Panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” were just as disgusted as anyone by salacious claims by a former porn actress about her sexual relationship with President Donald Trump — but they said it was more than tabloid trash.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen set up an LLC to pay $130,000 in hush money to Stormy Daniels shortly before the election, possibly in violation of election law — but multiple news outlets passed on the story before the election.
“Funny, the National Enquirer is not covering this, probably because Donald Trump is friends with them,” said co-host Mika Brzezinski.
Co-host Willie Geist said it was a “serious and real story,” despite the subject, and host Joe Scarborough said it proved claims in the infamous dossier that Trump had been compromised by Russia president Vladimir Putin.
“Vladimir Putin has something that he is holding over Donald Trump’s head, and it is bad,” Scarborough said. “We started asking that question in December of 2015, two years ago, when Donald Trump was defending Vladimir Putin for assassinating journalists. Donald Trump was defending Vladimir Putin for assassinating political leaders in his own country. Donald Trump was defending Vladimir Putin for all the things he did.”
Republican strategist Susan Del Percio said conservative Christians had already compromised their own values to back Trump, after the scandals that had erupted before the election.
“How do you get past the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape?” Del Percio said. “It’s equally as bad, it’s his voice, saying what he did. This man is a scoundrel. His values are twisted.”
Scarborough said multiple Trump campaign associates and Cabinet members had lied about their contacts with Russians, and he said the president was hoping the barrage of scandal would eventually take its toll on Americans.
“So what is Donald Trump hoping? He is not hoping he can just brush aside a story of a porn star,” Scarborough said. “He’s hoping that when the truth comes out about what Vladimir Putin has and has had hanging over his head for decades, possibly, that we will all be too numb to notice. Ten tweets a day, five lies a day, bread and circuses, all of the game show, reality show distractions. Mika, that’s all he’s hoping. He wants to numb the American people, he wants to numb the electorate, he wants to numb everybody — his supporters, which already is numbing a lot of his supporters — to the dirty reality that is — not only his presidency, but his past.”
MSNBC contributor Donnie Deutsch said the scandal had barely been a blip, although it would have commanded wall-to-wall coverage if any other president had been accused of paying off a porn actress to cover up an extramarital affair.
“This would bring down any other president, it would be over,” Deutsch said. “Because this president has set the bar so below mud, that it almost becomes just another day at the office. We can’t let that happen. Let’s think about this again, think about that story. I don’t understand just from a selling newspapers point of view, just from a pure capitalism point of view.”