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Morning Joe Tag

Joe Scarborough has painted a no-win portrait of VP Pence. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough said that Vice-President Pence "is either a sucker and a dupe for Donald Trump . . . or he's a liar. There is no middle ground." Giving Pence the dubious benefit of the doubt, Scarborough advised, "if it is the first, I think it's about time for Mike Pence to go to Donald Trump and say, as I think most of us would, if you set me up to be your liar again, I'm walking."

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, DC was deep in the throes of impeachment fever. Today, the collective political temperature has plummeted all because of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein's appointment of the highly-respected Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation of possible Russian involvement in the presidential election. As a marker of just how dramatically the mood has changed, consider these statements about Rosenstein on today's Morning Joe. The Washington Post's David Ignatius said that Rosenstein "went from the seeming fall guy to the defender of our republic." Joe Scarborough seconded the notion: "it sounds melodramatic; it's not. Rod Rosenstein: defender of our republic, ensurer of our system of checks and balances." John Heilemann similarly credited Rosenstein with "saving the constitutional republic."

Joe Scarborough likes to make himself out to be a simple country lawyer. But on today's Morning Joe, he ran afoul of a cardinal lawyering rule: never ask a witness a question to which you don't know the answer. Scarborough laid out a lengthy timeline for the purpose of teeing up law professor Jonathan Turley to agree with Joe's conclusion that there was a prosecutable, federal case of obstruction of justice against President Trump. But Turley hit Joe between the eyes with his response:

"This isn't going to be real popular, but I don't think so . . . The fact is, I don't think this makes out an obstruction case."

How are Dems playing their reaction to the news that President Trump shared intelligence information with the Russians during a White House visit? Judging by the statement from former Obama special assistant Ned Price, they've turned it up to 11. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Price said:

"Last week we had this hearing of all national security officials on worldwide threats. And of course, they covered ISIL, they covered Syria, North Korea. I think we have to start asking ourselves: at what point does this administration itself become a threat we have to be concerned about?"

On his Fox News show last night, Tucker Carlson ripped Mika Brzezinski for quoting, on yesterday's Morning Joe, unflattering things that Kellyanne Conway allegedly said about Donald Trump in private, off-the-air conversations. Tucker cited Mika as an example of journalists who have "degraded and humiliated themselves" out of their anti-Trump "hysteria." Tucker: "TV anchors almost never reveal what their guests have said off-camera, and for good reason. People come to TV studios so they can speak on TV. They do not come with the expectation that their private conversations will wind up broadcast to the country."

Earlier this month, Joe Scarborough compared President Trump to his own mother, "who has had dementia for ten years." Joe was back on his Trump-is-crazy beat on today's Morning Joe. After Mika cited a Washington Post article quoting an anonymous source who wondered whether President Trump "is in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion," Joe weighed in, saying he's heard reports all weekend that "the president is running around, screaming at television sets. He's increasingly isolated." Joe then upped the ante, adding that there are "reports at his club that he's going off, detached. Almost detached from reality."

Three months ago, as we reported here, Mika Brzezinski barred Kellyanne Conway from Morning Joe, accusing Conway of propagating "fake news." Continuing her war on Kellyanne, Mika is now trying to keep Conway off the air on a rival network. Said Brzezinski on Morning Joe today: "note to CNN, sorry, I love CNN, but you've got to stop putting Kellyanne on the air. It's politics porn. You're just getting your little ratings crack, okay? But it's disgusting.

On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brezezinski didn't hesitate to tell Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders "you're actually not telling the truth right now" while discussing the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Mika's jab came in response to Sanders' assertion that everyone—including Scarborough—has come to the same conclusion: that there is no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

Is Mika Brzezinski feeling empowered by her recently-disclosed engagement to Joe Scarborough? On today's Morning Joe, Mika confidently proclaimed that "I know my little meltdowns make you all laugh. They're always right." Mika went on to predict, "I'm telling you right now, these guys [in the Trump admin] are going to find themselves fumbling on their own lies, to the point it brings them down. And it's going to start with the press secretary but it's going to end up on the president's desk."

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said he didn't want to bring religion into the health care debate. But he then proceeded to do just that. He said that he's not judging anybody, but then said that the Republican health care bill can't be defended "morally." Scarborough:
"I'm sorry, don't want to bring religion into this, but if you are a Matthew 25 Christian and you believe what Jesus says, that we will be judged on how we treat the poorest among us, then there is no legislative justification for cutting $650 billion in health benefits. And then turning around in the same bill and benefiting the richest among us $800, $850 billion.

