Hunt: risk for Dems if they overplay their hand on Sessions
Joe Scarborough and John Heilemann were leading an overheated charge against Jeff Sessions on today’s Morning Joe, when a surprising note of caution came from an unexpected source: Kasie Hunt. Hunt is an MSNBC correspondent, not a commentator, nor someone suspected of harboring hidden conservative leanings.
Yet Hunt issued a blunt assessment on Dem dealings over Sessions. Observing that there’s danger for Dems if they overplay their hand, Hunt said: “I think one of the lessons we learned in the 2016 election is Americans are sick of faux outrage.”
Hunt described Dems as having been outraged about something where they “don’t have a solid case.” She acknowledged that Sessions’ recusal did bolster the Dems’ hand, but concluded by saying that in overplaying the matter, there’s still “risk for them.”
Note: if readers haven’t already done so, I’d encourage them to view Tucker Carlson’s interview of AG Sessions on Fox News last night. Far from giving Sessions kid-glove treatment, Carlson asked the AG a series of probing questions. Can you imagine, say, Rachel Maddow being that tough on a Dem in the hot seat?
Also, the very fact that Sessions chose Carlson for the exclusive interview is a testament to Tucker’s recently-enhanced stature.
Note segundo: the original version of this item had Hunt saying that Americans were sick of “foul” outrage. But scrutiny of the audio suggests she was saying “faux” but mispronounced it as “fow.” There’s no audible “l” on the end of the word as she pronounces it.
WILLIE GEIST: Kasie, Democrats holding press conferences yesterday, falling all over each other, calling for the resignation [Hunt chuckles] of Jeff Sessions. They got the recusal not the resignation, obviously. What are they going to continue to push for here? Where does this go next?
KASIE HUNT: Well, Willie, the reality is Democrats are pretty limited here in what they can do, right? They can essentially make a lot of noise and I think there was pressure on them to go farther than they already had. Keep in mind, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, had called for the recusal weeks ago. So they had to kind of come out and say something else, considering all of this new evidence had come to light. But there was some variation. Schumer was a lot more measured than Nancy Pelosi, the House leader, who went so far as to say, sure, we should be talking about the penalties for perjury, which, you know, if you’re a normal citizen could potentially land you in jail.
So I do think there’s a little bit of danger for Democrats on this particular thing if they go so far as to overplay their hand. I think one of the lessons we learned in the 2016 election is that Americans are sick of faux outrage, if you will. They want somebody who’s willing to kind of dispense with all of that, put it all out there.
And I think Democrats being outraged about something where they don’t have a solid case, I think in, up to this recusal, suddenly, the facts became very clear, it became very clear that Jeff Sessions version of the facts was not presented correctly to the committee. And so action needed to be taken. Now, I think, going forward, all of Ari’s [Melber, MSNBC legal correspondent] points, valid. But still, the path forward less clear, and there’s some risk for them.
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