MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski was mystified by Kellyanne Conway's suggestion that U.S. intelligence agents spy on Americans using household appliances.
The White House adviser appeared to cite purported CIA documents dumped online by WikiLeaks to defend President Donald Trump's accusation that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had ordered a wiretap against him during the election campaign.
"The last time I saw her on television she said the president has access to information you all don't, and therefore it might be true," Brzezinski said. "Now she is saying our microwaves can look at us."
Mike Barnicle, a veteran journalist and "Morning Joe" panelist, described WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his organization as "enemies of America," yet Trump repeatedly praised their work during the campaign, which targeted Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
"This is Kellyanne Conway talking about microwaves," Brzezinski said, "and I think doing something extremely destructive and using everything she can to sort of boost her own power within this White House, which seems to have a demented twist to at least one side of, that we all need to look at really seriously."
Conway was asked whether evidence showed Trump Tower had been targeted by a wiretap, and she didn't answer the question but suggested surveillance could be conducted through electronic devices such as phone and TVs.
Jon Meacham, executive editor at Random House, said the "melancholy reality" was that Conway was working to undermine trust in government and institutions, which he said could trigger paranoid fantasies in people with mental health issues.
"The historical analogy here is the birther conspiracy," Meacham said, referring to an anti-Obama conspiracy theory promoted by Trump. "We don't have to go back very far, right?"
Brzezinski said Conway's comments demonstrated why she would no longer be welcome as a guest on "Morning Joe."
"She doesn't believe in what she is saying,"Brzezinski said. "The reason we won't have her on this show is because a lot of what she says is either not true or she has no idea what she is saying, and it ends up being debunked by the very White House she works for. During the campaign, when she was very adept at transferring Trump's message and talented in some ways, and would get off the set and say she needed to take a shower, and she would call him her client. She doesn't believe in what she's saying."
Brzezinski said Conway's integrity and credibility issues demonstrated a fundamental flaw in the Trump administration.
"She is part of something here that might be a serious strain of this presidency that could end unfortunately hurting our republic if Washington doesn't do its job," Brzezinski said.