MSNBC's Morning Joe agrees Republicans are acting like 'morons' on masks 'to make a stupid political point'
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough ripped House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other Republican lawmakers balking at the reinstatement of mask rules at the U.S. Capitol.
The Republican leader mocked the House physician for recommending the return of masks, prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to call him a "moron," and the "Morning Joe" host agreed.
"If they don't care about anybody else outside of their family, worry about their children, other people's children, their loved ones," Scarborough said, "as we had in a report earlier this week, in Alabama emergency rooms a lot more children this year than there were last year with the delta variant. I'm hearing the same thing out of Florida, emergency rooms and hospitals that the pediatric wards are finding a lot more of an impact for younger children this year than last year because of the delta variant."
Scarborough said GOP lawmakers were needlessly endangering children too young to be vaccinated to show loyalty to Donald Trump.
"There is so much at stake here, and I do expect more members, more members of the press getting angry about the fact that a lot of these jackasses are literally putting their children's lives in danger because they're trying to make a political point -- a stupid political point, but a political point all the same," he said. "It's like last year, in the middle of a pandemic that killed over 600,000 people, what was it, Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, was making fun of -- Jake [Sherman], it may have been you -- 'You look funny in that mask.'"
Punchbowl reporter Sherman, a guest on the program, admitted he had been the target of Meadows' mockery.
"To which Jake said, 'We don't want to die,'" co-host Mika Brzezinski pointed out.
"We don't want our children to end up in the hospital," Scarborough added, "and we don't want our parents to die. This is not hard, Mika. It's not hard."
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'Bad news for Trump': Experts say DOJ's refusal to defend Mo Brooks in riot lawsuit sends a clear message
The Department of Justice's refusal to defend Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, in a lawsuit alleging he incited the Jan. 6 insurrection, spells trouble for co-defendant Donald Trump, according to experts.
Donald Ayer, who served as a a senior DOJ official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, told Reuters: "The government's filing sends a clear message. No leader in our government is acting within the scope of his employment when he acts to subvert the free and fair election by getting people to go up and riot and interfere. The leaders who perpetrated these travesties are personally responsible for their actions."
Anne Tindall, an attorney with the advocacy group Protect Democracy, agreed the DOJ's decision is "bad news for Trump," because his official role was "even more limited" than Brooks'.
"Brooks has a role in the certification," Tindall said. "He has a vote in Congress. DOJ concluded that the conduct at issue in the litigation is not sufficiently related to his vote. Here Trump has no role at all."
In its letter to a judge Tuesday, the DOJ declined to grant Brooks immunity under the Westfall Act, which shields federal employees from being sued for their words or actions in the course of their employment. The DOJ letter was in response to a lawsuit filed by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell. Trump also faces two separate lawsuits — one filed by two U.S. Capitol police officers, and one filed by Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson — related to his role in inciting the insurrection.
Despite the DOJ's letter, Trump attorney Jesse Binnall insisted in a statement that his client has immunity: "The Supreme Court has been clear that presidents cannot be sued for actions that are related to their duties of office. Addressing Americans about congressional action is a quintessential presidential duty."
Media leaks reported to CIA at alarming rate during Trump era -- especially when Mike Pompeo led spy agency
The Trump administration reported substantially more media leaks to the Justice Department and intelligence agencies than previous administrations, according to newly released data.
The Intercept obtained new data that shows Donald Trump's administration referred far more leaks -- called "crime reports" -- to the CIA, National Security Agency and Justice Department than previous presidential administrations as part of his relentless campaign against whistleblowers.
"A former CIA official pointed to the sheer frequency of leaks directly related to the Russia investigation," the website reported. "Media leaks about the Russia investigation were so commonplace that the former CIA official, upon being notified of one such leak in spring of 2017, recalled a senior CIA counterintelligence manager remarking, 'Well, that's another referral.'"
The CIA accounted for more than 64 percent of all referrals, primarily about the Russia probe, while the NSA accounted for just 15 percent.
The referrals spiked to 120 in 2017, when Trump ally Mike Pompeo led the CIA, and many reports involved leaks that had occurred months or even years before during the Obama administration."More than twice as many leak referrals were sent to the Justice Department during the first three years of the Trump administration than in any other three-year period in the last decade-and-a-half," the website reported.
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