‘Worse than you think’: Morning Joe says there’s a reason Trumpists cautioned GOP not to go to war over Mar-A-Lago

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said those closest to Donald Trump know how much trouble he's in for stashing classified documents at Mar-A-Lago and refusing to turn them over to the Department of Justice.

The FBI searched the former president's private resort earlier this month, and Republican lawmakers immediately went on the defense, but the "Morning Joe" host pointed out that Trump's inner circle cautioned them to tread lightly until more facts came out about what he was actually accused of doing.

"Yeah, well, you know, there's a reason why people close to Trump started warning Republicans when they were getting out there and calling the FBI the Gestapo and calling them communists, calling them wolves -- they're going to come after you next," Scarborough said. "There's a reason why Trumpists warned these Republicans quietly, 'Hey, this is worse than you think, you need to be quiet and back up.'"

"Of course, they started conspiracy theories about killer IRS agents, they're now talking about caravans," Scarborough continued. "They'll talk about Hunter Biden's laptop and, quote, QAnon conspiracy theories because the news doesn't get any better for the former president. Those Trump allies were right -- this is bad stuff. Trump's lawyers make a move, get a special master involved. The DOJ is [like], 'Hey, do we really have to do this,' and they put all of this out and you see that actually the story is even worse than what we first heard about them concealing documents, moving them from storage spaces when they thought the search was coming and having, I think, keeping about half of the documents, if I read it right, keeping like half of the documents that were requested and lying to the FBI, lying to the DOJ."

READ MORE: 'DOJ strikes back': CNN's Elie Honig says Justice Department dropped the hammer on Trump in 40-page filing

"This gets no better," he added. "If Trump had any defense, he sure as hell wouldn't be churning out QAnon conspiracy theories while these pleadings were going on. He'd be talking about this case, but there is no defense."

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