A White House employee says she faced retaliation after blowing the whistle on Trump administration efforts to grant security clearances over the objections of national security professionals -- and MSNBC panelists were shocked and dismayed by the response.
Tricia Newbold, a White House security specialist, said she endured "humiliating" treatment aimed at her dwarfism from her supervisor and colleagues after testifying about security clearances before Congress, and "Morning Joe" panelists were disgusted.
"Who are these people?" said analyst Mike Barnicle. "Who are they? How were they raised?"
MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan, who worked in the Bush White House as a speechwriter, blamed President Donald Trump for the cruelty shown to the staffer.
"That's sociopathic behavior," Jordan said. "It's set from the top, though. This is Donald Trump's command climate."
MSNBC analyst John Heilemann agreed.
"We have witnessed Donald Trump's cruelty throughout his presidential campaign and presidency," Heilemann said. "He is constantly demeaning to people, degrading of people, mocking a disabled reporter in the 2016 campaign. The fish rots from the head down. Donald Trump, I think, has demonstrated a kind of cruelty toward a variety of people across the spectrum. Of course, the people who work for him take cues from Donald Trump."