MSNBC's Joe Scarborough warned that President Donald Trump was unburdened by fear of a possible nuclear conflagration -- but co-host Mika Brzezinski had an even simpler and more alarming explanation.
Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted a panel on the increasing possibility of war, possibly involving nuclear weapons, with North Korea, and the "Morning Joe" host worries the president doesn't fully appreciate the risk.
"I think, unlike other presidents, he is not limited by the fears that limited (John F. Kennedy) or even Ronald Reagan," Scarborough said. "By the way, when I say fears, don't flinch. I mean, you have reason to be scared of a war that could wipe out 500,000 people."
Brzezinski believes the reality is even more troubling.
"No, I just think he wants to use nukes, that's what I think he feels," Brzezinski said. "I totally disagree. You've heard him over the past year. He's excited about the concept."
Scarborough tried to finesse Brzezinski's statements, which were based on their previous reporting about Trump's apparent eagerness to use nuclear weapons, but she refused to back off.
"You didn't hear me, Mika," he said, and the pair briefly bickered.
Scarborough expanded his point, and warned that Trump might use a war to consolidate unconstitutional authority.
"I said he is not chained by the same fears that chained JFK and Reagan, the fear of nuclear weapons, a fear of war, and, unfortunately, I think we have to be on guard after that. Since he is so contemptuous of the Constitution, if a war does begin we have to be aware of what steps he takes domestically if he does start that war."
He found no disagreement on that warning.
"I totally agree with that," Brezinski said.