MSNBC's Joe Scarborough accused President Donald Trump of acting as a puppet to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The "Morning Joe" host made the stunning allegation Tuesday as NATO allies express concerns over Trump's growing closeness to Putin, and the president floats strategic plans that line up with Russia's longterm goals.
"There has been this concern, certainly since we interviewed Donald Trump in December 2015 and he refused to criticize Vladimir Putin, said he was a strong leader and we needed that type of leadership in America," Scarborough said. "There's been a concern that he would never criticize Vladimir Putin. There's been a concern obviously through this investigation that Vladimir Putin must have something on Donald Trump."
Scarborough said the president appeared to be compromised by Putin's blackmail threats, and he said the evidence was plainly obvious.
"I firmly believe he does have something on Donald Trump, and that's why he's never criticized Putin," Scarborough said.
He said Trump was giving away U.S. national security and threatening longstanding alliances, which align with Russian interests.
"Can you imagine any American president in your lifetime that could do things that were more in Vladimir Putin's benefit than what Donald Trump has been doing over the past two years?" Scarborough said. "Attacking NATO allies, trying to withdraw troops. talking about withdrawing troops from Europe, talking about withdrawing our commitment to NATO, turning every NATO conference into basically a very uncomfortable situation."
"Then going off and talking secretly to Vladimir Putin at the G20 last year, setting up -- I mean, the list is endless," he added. "If there is a conspiracy, this conspiracy seems to be in plain sight."