While sitting in for regular host Nicolle Wallace, MSNBC's John Heilemann joked that the Trump administration cabinet officials trotted out during the Thursday White House press briefing were a sort of high-ranking "janitorial crew" to clean up the president's mess after the Helsinki summit.
Heilemann called it an "extraordinary sight" to see the secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, national security adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Chris Wray and Paul Nakasone, the third commander of the United States Cyber Command, appear by surprise at the briefing.
The intelligence officials were ostensibly there to quell fears that the US will be undefended when Russia attacks the midterm elections in November — but those fears, the host said, were raised by the president himself.
In one sense, Heilemann continued, they were "the front line of defense at America's infrastructure and the democratic process itself."
"In another reading," he said, "you're looking at a five-person janitorial crew carrying the mops and brooms trying to clean up the lingering toxic spill that was Donald Trump's disastrous news conference had in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin."
Watch below, via MSNBC: