MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said President Donald Trump may have publicly confessed to collusion with Russia during a press briefing.
The president frequently says there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia, so a reporter asked him to define that word -- and Trump's rambling answer may have revealed more than he intended.
"You'll define it for me, but I can tell you, there's no collusion," Trump said. "I couldn't have cared less about Russians having to do with my campaign. The fact is -- you people won't say this, but I'll say it -- I was a much better candidate than her. You always say she was a bad candidate, you never say I was a good candidate. I was one of the greatest candidates, nobody else would have beaten the Clinton machine, as crooked as it was, but I was a great candidate. Someday you're going to say that."
Trump's boastful remarks about himself drew most of the attention, but Brzezinski and "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist said the president's comments about Russia appear to have been an accidental confession.
"That's really sad," Geist said. "It gets to the heart of the matter. 'I couldn't have cared less about Russians having to do with my campaign' is what he said."
Host Joe Scarborough said the president's comments seemed to be a clear admission of guilt.
"He said after claiming no Russians were involved with his campaign, now he's saying, 'Those Russians involved in my campaign? I couldn't have cared less about them,'" Scarborough said.
Brzezinski said the comments seem to be another example of Trump apparently admitting to wrongdoing on tape, which "Morning Joe" panelists discussed the day before.
"It's like the tapes, the Watergate tapes, except as (MSNBC's) Ari Melber pointed out (Wednesday), he just says it on TV," Brzezinski said.
MSNBC analyst Sam Stein said the admission was unlikely to stick for most Americans, because the political conversation was being purposefully warped by the president and his Republican allies.
"It's very dizzying because he said he would testify under oath and now he won't," Stein said. "It's tough to keep track of where his head is at any given moment. People say it's by design or not, but there's something to be said about the fact that we've spent on this show like an hour and a half now almost cleaning up misconceptions and conspiracy theories and trying to correct records just to get back to an agreed-upon idea of what the truth is."
"If that's where we are every day in our political conversations, imagine how difficult it is for the casual observer of politics to figure out what the hell is going on -- and that is pernicious," Stein continued. "We have a public that is willfully being uninformed by its its elected officials."