‘Like bribery institutionalized’: Panelist warns Joy Reid about ‘authoritarian’ parallels between Trump and Putin
Tara Dowdell and Eric Boehlert (Photo: Screen capture)

Donald Trump's corruption is like something out of "The Lego Movie," Saturday's AM-Joy panel noted. He's using his own business while becoming nothing more than a puppet for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Citing The Washington Post and New York Times stories that dropped Friday evening, Reid noted that "Donald Trump may have denied being a puppet, but Russia was definitely pulling the strings to help him get elected. That is the conclusion reached by the CIA in a stunning new report from The Washington Post."

Raw Story noted earlier that outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid pointed out that the FBI had proof of the involvement of the Russians in the hacking but FBI Director James Comey sat on it because he said that he didn't want to influence the election.

“Where are we left if we can’t trust the FBI,” Reid asked MSNBC panelist, Malcolm Nance, of the Terror Asymmetrics Project. “If the CIA is ignored by the Republicans who control the Senate and the House and the President is trying to stay out of it. Who do we trust in Washington that can protect the American people from these interventions?”

Sen. Reid noted that he didn't believe before this news came out that Comey had become the new J. Edgar Hoover but that he certainly does now. "I thought that he would do the right thing for the country," Sen. Reid said.

He's referencing the many instances in which Hoover used the FBI to investigate and harass political figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hoover also used his office to impact the 1952 election for Richard Nixon.

Nance explained that the people in the intelligence communities don't change when a new president comes in they are largely non-political.

“However, the FBI counter-intelligence and the CIA counter-intelligence and our foreign ally counter-intelligence agencies are not going to stop investigating if they get evidence," Nance said. Trump's statement Friday night encouraged people to "move forward" from the election's issues.

Nance said that the problem, however, comes down to American patriotism. Regardless of party, this issue is one that Americans should find concerning. The issue isn't about Donald Trump either. Nance said that next year it could be about Paul Ryan or any political official.

"Everything that’s ever known about [Ryan] could be released by Russians or through WikiLeaks," Nance warned. "Or Donald Trump himself, his tax returns could suddenly show up and show he is billions in debt to hostile governments. So, all of this is a matter of national patriotism. And we need to drop the partisan rancor and understand that this could affect all of us to the detriment and the safety of this country.”

Panelist Tara Dowdell said that the involvement of Russia and Trump's use of the government to help promote his businesses reminded her of "The Lego Movie." These are all ideas that he got from Putin, she alleged.

"If you go to any authoritarian country, Joy, this is exactly what you see," Dowdell said. "I mean, the parallels between what Donald Trump is doing and what dictators do, and people say that whenever someone makes this comparison, people say that we're exaggerating. If you have not been to an authoritarian country, if you have not been to a country with a repressive regime in place, which I have, you won't understand how dangerous this really is. What he is doing is dangerous. He is combining business, his personal business, much like Vladimir Putin, who, as we know, he has admiration for, with the presidency, with the levers of government. It's almost like bribery institutionalized."

Panel discussion: