During Wednesday’s edition of Morning Joe, historian Jon Meacham felt he had come up with the perfect explanation for President Trump’s tense relationships with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Meacham asked “What’s the role of misogyny here?” He continued spouting talking points, asking “Does Merkel remind him of Hillary? Does that help explain the Theresa May issue? He does not have a particularly healthy relationship, it seems, with a lot of strong women.”
Meacham’s comments came after the Morning Joe panel took turns attacking President Trump for his behavior on his overseas trip, which began with a breakfast meeting with NATO officials. Host Joe Scarborough began the segment by claiming that “it is hard on this day, with everything that we’ve seen over the past 18, 19 months, to not look at Donald Trump as doing either subconsciously or maybe he’s just bumbling around like Mr. Magoo, but he is doing the very thing that Vladimir Putin would want a western leader to do more than anything else, and that is to undermine NATO.”
According to Scarborough, “He could not be doing Putin’s bidding more effectively if he were an active agent of Vladimir Putin and the KGB.”
David Ignatius of The Washington Post also weighed in, believing that “historians will look back and wonder how on Earth was this instrument of American power and wealth undermined so systematically by a President who really had so little knowledge about foreign policy?”
Scarborough continued to theorize about what questions the historians of the future will ask about the Trump era, claiming they will “wonder why more people were not asking aggressively and not with guarded words, but aggressively asking what does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?”
Panelist Mike Barnicle added his thoughts on what questions historians of the future will ponder: “Another question that’s going to be among them is, why was there such silence from members of the United States Senate or the United States Congress about what is occurring right now?”
The Trump-bashing continued for quite a bit, leading into Meacham’s decision to “practice psychiatry without a license” and call President Trump a misogynist. Ignatius rounded out the segment by arguing that President Trump has “an affinity for the big guy,” adding “resa May, Angela Merkel, they’re not one of the guys.” Apparently, it never occurred to these geniuses that ideological differences explain the President’s tense relationships with May and Merkel.
Based on the ridiculousness of this particular segment of Morning Joe, it could have easily been mistaken for a Saturday Night Live skit. However, this is real life. The media has become completely unhinged as President Trump nears the end of the 18th month of his Presidency.
A transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, David, it is hard on this day, with everything that we’ve seen over the past 18, 19 months, to not look at Donald Trump as doing either subconsciously or maybe he’s just bumbling around like Mr. Magoo, but he is doing the very thing that Vladimir Putin would want a western leader to do more than anything else, and that is to undermine NATO. He could not be doing Putin’s bidding more effectively if he were an active agent of Vladimir Putin and the KGB.
DAVID IGNATIUS: Joe, for now I’m going to leave that issue to Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel.
SCARBOROUGH: So, well, then let me ask you this…what does Vladimir Putin fear? What has Vladimir Putin feared over the past 18, 19 years more than anything else?
IGNATIUS: So Putin fears and resents a strong American-led alliance in NATO that he feels has gone right up to Russia’s border, has tried to draw in these newly emerging countries that were part of a Soviet empire. Countries that bitterly resented Russia’s tutelage and now have moved toward NATO for security. He resents it, to some extent he fears it. He fears that that same desire for something different will affect his own population. It is a dream come true for Vladimir Putin, to have an American President arrive on the ground in Brussels and the first thing, go to a breakfast and harangue the NATO Secretary General and talk about Germany, our most important ally in Europe, as a captive of Russia. I mean, it’s just insulting language. It’s…it seeks to humiliate the people that he’s dealing with. I can only think that Putin sits back in Moscow, well, I’ll tell what you people said to me in Russia last summer when I was there. They said, “we watch the American-led liberal international order collapsing and we think that’s good, but we don’t really understand what you’re doing to yourselves. We don’t understand why this is being taken apart, but we’re happy.” And I think they are happy, but, you know, people will look back, historians will look back and wonder how on Earth was this instrument of American power and wealth undermined so systematically by a President who really had so little knowledge about foreign policy?
SCARBOROUGH: Well and, Mike, historians will look back at this moment and also wonder why more people were not asking aggressively and not with guarded words, but aggressively asking what does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?
MIKE BARNICLE: Yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: Because there is…we were talking about it before. There is no other explanation…
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That was a performance for Putin.
SCARBOROUGH: …For an American commander in chief.
SCARBOROUGH: …To actively work to undermine America’s most important, most strategic, most vital alliance that it has on the entire face of the Earth. The only country this helps is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
BARNICLE: Well, history will have a long list of questions that will have to be answered and that’s going to be among them, and another question that’s going to be among them is, why was there such silence from members of the United States Senate or the United States Congress about what is occurring right now? And Nick Burns, you’re a man of the world; former Ambassador to NATO, State department employee. Tell us your view, your concerns, perhaps, about what has happened when you look at what has happened; a withdrawal from TPP by this President, virtually ceding the Pacific to the Chinese who are in Central America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, intent on becoming a bigger world power than they already are, virtually one foot out the door on NATO, the collapse of NATO after 70 years, perhaps could happen. Give us your view, your concerns about what is happening right now to our position in the world, and the relative silence as we just spoke of from members of the United States Senate about this.