When did the word "optics" enter the political lexicon? In any case, the Morning Joe crew today ripped the look of the Republican Rose Garden ceremony of yesterday at which President Trump and House members celebrated the passage of their health care bill. Donny Deutsch said they were "a bunch of fat, middle-aged, rich white guys." When Willie Geist mentioned that Mika had said that the photo looked like a golf course ribbon cutting, Joe Scarborough interjected: "it's a country club with restrictive membership. Obviously, you have to be white, and a male, to be there."

This isn't the first time that Mika Brzezinski has said something critical about Clinton world. So maybe it was just a coincidence that on the day it became public that she and Joe Scarborough have become engaged, Mika took a real shot at the decision not to go after Huma Abedin for forwarding classified emails to her husband Anthony Weiner, ostensibly for the purpose of having him print them off. Said Mika, "I don't understand how Hillary Clinton's e-mails are forwarded to Huma Abedin's husband so he can print them out. What? What? I don't know. Maybe there's no law against it. Seriously, maybe there's no law against it . . . It's incredible. It's everything that was wrong with the campaign." When Joe said that in fact there was a law against it, and suggested the Clinton campaign thought it was playing by different rules, Mika concurred: "totally different rules."

"Pathetic." "Arrogance." Those were the key words that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski used on today's Morning Joe, respectively, to describe Hillary Clinton's excuse-making for her loss. As our Mike LaChance—the artist formerly known as Aleister—has noted, Hillary was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour yesterday. Clinton paid lip service to her own mistakes, but ultimately concluded that "the reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days," citing the Comey letter and Wikileaks. Scarborough: "So who's going to say it on the set? Who's going to say it? Anybody going to say it? That was pathetic. I'll say it. Let me go out, I'll get killed." Mika went on to repeatedly speak of the "arrogance" of Hillary and the Clinton campaign. Sample: Hillary's comments show "this arrogance, and this sense that this was a coronation was so engrained in her."

The entire opening segment of today's Morning Joe was devoted to Joe and Mika's suggestion that President Trump is, literally, demented. The show repeatedly cited Douglas Brinkley's claim that in his recent interviews, Trump showed himself to be in a "confused mental state." Joe made his view very explicit. Focusing on a statement Trump made about the Civil War, Scarborough said: "my mother has had dementia for ten years. That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today." Scarborough went on to twice suggest that the president can't remember what he said five minutes ago. Mika portentously declared that "we're going to say—maybe no one—I'm not sure he's okay. I'm not sure he's okay. You have that feeling with people who are not okay, where it starts to dawn on you that they are not okay."

It's unanimous! 7.5 billion to zero! No one in the entire world likes Donald Trump! That would be the conclusion you'd have to draw if you watched the segment NBC's Richard Engel prepared for today's Morning Joe on international reaction to Trump's first 100 days. From the UK to South Korea, the West Bank to Germany, there was amazing consensus against Trump. Among people Engel aired, the best anyone had to say about Trump was British news anchor Alistair Stewart's observation that at least we've literally survived his first 100 days. Said Stewart: there isn't "all-out nuclear conflict—although it is openly talked about."

The one sure thing about politics that this Insurrectionist has learned can be summed up in two words: "things change." So just like James Carville, who was wrong when in 2009 he wrote a book predicting that Dems would rule for 40 more years, it would be a bad mistake for Republicans to gloat, rest on their laurels, or assume they'll control both houses of congress for the foreseeable future. That said, the current sorry state of the Democrat party was put into sharp focus by Elijah Cummings on today's Morning Joe. Asked by Donny Deutsch to mention three "up-and-coming stars in our party," Dem Congressman Cummings named Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Tim Kaine. Really?

During today's Morning Joe discussion of the ouster of Bill O'Reilly at Fox News, Joe Scarborough asked, "Do they remake over the entire network? Is anybody else in the [Murdoch] family's crosshairs right now?" Replied New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters: "I think you have to look at somebody like Sean Hannity, and question whether or not his almost propaganda-like attitude and programming every night is going to be acceptable in the minds of the family, which is clearly trying to shift the network in a different direction."

Is Joy Reid going to rap DNC Chairman Tom Perez on the knuckles for failure to abide by her anointed nomenclature? As we noted this past weekend, MSNBC host Reid reprimanded Republican Katon Dawson for speaking of the "Democrat" party. She warned Dawson that "we're going to have a talking-to," she instructed him, "we say 'Democratic' on this show." Perez appeared on Morning Joe and CNN this morning to discuss yesterday's congressional primary in Georgia. And—ruh-roh—Perez twice spoke of the "Democrat" party! On Morning Joe, he said, "we're building a Democrat National Committee whose mission is not simply to elect the President of the United States." And later, on CNN, Perez said, "the Democrat party, we have to walk and chew gum."