MSNBC’ Mika Brzezinski said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) nailed his ominous prediction about President Donald Trump’s acquittal during the Senate impeachment trial.
The “Morning Joe” co-host rolled a clip of the House impeachment manager warning Senate Republicans that an emboldened Trump might leverage official acts for domestic political gain, just as he had with Ukraine’s military aid in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden.
“If this Senate were to say that’s acceptable, then precisely as was outlined in that question could take place all across America in the context of the next election and any election,” Jeffries said two weeks ago. “Grants allocated to cities or towns or municipalities across the country, but the president could say, ‘You’re not going to get that money, Mr. Mayor, Mrs. County-Executive, Mrs. Town Supervisor, unless you endorse me for re-election.’ The president could say that to any governor of our 50 states. That’s unacceptable. That cannot be allowed to happen in our democratic republic.”
However, as Brzezinski said, that’s exactly what has already happened, when Trump tweeted out a message to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that appeared to dangle a policy change on Global Entry for the state’s residents in exchange for ending investigations into the president’s personal businesses there.
I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
Chuck Rosenberg — a former U.S. attorney, senior FBI official and acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration — found the president’s tweet disgusting.
“There is a rank inconsistency within it,” Rosenberg said. “First he says national security is much more important than politics, and in the very next sentence, there’s the rank politics, right? The very next sentence after talking about the primacy of national security there comes the threat. If he doesn’t get what he wants, a cessation to the lawsuits that have been filed against him and his organizations by New York state, then he’s going to exact revenge.”
“Mr. Jeffries was spot-on,” he added. “I give him credit for that, but this has been a pattern we’ve seen over and over and over again, and I think it’s deeply disturbing.”
Brzezinski said the impeachment acquittal had emboldened the president to offer quid pro quo in plain sight on his Twitter feed, and she shamed Republicans who overcame their concerns about Ukraine and voted to acquit.
“He’s doing it again, in plain sight,” she said. “The Republicans own this, but do they care?”