Brzezinski gobsmacked by the investigations swirling around the president
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski was left momentarily speechless by a breakneck segment updating various investigations of President Donald Trump’s dealings that are not currently part of the House impeachment inquiry.
Contributor Donny Deutsch told the “Morning Joe” host about his visit Monday to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who’s currently serving a three-year prison term for campaign finance violations and other crimes related to his work for the president.
“You know, seeing Michael is, first of all, very sad,” Deutsch said. “You know, what also — he said one thing yesterday. He said, ‘You know, people ask me why’d you do what you do?’ And he goes, ‘I don’t know,’ and, to me, the interesting thing is, I wonder if years from now Mike Pompeo, various Republican senators are going to be saying the same thing.”
Deutsch said the president’s former attorney should serve as a cautionary tale to Trump apologists.
“He’s in jail, and Donald Trump and everybody else still runs free,” Deutsch said. “His days are — it’s not hard time, but he’s bored, he’s lonely, he’s frustrated (and) isolated. It is really depressing when you go up there.”
Trump associate Roger Stone goes to trial starting Tuesday in federal court on charges that he obstructed a congressional investigation into Russian hackers helped the president win the 2016 election, and Politico reporter Josh Gerstein offered a preview of what to expect.
“Well, I think (Trump is) certainly going to be referred to,” Gerstein said. “Jurors are being told that this case has something do with Trump. We expect some testimony, at least, on the Roger Stone front about a conversation that took place with Rick Gates and somebody on the phone in the back of a limo with then-candidate Trump, where he was told in advance about the planned release of some of these Clinton or Democratic emails.”
“So we do expect the president’s name to be invoked at the trial,” Gerstein added, “whether it’s something that he’ll have to pay a political price for, you know, six months from now or a year from now, I think we’ll have to wait and see.”
Trump’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is reportedly under investigation for his role in the Ukraine scandal, and his indicted associate Lev Parnas has indicated he would cooperate with investigators.
“It’s not good news for Giuliani or the president,” Gerstein said. “Parnas is making this kind of outreach to Capitol Hill and saying, ‘Look, I’m willing to work with you guys.’ I have to say, though, it’s a little murky to me how we get from him being interested in cooperating to actually cooperating.”
But he said the change in strategy is certainly noteworthy.
“The shift in strategy is probably more notable than any chance that Parnas is going to start singing soon,” Gerstein said. “If he wants to sing, it’s best to sing to the federal prosecutors before he tries to work something out on Capitol Hill.”
Brzezinski was gobsmacked by the investigations swirling around the president.
“Oh my goodness,” she said. “You look at this all, look at what we just talked about in the past six minutes, all these moving parts, from his tax returns, Michael Cohen, Lev Parnas, Roger Stone, Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels, possible payments that are campaign finance violations and the growing mountain of evidence surrounding the Ukraine scandal, and you’ve got this president and his Fox News hosts talking about one thing, the whistleblower, and you get a sense that that seems unbelievably silly and deflecting.”
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Far Right House Republicans Urge Barr to Appoint Special Counsel to Investigate Joe Biden and Son Hunter
Eleven of the most extreme House Republicans are urging Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the former Vice President’s son Hunter Biden.
Fox News reports the Republicans want Barr “to appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged revelations coming from a laptop purported to have belonged to Joe Biden’s son Hunter — specifically the elder Biden’s alleged participation in his son’s business dealings.”
The letter to the Attorney General is signed by just 11 of the 198 Republican Representatives, among them far right extremists like white supremacist Steve King of Iowa, white nationalist Louis Gohmert of Texas, religious extremist Jody Hice of Georgia, and science-denier Paul Gosar of Arizona.
Also among the 11 signatories, Congressman Andy Biggs, a “hydroxychloroquine kook” according to a local Arizona opinion writer, took to Twitter to attack Biden.
Today, I requested that the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE immediately appoint an independent, unbiased SPECIAL COUNSEL to investigate the issues that have been raised about former Vice President JOE BIDEN’S involvement with his son’s business dealings. https://t.co/2phUI4tSY7
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 19, 2020
The allegations against the Bidens, fueled by a NY Post article being called Russian disinformation and based on content provided by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have been debunked from the start.
Trump is attacking Barr for not having already opened an investigation into the Bidens.
“Lock him up!” chants for Joe Biden are a new staple of Trump rallies.
“I know people that would’ve had him locked up five weeks ago,” Trump says, suggesting Bill Barr is having mercy on Biden. pic.twitter.com/kSQzx1j3Jt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
Should Barr cave and open an investigation it would not be the first politically-motivated attack on Bidem from Republicans. Last month Senate Republicans ended an investigation that “found no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former vice president, closing out an inquiry its leaders had hoped would tarnish the Democratic presidential nominee.”
Trump Delivers Closing Pitch to ‘Suburban Housewives’ at Rally: ‘Women, I Like Women — I Like Women!’
President Donald J. Trump made his closing pitch to who he called “suburban housewives” at his Arizona rally Monday. He bellowed, “Women, I like women — I like women!” in a classic Trumpian move while his supporters cheered.
“Listen, here’s the story. They said ‘suburban women’ — I used to call them ‘suburban housewives,’ I got killed all the time. I said, ‘ugh, I better go politically correct.’ Is there one woman here who minds being called, if you’re married at least, a ‘suburban housewife’ ’cause…”
The crowd erupted with “No!”
“The only ones who mind are those characters… there’s a lot of people up there – the press, right? Those are the only ones. The rest of them don’t.”
Watch the video below.
"Women. I like women. I like women." — Trump pic.twitter.com/AF3VyWcSbX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
Trump Aides Lament Guthrie Town Hall Was ‘Damaging’ to President as He ‘Runs Out of Time’: AP Reporter
Reporting on the fall-out from Donald Trump’s controversial town hall on MSNBC on Thursday night, Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire claimed that aides to the president are already admitting that the president made some “damaging” comments that could hurt his re-election campaign.
Speaking with “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski, Lemire said the range of topics exposed the president and his answers likely didn’t make anyone on the fence consider voting for him.
“Viewers would have experienced some whiplash watching the two — trying to watch both town halls,” Lemire explained while comparing the Trump town hall to Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s on ABC. “There was one moment that crystallized it: at the same moment that Trump was defending QAnon, Joe Biden was talking about the taxes. He showed empathy to the listeners, to those asking him questions.”
“In terms of the president, people I have talked to around him last night and a few texts early this morning suggested once again a real anger at the media,” he continued. “Blaming the scapegoat, in this case, Savannah Guthrie who I thought did a terrific job yesterday.”
“But I will say they do say there may have been some moments last night that may have been damaging,” he added. “Like not denouncing QAnon. The very testy one when he finally got around to denouncing white supremacy. There are certainly going to be questions about tax returns and whether or not he took a COVID test before the last debate. Several times he dodged, he evaded and raised real questions as to whether or not he exposed Joe Biden last time which is going to raise more concerns about next week when they’re supposed to set up for a final debate next Thursday.”
“The president, frankly, is running of out of time” he explained before concluding, “It’s hard to imagine, even his aides concede, that there was any moment last night that the president swung voters his way when he simply is running out of time and opportunities to change the trajectory of this race.”
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