MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed the Trump administration’s consumer watchdog for laying out pay-to-play ground rules for banking lobbyists.
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director and interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told bakers and lobbyists that he expected campaign contributions from as a congressman — and the “Morning Joe” co-hosts were mortified.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” said Mulvaney, who represented South Carolina in the U.S. House. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
The Republican former lawmaker did say that he met with constituents “without exception,” regardless of campaign support.
“Do you believe this quote?” Scarborough said.
“He just says it out loud,” co-host Willie Geist marveled.
Scarborough, also a former GOP lawmaker, said he stayed away from lobbyists during his time in Congress and instead tasked his staffers with taking those meetings.
“I know it sounds stupid, but this is the right thing to do,” he said. “I’m not going, you know, I’m not sticking my neck out on the line because somebody gave me a check.”
Mulvaney’s remarks will surely be used against GOP candidates in the midterm elections and against Trump in his re-election campaign, Scarborough said.
“You start looking at these Cabinet members, the 30-second commercial, they’re going to have to be 60-second commercials or maybe 30-minute infomercials, if you combine what Mulvaney said with what’s happening at the EPA, with what’s happening across the entire administration,” Scarborough said.
“This is a corrupt administration that talked about the president, talked about draining the swamp — this administration is the swamp,” he added. “You can’t find in recent American political history, another administration that has been as ethically challenged as this one.”
Geist agreed that Trump’s Cabinet officials had set a new standard of unethical behavior, and Democrats would surely turn their conduct into a campaign issue.
“The ads will be, if you put (EPA administrator Scott) Pruitt in there with all the stories we’ve had over the last couple of weeks, if you have Ryan Zinke raising the flag while he’s in residence like he’s the Queen of England, it starts to sound very swampy,” Geist said.
Republican strategist Susan Del Percio said Mulvaney’s remarks were bad, even in context.
“We are now seeing like a poster of swamp creatures,” Del Percio said. “I mean that’s what I think it is — it’s Donald Trump and the swamp creatures.”
John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress
Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.
White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.
"Privilege is not being asserted here. Instead, the White House says that Hicks has absolute immunity regarding the time that she spent at 1600 Pennsylvania. Does absolute immunity even exist? And if so, can you explain to me the difference between the two?" CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Dean.
GOP gangs up on AOC: Top Republican demands Ocasio-Cortez apologize to the entire world – she refuses
The Republican machine is in fifth gear right now, speeding to attack one of their top Democratic targets: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
At issue, a video the New York Democrat recorded in which she calls the migrant detention camps on the U.S. Southern border "concentration camps."
Economist mocks GOP for trying to pin racism on Democrats — after telling a harrowing story about anti-black economic envy
Economist Julianne Malveaux explained to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there was a time in the United States where black Americans were actually closing the wealth gap with white Americans -- until white Americans rioted and burned their property.
During her testimony at a hearing on reparations, Malveaux recounted the horrific story of the destruction of "Black Wall Street," which was a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was known for its high concentration of black-owned businesses and black wealth.
The area's prosperity came to an end in 1921 when white Tulsa residents used baseless accusation of a black man sexually assaulting a white woman as a justification to chase out all black residents and set fire to their neighborhoods. Hundreds of black residents were killed in the riots and the majority fled the city.