NICHOLAS BURNS: Mike, I think it’s clear now, 18 months in to this presidency, that the President is abdicating American leadership, in the following way…he’s dismantling our alliances and downgrading them. That’s been the power base of the United States for 75 years. He’s dismantled the trading system that brought us this unprecedented prosperity, and is replacing it with nothing. He’s just tearing down. And I just been, third, I’ve just been in Europe; four countries in the last couple of weeks. The existential battle right now in Europe is between the democratic governments, small D democratic governments and these right wing anti-democratic populists that have taken over the governments of Hungary and Poland and are inside the government of Italy and the Europeans are convinced that Trump’s siding with the authoritarian figures because Trump has been praising them privately and publicly, the authoritarian leaders. He’s gone after Angela Merkel. There she is on the screen, big time a vicious Twitter attack designed to bring her down. He’s been extremely critical of the West European democracies. You can’t imagine why an American president would act this way. I think it’s a radical revolution, if you add in leaving the Iran deal, leaving the Paris climate change deal. We had a power base as the most influential country in the world; he only sees trade imbalances and doesn’t credit our allies with anything else. So we’re at a critical moment. We do need political leaders to speak out about this, because I can’t believe that members of the Senate and House think this is all a good idea.
BARNICLE: Hey David, do you have any sense that…Nick Burns just mentioned, Angela Merkel and the President going after her constantly, continually, do you have any sense of the root of this, clearly, anger that he has toward Angela Merkel?
IGNATIUS: It’s one of the biggest mysteries, Mike. Angela Merkel is really the leader of Europe today. Does he resent her strength? Does he resent her, because she had a close relationship with Barack Obama, his predecessor?
IGNATIUS: Except I see him as anything that Obama touched, Trump wants to get rid of. Does he…I wrote this morning, we’ll talk about this maybe, but Trump has this odd scarred, wounded attitude of somebody who went through terrible financial trouble, towards people who are successful and prosperous. The Germans are one of the world’s greatest economic success stories. Does he, does he resent that? But he has been going very directly at her with political attacks, saying that the German people are turning against her. He’s doing a little bit of that this week with Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, in effect siding with Boris Johnson, who just walked out of her cabinet in an… American presidents don’t do this. I mean, does Donald Trump, he makes us forget how unusual this sort of thing is, but as to the resentment of Germany, that’s the thing that’s really undoing NATO, because Germany’s at the center of NATO, and it seems very deliberate, because he does it over and over again. To call Germany a captive of Russia.
IGNATIUS: …Is the most inflammatory language I can imagine.
BRZEZINSKI: Well, David, let’s read from your latest op-ed for the Washington Post entitled “Trump’s neediness is at the core of his diplomacy.” And you write in part this: “The Trump we’re watching is a much needier person than the youthful tycoon who vaulted to the top of the world. The current version of Trump sees himself as chief executive not of a thriving enterprise but of one that has nearly been run into the ground by his predecessors. Rather than warmly embracing longtime partners in Europe, he resents them and their success. He picks needless fights and tries to humiliate people that he feels have slighted him. This scarred, prickly Trump is looking for new friends and investors. It’s almost as if he is ready to fold what he sees as a losing hand and draw a fresh set of cards -- one in this case bearing the faces of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.” And that is…wow. That just matches exactly everything that we have seen in Trump’s personality since we first met him, actually.
IGNATIUS: Well, you two know him and the world he comes from. I just have been struck recently that this is not the ebullient “Art of the Deal” Donald Trump, this is the guy who went through the nightmare of near-bankruptcy. This is the “Art of the Comeback” Donald Trump. He’s got the scars, he’s prickly. And as I said in this column, it’s almost as if he’s, he doesn’t like the hand of cards he’s got so he’s laying them down and he’s going to draw these new ones. One of them has got a big Vladimir Putin face on it, and it’s just…it’s mighty weird to see him put the Angela Merkel card down and reach towards the stack for Putin. I don’t get that.
BRZEZINSKI: It’s pretty incredible stuff. Jon Meacham?
JON MEACHAM: Since a lot of us practice psychiatry without a license, David, I’ll offer you a theory just to see if you can react to it. What’s the role of misogyny here? Does Merkel remind him of Hillary? Does that help explain the Theresa May issue? He does not have a particularly healthy relationship, it seems, with a lot of strong women. What do you think?
IGNATIUS: You know, I…I’m going to be careful about…about venturing toward the couch, but I do think that we see in Donald Trump an affinity for the big guy. You know? The guy who’s like Donald Trump. There’s something about him and Kim Jong-un as they’re walking past the furrowed North Korean and American flags and you think…there’s something similar in these two. You see that when he’s with Xi Jinping. I’m sure we’ll see it with Vladimir Putin. He keeps saying over and over again I respect, I respect Vladimir Putin. He said about Boris Johnson, a kind of rough, tough unpredictable British politician. He’s a friend of mine. That’s a characteristic Donald Trump…He’s a friend of mine. That’s sort of…he’s one of the guys. So, you know, Theresa May, Angela Merkel are not one of the guys. They’re not in this circle he regards as friendly. Beyond that, I’m not…I wouldn’t be, wouldn’t dare to guess.