Trump admin ‘playing with fire’ by working with senior congressional aides without informing their bosses
Day Deux of Joe Scarborough’s tirade against the Trump admin’s handling of the executive order on immigration.
On today’s Morning Joe, Scarborough condemned the admin’s accusation that acting AG Sally Yates had “betrayed” the Justice Department by refusing to enforce the executive order. Scarborough repeatedly called the use of the word “frightening,” suggesting it was worthy of an “autocrat” in a country like Venezuela.
Scarborough then turned the tables, saying that Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, and Trump himself had “betrayed” Defense Secretary Mattis, DHS head John Kelly, and others by failing to provide them details of the order before it was made public. Scarborough expressed outrage that Stephen Miller and others in the administration apparently believed they could not trust those heroes with a secret.
Note: it was reported that in the drafting of the order, the Trump admin had worked with senior aides to Republican committee chairmen without informing the chairmen thereof. Kasie Hunt said that in doing so, the administration is “playing with fire,” with Scarborough observing that any aide of his who had done that when he was a congressman would have had his “crap” out in the hallway and been led away in cuffs if necessary.
Note segundo: although Scarborough mentioned Bannon’s role in this more than once, and even said that the buck stopped with President Trump, Stephen Miller was once again the main object of Joe’s ire. Among other things he sarcastically advised the administration to keep Miller off TV: “he’s not good on television.” This Insurrectionist caught Miller’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show last night and found him smooth and surprisingly relaxed, given the circumstances.
Note tercero: as mentioned, this was the second day running that Scarborough devoted the show’s opening to a condemnation of the Trump admin’s handling of the executive order, with much of the fire being focused on Trump advisor Stephen Miller. Here’s our report on yesterday’s show, in which Scarborough called Miller “a very young person on a power trip.”
Note cuarto: The accusation that Yates betrayed the Justice Department doesn’t come close to Al Gore’s bellowed accusation that President George W. Bush “betrayed this country.”
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: White House officials say the replacement, Dana Boente, was sworn in last night at 9:00 P.M. A few minutes later the White House sent out a statement saying in part, “the acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.
. . .
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The word betrayed. Using the word betrayed for somebody is frightening. That’s what an autocrat would use, whoever put that word in there.
MIKE BARNICLE: Weak on borders, weak on immigration.
JOE: There are people that can have reasonable differences without saying that if they don’t agree with you, they betray you. That is frightening, chilling language . . . Saying that somebody betrayed the Justice Department because they don’t agree with you, take that to Venezuela, okay, we don’t really want to use that sort of language here. It’s time for you guys to grow up. It really is time to grow up.
. . .
JOE: [dramatic pause I want to circle this word —
JOE: Because it’s frightening.
BARNICLE: Betrayed the Department of Justice.
JOE: To suggest that someone acting as a conscientious objector to a law that has divided this country would be termed as someone who has, quote, betrayed the Justice Department. That is deeply, deeply offensive first of all. But secondly, it is frightening the Trump administration actually views dissent that way.
. . .
MIKA: There’s more reporting this morning that top lawmakers and top cabinet members were left in the dark as the travel ban, the executive order, was being developed, written, and rolled out. Think about that. The Associated Press reports at least three top national security figures, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson have told associates they were not aware of details of the directives until around the time Trump signed it. . . . The report goes on, quote, Mattis, who stood next to Trump during Friday’s signing ceremony, is said to be particularly incensed.
. . .
Aides confirmed to NBC News that neither House Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul nor House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte were consulted on the president’s immigration executive order. Politico reports that senior staffers on Goodlatte’s committee —
JOE: — this was unbelievable.
MIKA: — helped Donald Trump’s top aides draft the executive order but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed.
JOE: So these people who worked for the chairman of the Judiciary Committee did it behind his back and did not inform him.
. . .
MIKA: Some young kids draft —
JOE: — some young kids draft, which caused chaos across the globe, has implications.
MIKA: And he goes on television doubling down and tripling down on it as if he runs the place.
JOE: By the way, he’s not good on television, you guys should probably keep him off television. So the White House kept talking, they talked for the past couple of days about keeping this closely held because they didn’t want to tip off terrorists who would then come to the country. I’m just wondering what exactly is in General James Mattis’s background that concerned Stephen Miller so much that he felt the need to keep our Secretary of Defense in the dark to the details.
I’m wondering what exactly is in General John Kelly’s background and service to this country in war and peace that made Stephen Miller think that that general who has given his all for this country, who has given a son for this country, should be left in the dark about an executive order that actually impacts homeland security, impacts our fight against terror. What exactly in Mike Pompeo’s background, what exactly was in Rex Tillerson’s background that made Stephen Miller think he could not trust these men?
. . .
JOE: And ask yourself if you’re one of these American heroes why you would stick around and work for a — the first word I can’t say but the second word is “show.” For this crap show. Why would you work at this place if this ever happened again?
. . .
KASIE HUNT: And the idea they’re going to go around committee chairman to their staff and not inform the person at the head of the committee: they are playing with fire.
JOE: If we want to talk about betrayed, let’s talk about betrayed. I’ve got a great list of people who were betrayed. American hero General James Mattis was betrayed by the Trump administration. Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, betrayed by Trump administration. American hero General John Kelly betrayed by the Trump administration. Chairman Bob Goodlatte, betrayed by the Trump administration. Behind his back with his own staffers. I tell you, if somebody on my staff in congress did that to me, again, I want to say a word I can’t say. Their crap would be out in the hall that morning. If they tried to get in the office, I would call Capitol police and have them handcuffed and taken off premises. It’s unbelievable.
Let’s see, who else was betrayed? Oh! Chairman Bob Corker, betrayed! All of them betrayed by Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, and, yes, the buck stops with Donald Trump. All of them betrayed. You want to talk about betrayal, that was betrayal of men who have fought and given everything to their country.
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