MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski unloaded on Republican lawmakers who brushed past leaked recordings of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy's private criticism of Donald Trump by suggesting the audio was fake.
McCarthy faced the GOP conference Wednesday after his private remarks were leaked and appears to have the party's continued support, and at least two Republican lawmakers claimed the recordings might have been deceptively edited.
“It was edited," said Rep. Maria Salazar, a former television news anchor. "You see, I know the art of editing, so I'm not sure in what context. But what I'm saying to you is that is not a matter of trying to find out it happened, what he said is the whole story. Don't you guys see it, what you guys are doing? You know, it's like, history will judge the news organizations 100 years from now.”
Brzezinski was aghast by the remarks.
"My god," she said. "I know her. She knows so much better."
Host Joe Scarborough said the entire episode made plain just how shamelessly the Republican Party lied under Donald Trump's leadership because they knew there would be no consequences from their voters or the conservative media.
"These people know they're lying and they know that we know that they're lying," Scarborough said. "They know that their rank-and-file know they're lying, yet they just keep lying."
Another GOP lawmaker, Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, also suggested that McCarthy didn't actually say what he was recorded saying.
“You can’t believe anything you read in the paper today,” Grothman told reporters after the meeting, saying that the recording might have been “spliced.”
Brzezinski said the blatant and casual lies were offensive to democracy, and former White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri said the denigration of truth was a hallmark of right-wing authoritarianism around the world.
"It's whataboutism," said Palmieri, who served in the White House under Barack Obama. "This feels like it is all the same fight. It's like, it is whataboutism, which is what Russia does. That is their play. The fight in Ukraine, how the Republicans are casually lying and everyone accepts it and expects it to happen, how that's hurting Democrats when they don't stand up to fight back, both in terms of pushing back culture war, but also these fights take hold when you're not making progress. You know, that's when Democrats -- when you're not making progress on behalf of working people, that is when the culture war stuff takes place."
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