Interim Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) was ridiculed on MSNBC on Tuesday for using a "Trumpian playbook" to refuse to accept accountability after joking about public hangings.
Hyde-Smith's comments were made in a U.S. Senate special election in Mississippi -- while campaigning against a black opponent in a state infamous for lynchings.
Anchor Kasie Hunt played video of Hyde-Smith refusing to answer questions about the scandal, instead repeatedly falling back on a statement and insisting that is all she is going to say.
"So this is a situation where she's almost using a Trumpian playbook of -- never apologize or back down or anything like that. But of course, her opponent in this runoff is an African-America man, former cabinet secretary out of Bill Clinton’s administration, Mike Espy."
"In the Trump era, there is both a permission structure to say things that are perceived as inflammatory and that offend people, and there's an expectation you don't apologize if you're on that side, because he has morphed that into a sign of weakness rather than a sign of what might otherwise be perceived as simple decency," noted Bloomberg national reporter Sahil Kapur.
"It's just stunning to me how ... President Trump has tried to change the standards by which we judge this kind of speech," Hunt concluded.