MSNBC's Joe Scarborough hammered President Donald Trump for "bumbling" into a diplomatic debacle with North Korea by firing off some angry tweets.
The "Morning Joe" host ripped the president for believing his blustery tweets would give him a negotiating advantage with Kim Jong-un, whose regime has threatened to abandon upcoming talks over U.S. demands on nuclear disarmament.
"That's how we conservatives think, you negotiate like Reagan, you negotiate like Nixon," Scarborough said. "You take a tough, tough line and you take a tough line for a very long time, and then you get concessions."
He faulted the president for agreeing to the historic talks without any preconditions, and he blamed Trump after North Korea threatened to pull out to gain leverage.
"Here's Donald Trump, bumbling in," Scarborough said. "He wasn't even a good dealmaker in New York City, that's why he was $9 billion in debt. He bumbles in like we've always accused liberals of bumbling in in negotiations with communists and tyrannical regimes."
MSNBC's John Heilemann said the president had no idea what he was doing, and would not even understand what he'd done wrong.
"I think he would say, 'I was tough with North Korea,'" Heilemann said. "What he means by that is he sent some tweets that said, 'Fire and fury, little rocket man,' and that to him is taking a tough line, that he paved the way for these negotiations by being tough -- tougher than anybody had ever been before. Tougher than Barack Obama with Kim Jong-un. That tells you a lot about how he measures toughness, toughness is sending a provocative tweet, as some histrionic rhetoric."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski recalled a horrifying memory of Trump handing off Middle East diplomacy to his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had no diplomatic, foreign policy or public service experience.
"I'll never forget in the White House him patting Jared on the back, saying, 'Look at Jared, he's going to bring peace to the Middle East,' and just slapped him on the back," she said. "I was just thinking to myself, my god, are you fricking kidding me? It was one of those moments where I was like, what planet am I on? I'm in the White House and he's pointing at his son-in-law who is 35 and has never done it?"