On Monday's "Morning Joe," an extended rant about Donald Trump's divisive 4th of July weekend speeches by MSNBC contributor John Heilemann led co-host Willie Geist to point out that the president ramping up his racist rhetoric has made some GOP lawmakers fearful about the position he is putting them in.
Regarding the two speeches -- one at Mt. Rushmore and one at the White House -- Heilemann said that the president is misreading the mood of the country.
"Willie, the president's racism has been clear for a very long time, clear to New Yorkers who remember as far back as Central Park Five and anybody that paid attention to him throughout the administration," the political analyst explained. 'The list of his racist views and sympathies and expressions, the way he courted white nationalists, white grievance, white supremacy and espoused the values of white supremacy have been a hallmark of his career before politics -- none of that is surprising."
"And these speeches come in the wake of several days which the president puts on his Twitter feed, puts a gentleman shouting 'white power,' he took that down but not denounced it," he continued. "They're living with the fiction that he couldn't hear the man shouting white power. he's been campaigning to conserve the Confederate statues across the country. So the context of the speeches are a contrast to George Floyd's death and the protests across the country."
"You had on the Friday he was speaking at Mount Rushmore, you had tens of millions of Americans sitting in front of their televisions watching the premier of 'Hamilton' on Disney Plus which is re-imagining of American history because it plays with entirely a non-white cast," he elaborated. "So we have an America celebrating 'Hamilton' and the president sitting up on Mount Rushmore yelling about how Americans is trying to rip our history away. It's not true what he's saying and he's self-evidently not just on the minority side -- I'm saying politically the minority side of this -- but a shrinking base and a shrinking number of people in America who are with him on this."
"It is not a winning strategy and a strategy a lot of people are looking at it now and seeing it for what it clearly is in a way they may not have in earlier iterations," he concluded.
"We're seeing reports of Republicans clutching their pearls, off the record, of course, as they watch the president unfurl this strategy once again," host Geist added.