GOP 'tripled down' on Trump's 'toxicity' -- and 'it's making them all seem like lunatics': MSNBC's Heilemann
Donald Trump shows passion while delivering a campaign rally speech at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin /

MSNBC's John Heilemann admonished Republicans for circling their wagons around Donald Trump before they even learn the full facts about what top-secret documents he squirreled away at Mar-A-Lago.

Republicans had been cruising toward a congressional majority, but the overturning of Roe v. Wade protections, the Uvalde school shooting and the Jan. 6 committee hearings have dealt the GOP a series of setbacks, and the "Morning Joe" political analyst was baffled by their continued defense of Trump's corruption and extremism.

"You decide that when Donald Trump is investigated by the FBI and the [Department of Justice] for potentially illegally taking top secret documents down to Mar-A-Lago," Heilemann said. "You rally around Trump, without knowing any of the merits of it. You have no idea whether there are nuclear secrets, you have no idea what the story is. You go blindly marching into a position where you're condemning the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the gestapo and saying we're in a totalitarian America -- Joe Biden is waging war, you could be next, right?"

"They have not just stuck with Trump," he continued. "They've tripled down on Donald Trump on a moment when Trump's toxicity is part of what's making it possible for Democrats to achieve what have otherwise been unthinkable, which is potentially having not just a decent but actually a good year in the midterms. It's amplifying the Trump factor, because it's making them all seem like lunatics to all of the swing voters who don't think the FBI is a totalitarian, the Stassi. I heard Newt Gingrich comparing it to the Stassi the other day."

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"That kind of language, and the fact that Republicans in the media world and on Capitol Hill, have almost uniformly embraced it, is that really going to help the Republican Party and its electoral prospects just in the midterm elections?" Heilemann added. "I say, I can't, for the life of me, figure out how there would be a way that would be good for the Republican Party nationally."

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