Morning Joe: Putin has 'bumbling, weak, fat fool' Trump in his pocket -- now 'what's the payoff?'
Joe Scarborough (MSNBC)

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Russian president Vladimir Putin clearly "owns" President Donald Trump -- and he embarrassed the U.S. chief executive in front of the world.


Trump refused to side with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement against Russia, and instead defended Putin as a strong leader and possible friend -- and the "Morning Joe" host said the display was disturbing.

"For reasonable, rational Americans it's no longer a question," Scarborough said. "Donald Trump, for some reason, is owned by Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin has him in his pocket. The question is, what's the payoff?"

The news conference from Helsinki, Finland, showed Putin has leverage over Trump, Scarborough said, but he wondered what comes next.

"When a KGB agent owns somebody, through compromising information, the payoff is not a cheery press conference where you make the American president look like a bumbling, weak, fat fool," Scarborough said.

"The payoff is something, unfortunately, always far graver," he added.

Historian Jon Meacham agreed with former CIA director John Brennan, who believes Trump committed treason against the United States.

"When John Brennan made that statement (Monday) about it meets the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, with all respect, I would say actually what it, the definition it meets, is the first word of the impeachment article in the Constitution, which is, treason, bribery and high crimes of misdemeanors," Meacham said. "Has the president of the United States now in a sufficient way shown that he is giving aid and comfort to an enemy?"

"That's the question that the Congress of the United States, without looking at their polls, without getting their briefings about what their base thinks -- they actually have to, at this point, live up to an oath that they took," Meacham added.