MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough explained that President Donald Trump has never stepped away from his business interests because making money was the only reason he ran for office in the first place.
The “Morning Joe” host said the intermingling of foreign money — such as Saudi payments to Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. — and presidential duties were “Blowing a hole in the emoluments clause” in the U.S. Constitution, but also came as no surprise.
“The president of the United States ran for president not thinking he would win, not thinking he would get the Republican nomination, not thinking if he got it he would then become president,” said MSNBC analyst John Heilemann.
Heilemann said the presidential campaign was a “money-making operation,” and Scarborough suggested it was “brand enhancement” — but now Trump and his associates are under criminal investigation.
“The guy spent the previous decade with his friend Michael Cohen running around the world trying to do what he’d done in the United States, which was use the Trump name to make more money,” Heilemann said. “This was a great opportunity to increase not just his profile, but his international profile and to use this as an opportunity after he presumably lost either as the nominee or in the general election.”
Instead, Trump won the GOP nomination and then the White House, where he has used his position to promote his family business.
“He went into the White House thinking, ‘Well, I’m not going to — I got into this for the money, I’m not going to abandon that primary objective,'” Heilemann said. “So he has used the White House in ways that we are now seeing, people have been talking about for a year and a half, he’s using the White House to make money while being president and to try to enhance his opportunities for making money after being the president.”
Scarborough said that’s why Trump was so shocked that he had won the 2016 election.
“There’s a reason why the night Donald Trump got elected he looked like he had been, like, jabbed by a cattle prod,” Scarborough said. “Melania was crying, Mike Pence’s wife was angry, and the scene looked like something more out of a wake than a hotel room. They didn’t expect it — they didn’t want it.”
Trump’s ‘adolescent’ letter to Turkey stuns ex-White House adviser: ‘It is unprecedented’
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," David Gergen, a former White House adviser to four presidents, was astonished by President Donald Trump's letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an warning him "don't be a fool."
"I don't want to laugh about it because it's — this is a letter that was actually sent, at least, he says it was," said host Erin Burnett. "Have you ever seen anything like this?"
"Well, Erin, many presidents write tough letters, nasty letters, angry letters, frustrated letters. The normal presidents then put them in a jar in a file called 'burn before sending,'" said Gergen. "This had such an adolescent quality to it when I read it, I immediately called my researcher, and I said, see if this is fake."
White House ripped for ‘ridiculously misogynistic stereotype’ in attack on Speaker Pelosi
The White House was harshly criticized for an attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) launched by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
Grisham was already under fire for claiming President Donald Trump had been "measured" in a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) when she lashed out at the female speaker.
Democratic senator burns Trump’s ‘belligerent’ behavior: ‘Something I have never seen in my 27 years in Congress’
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) laid into President Donald Trump's behavior during his Syria meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
"You were there, you were inside the White House for that meeting," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What unfolded exactly?"
"Well, the president came in and he was in a belligerent state from the beginning," said Menendez. "He smacked down a whole bunch of papers on the table and said, you all asked for this meeting, I reluctantly agreed to it. No one had asked for the meeting. Speaker Pelosi said, Mr. President, we didn't ask for a meeting, we asked for a briefing to understand the consequences of your actions. He said, Well, then let's end the meeting. She said, while I'm here, it's my duty as the speaker to tell you that the House has just passed, I think 362, I forget exactly the number, a resolution opposing your decision and calling upon a strategy for ISIS. He just went on and said that's a political hit job and it went downwards from there."