‘He’s not pivoting’: MSNBC’s Mika explains how wiretap debacle is ‘vintage Trump’
A “Morning Joe” panel blasted President Donald Trump for trying to walk back his baseless wiretapping claims after his allies were unable to offer any proof.
The president told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he would submit evidence of his claims “very soon,” but then claimed his definition of wiretapping “covers a lot of different things” — including acts that are not wiretapping — and saying his allegations came from the same media outlets he derides as “fake news.”
“This is how he makes decisions, how he wants to level something out, and this is how he plays it out,” said co-host Mika Brzezinski. “When Americans are considering their health care and other things pertaining to them, this president — you have to look at how this president works and try and translate how that actually will impact your life, like the health care bill. How will it actually impact your life, and whether or not you really want that. Very hard to understand exactly what he is saying. Aside from accusing him of lying, this is how he operates, this type of editing and moving around in circles and kind of slipping around things, instead of saying, ‘I don’t have the evidence on this, I was wrong, I read an article, the article was wrong.'”
MSNBC’s Willie Geist knocked down Trump’s claim that wiretapping could mean something else because he’d put it in quotes, based on the president’s own tweets, and the BBC’s Katty Kay pointed out that the White House has misrepresented the news reports they’ve cited as proof.
“They quoted the BBC on this, too, and what the BBC reporting (is) there were two Russian banks that were being surveilled,” Kay said. “It is possible in the context they may have had conversations with the associates of the Trump campaign. That is totally different from saying that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.”
MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle said the situation, no matter how ludicrous, was important because everything a U.S. president says carries the weight of his office.
“Everything a president says is important, but we have got to stop acting so surprised at his behavior,” Barnicle said. “This is his pattern for his entire professional life, since he began as a developer in New York with the phrases, the spin, the misdirection.”
“What he is doing is damage to his own presidency, because the main ball game here is health care, and by keeping the light on this problem, he has taken it off of health care,” Barnicle added.
Brzezinski accused Trump of trying to defame his predecessor, and she said no one should be surprised by his self-aggrandizing behavior — which, she said, included leaking his own tax returns.
“This is vintage Trump,” Brzezinski said. “I’m not surprised he released two pages of his best year of his tax returns, and then set up the media. I mean, we have to look at his patterns — they are all coming to bear. He’s not pivoting or changing or stepping up in any way.”