MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough challenged Senate Republicans to get to the bottom of a highly unusual whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump now that new details have emerged.
Former U.S. officials told the Washington Post that the whistleblower filed a report with the intelligence community’s inspector general over a “promise” Trump made in a July 31 phone call to a foreign leader, and “Morning Joe” panelists grappled with the handling of the complaint by acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.
“It looks to me as if the Trump administration is deliberately seeking to undo the rules that have bounded U.S. intelligence activities, basically since the Watergate and the intelligence scandals in the ’70s,” said Post columnist David Ignatius. “It’s a big deal.”
Scarborough accused Maguire of engaging in a “coverup” by refusing to turn over the complaint to the House Intelligence Committee, but has agreed to testify before the panel next week.
“What are they covering up is the question?” Scarborough said. “It is a coverup.”
MSNBC contributor Steve Rattner agreed.
“It is totally a coverup,” he said. “I think the obvious issues of intelligence and what went on between Trump and this foreign leader are central to this, but so is the relationship between the White House and the Congress of which this is yet just another example of the White House essentially refusing to follow normal procedures, law, separation of powers, and the rights of Congress to know what’s going on here.”
Scarborough asked what congressional Republicans intended to do about the administration’s refusal to follow the law.
“Are the Republicans curious at all about the inspector general, an independent inspector general saying that what the president said was so deeply troubling that they need to be made aware of it?” he said.
Co-host Willie Geist said he wouldn’t be holding his breath while Republicans decided whether to confront this latest abuse, and Scarborough named and shamed GOP senators in hopes of spurring them into action.
“Knowing that ‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell is not even protecting American democracy from the Kremlin, when Republicans now, former conservatives like (Grover) Norquist are now coming out,” he said. “The Trumpists are coming out and saying you have to protect our democracy.”
Rattner asked whether any Republicans cared that the president allegedly made a promise to a foreign leader that prompted a formal whistleblower complaint.
“Put aside ‘Moscow Mitch, where is Lindsey Graham?” Rattner said. “Where is Tom Cotton? Where are the people who say they’re most focused on the integrity of the U.S.?”
‘Ridiculous’ for Trump’s team to ‘feed people this line’ that Ukraine didn’t know about the frozen aid: CNN contributor
President Donald Trump and his associates have recently tried a new defense for the Ukraine scandal, claiming that there couldn't have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians were supposedly unaware of the military aid freeze the Trump apparently ordered to force them to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post journalist David Swerdlick and his co-panelists smacked down that narrative.
"The New York Times reports that the Ukrainians learned in early August that aid was frozen and they were told to reach out to the acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney," said anchor Wolf Blitzer.
Document reveals how the White House cheered up Trump after his meltdown at #MAGA rally in Dallas
Last week, President Donald Trump sought to shore up political support in Texas by holding a campaign rally in Dallas.
During the rally, Trump told the crowd how he hated it when his children told him what they learned in school.
The president also suffered a meltdown and offered the crowd his impersonations.
Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren on Wednesday revealed a note she'd received from the White House reading, "Tomi, thank you for everything. Best wishes."
‘Hard to overstate’ how badly Taylor’s testimony damaged Trump: Ex-federal prosecutor
On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote for Politico Magazine that the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor was devastating for President Donald Trump — and that if he keeps trying to deny wrongdoing, it will only get worse and maybe even force Senate Republicans' hand against him.
"It’s hard to overstate how much damage the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor inflicted on President Donald Trump’s defense in the ongoing impeachment inquiry," wrote Mariotti. "On its face, Taylor’s testimony Tuesday established the quid pro quo that Trump has denied for weeks. But more importantly, Taylor’s detailed notes of the 'highly irregular' policy-making that he witnessed over the summer provide a roadmap to future testimony that could be even more harmful. Republicans have already begun to retreat from their 'no quid pro quo' line, but they will have to keep retreating because Taylor has almost single-handedly decimated the few witnesses who have provided some testimony that is favorable to Trump."