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.”
Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increasing while departing to France for the G7 Summit
President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.
"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.
In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.
"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.
Bill Maher presents ’25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller’ on Real Time
The host of HBO's "Real Time" presented "25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller" on Friday.
"In high school, I was voted 'Most Likely to Comb My Mummified Mother's Hair,'" was one item.
"I think tacos are stealing jobs from hamburgers," was another.
"I'm a Cancer. I don't know my astrological sign," was a third.
"The worst part about my car smelling like wet dogs, is that I don't own dogs," was a fourth.
Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’
HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.
"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.
"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.
"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."