MSNBC's Joe Scarborough predicted Donald Trump would help Mehmet Oz cheat in his tight Republican primary campaign, and hours later, the former president did exactly that.
The "Morning Joe" host was off Thursday, the day after he made the quickly realized prediction, but other panelists noted that Scarborough and co-host Willie Geist correctly speculated that Trump would lie about the too-close-to-call Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary as the votes were still being counted.
"Donald Trump will lie again if Dave McCormick wins here," Scarborough predicted. "He will start lying again, Oz will start lying again. 'Oh, it's rigged, we have to wait two weeks.'"
"As you say, it doesn't have to be this way," Geist agreed, "but it is designed to be this way because in the space from Election Night until two, three, four, five, six days, a week out, that gives all the oxygen in the space for Donald Trump and others, conspiracy theorists, to say they're trying to steal this from Dr. Oz."
Trump suggested that Oz, the former daytime TV talk show host, should follow his 2020 election playbook and declare premature victory to later claim he was defrauded if the votes come up short.
“Dr. Oz should declare victory," Trump posted on his Truth Social platform. "It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find.'"
On Thursday, panelist George Conway called on states to change their election rules to allow mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day to avoid that gap, which allows Trump and other bad actors to potentially cheat and undermine faith in the vote.
"We're going to have a lot of mail-in ballots, we should be counting them as quickly as possible and pre-counting them or at least preparing them to be counted," Conway said. "People like Donald Trump are going to turn every election like this into an S-show, for want of a better word. He's now set the tone for all of this. He doesn't care about the law, he doesn't care about the facts, he doesn't care about the truth. All he wants to do is basically say whatever he can say that's to his advantage, or what he thinks is to his advantage, or to a candidate he supports. It's a terrible thing for democracy."
Contributor Elise Jordan wondered why Trump was so heavily invested in Oz that he would help him cheat voters.
"George, do you have any theories why Donald Trump has dug in so deep with Dr. Oz?" Jordan said. "What is the connection there? Why does he really care, frankly? Television star solidarity?"
Conway speculated that McCormick's service in the Treasury Department under George W. Bush had something to do with Trump's apparent animosity, but ultimately he wasn't sure, so co-host Mika Brzezinski gave it a shot.
"It's everything we learned about Trump as we watched him choose people," Brzezinski said. "Sometimes we were able to watch very close up. He looks at people's looks, at how much popularity they get on television, how malleable they may be to following his orders, that loyalty oath. I mean, Dr. Oz is kind of a perfect prey for a cult-like figure like Trump. Chances are, he will follow his directions, and he will hold on to that endorsement and that support with a very tight grip, but he has sort of the shallow qualities that Trump loves to prey upon."
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