is actually dangerous for democracy in the way that Putin is is that you have enough lies add up and it becomes such an overwhelming task for you guys in the journalism courier field to counter all these lies. After a while -- and he insists that the lies are true, even in face of documentary evidence, even in the face of the video, for example, of his campaign manager grabbing the journalist, he said oh, that didn't happen, right? So even in the face of actual evidence he persists with the lies.
MIKA: But there are always issues that there's something in the middle. Haven't you noticed that? I mean, even the super PAC issue, you can say it's a lie, but you all know it happens. In the Lewandowski situation the reporter was not thrown toward the ground almost. I mean, it wasn't a violent interaction and some even argue whether it looked like an assault or kind of a mistake that was trumped up by the reporter. I'm just saying. Like it's always somewhere in the middle. He's not just blurting out outright lies--he's kind of making people think in some ways.