MSNBC's Joe Scarborough thumped President Donald Trump for stoking racist outrage to distract from another disastrous week for his administration.
The "Morning Joe" host interrupted Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire, who argued that Trump's base identified with his bigoted grievances.
"Can I correct you?" Scarborough said. "It's not his anger -- I mean, he's a poser. This is all posing. I mean, I just wanted to throw that in. You don't have to agree with me, but his alleged anger -- he's playing this populist role and playing his supporters as suckers."
Lemire agreed that Trump was battered by his Supreme Court defeat on the census, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and the resulting resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and Scarborough said the president tossed out those racist tweets to take back control of the news cycle.
"We talked about the signal, the noise," Scarborough said. "He told his people that he was going to fight to get his question on the census, and the Supreme Court said no, then he told his people he was going to hold a press conference, and he was going to actually put it on there and to defy the Supreme Court. Then he weakly and meekly backed down, as he might say, like a little baby. He backed down."
"Also, he had to fire Acosta," Scarborough added. "Why? because Donald Trump knows that as long as Acosta's there, people are going to say that man called Jeffrey Epstein a terrific guy. That man invited 25, 26 calendar girls to Mar-A-Lago for a VIP reception, but it was that man and Jeffrey Epstein alone at that Mar-A-Lago, quote, party were those two old men had 26 young calendar girls swirling around."
"He doesn't want us talking about that, he wants our hair to be on fire about the census," he concluded. "What else does he not want us talking about? This has been a very rough weekend for him."