MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for holding back any efforts to enact police reform as nationwide protests inspire calls to end brutal and racist tactics.
The "Morning Joe" host said Senate Republicans fighting for their political lives must call on McConnell to schedule a vote on banning chokeholds, at the very least, or they would lose their GOP majority.
"Let's be clear about this," he said. "It will be Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump who will be the lone protectors of the chokehold. It will be Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump who will be the lone protectors of continuing to give bad cops immunity from their crimes. This is just B.S. that Republicans say, 'We may not have the votes.' Again, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, pick one or two more that could vote against chokeholds, that could vote against immunity for bad cops, killer cops -- a very small percentage but a real percentage on the police officer."
"Mitch McConnell, the champion of chokeholds," Scarborough added. "He could get this passed in the Senate in a second if he wanted to."
McConnell was risking his majority -- and possibly his own seat -- if he refused a vote on chokeholds, Scarborough said, and he gave the majority leader a new nickname.
"You're going to be asked about it on the campaign trail," Scarborough said. "It's going to be tougher than you think it is. All of the oligarchs you've been cavorting with, hanging with -- yeah, it's out there 'Moscow.' As bad as the nickname 'Moscow Mitch' is, 'Chokehold Mitch' will probably be worse for you in Kentucky. You're the only person in America right now who is stopping this legislation from passing."