An MSNBC panel couldn't help but laugh at President Donald Trump's chief of staff for appearing on cable news shows Sunday to pretend he never admitted the president tried to bribe Ukraine.
Commentary Magazine editor John Podhoretz called it an "open and shut" case for emoluments.
"If it had happened and he made three cents profit, that's an impeachment, and that is not only an impeachable offense, it's a removable offense," he continued. "'No public official shall profit personally from his office.' Somebody said to him; you can't — you know, it's like, 'Stop it now!' Like, we have six months to find another place.
"And that's why it was so extraordinary for Mulvaney to say, as he said today, 'The president was surprised by the reaction to this,'" said Former under Secretary of State Rick Stengle. The panel cracked up laughing. "Oh, you're surprised when you violate the emoluments clause that people would react to it? You're surprised when you personally profit from some public office that you're in that people would object to it? The fact is, I mean, I don't know if it's ignorance or if it's just such lack of knowledge about the way government works that he transposes his own profitable private network that he did as a real estate agent, that he thinks that that's what it is — means to be president of the United States. Really extraordinary."
MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin noted that Saturday, Eric Trump was on Fox News claiming that he and his family have never benefited from the Trump presidency.
"The hypocrisy of that reeks to the highest levels," the host said.
Podhoretz explained that chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is seemingly the only person in the country who seemed to be willing to tell Trump it was fine to have the G-7 meeting at his own resort and charge taxpayers for the conference. He recalled a 1960s movie "Billy Rose's Jumbo," in which a villain is trying to steal an elephant from the circus by simply walking out with it.
"He’s standing there and someone says, 'Where are you going with that elephant?' He says, 'What elephant?' That was Mulvaney today. "He’s performing for an audience of one. Somebody who says, 'I didn’t say what 100 million people saw me say three days ago.' That’s not even — that’s bad gaslighting. Gaslighting is supposed to have plausible deniability. Everybody saw him say there’s a quid pro quo. Get over it. I never said that. He’s got the elephant right behind him."
Watch the panel discussion below: