GOP strategist Steve Schmidt: Sam Nunberg just another low-life Trump character from the ‘Star Wars cantina’
Steve Schmidt (MSNBC)

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said Sam Nunberg's on-air meltdown represented a new low in the Trump presidency.

President Donald Trump promised to hire "the best people," but Schmidt said his administration has instead been populated with "a wretched hive of scum and villainy" like the Mos Eisley cantina in "Star Wars."

"We've been having this discussion for the last year, which is how low can go?" Schmidt told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Each week we find a way to hit a new low. Sam Nunberg, what we saw yesterday is this 'Star Wars' cantina bar scene, these characters melting down on national TV every 24 or 36 hours."

He said the televised spectacles masked a genuine national security scandal engulfing the Trump presidency.

"The United States has been attacked in a new type of war -- an information war, a cyber war -- and the president of the United States and his retainers, his loyalists around him, they refuse to defend the country," Schmidt said. "They don't defend America's election process, they don't defend our rule of law, they don't defend our important institutions. In fact, Donald Trump and his apologists constantly are attacking these essential institutions that are necessary for the security of the country. It's a remarkable moment in the history of the country."

Host Joe Scarborough pointed out that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had not used $120 million budgeted for his department to counter foreign election interference, which Schmidt found baffling.

"The president of the United States won't acknowledge the attack, nobody in the administration will criticize the Russians -- it's extraordinary," Schmidt said. "We woke up (Monday), the president of the United States, his focus is attacking Canada and Mexico, not the Russians who are attacking our election process. Our democracy is sustained by two things, right? A free election process, which has been undermined by the Russians, but also the rule of law."

Schmidt said Republicans had looked the other way at both Russian interference and aided and abetter Trump attacks on the rule of law.

"We have this fruit, loops conspiracy theory, nutcase group of Republicans and right-wing media that are constantly attacking the rule of law in this country, our most vital institutions to protect the security of the country, on a range of conspiracy theories," he said. "We've never seen anything like this in this country."