Entries from Aug 2017
Barnicle: It’s our country — not his

“Donald Trump yesterday refuted what he said on Monday because he felt forced to make that statement on Monday and he resented having to make that statement on Monday because it made him look weak. But Donald Trump is a strong man, and he’s going to stick to his beliefs. So, he stood up there yesterday and spoke from his own sense of inner strength. That’s what he gave the country: Enormous division, enormous ability for the right wing, Nazis, Ku Klux Klan people to say: “Yeah he’s my guy’,” said Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle. “And the Republican legislators and Republican donors — forget them. This is about three things that all begin with C: Character, Courage and Country. It’s not about politics now. It’s about the country. Every president we’ve had, has been by definition of being a human being, has had flaws. No president has ever had flaws that so divide the country that we live in. It’s our country — not his.” Listen to more of the discussion here about the fallout from President Donald Trump’s impromptu news conference in New York where he blamed the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on both sides of the conflict, equating the white supremacists on one side with the “alt-left” on the other side.

POTUS Defends White Supremacists

“This is a side show in a sense, the American Nazi party – the Nazis – in the streets in Charlottesville. Donald Trump is the deal: He gives them voice, he gives them strength, he gives them spine. He’s their President,” says Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle as the panel talks about white supremacists cheering President Donald Trump’s impromptu New York news conference, during which POTUS blamed the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on both sides of the conflict, equating the white supremacists on one side with the “alt-left” on the other side. Listen to more of the discussion here about how POTUS has empowered Neo-Nazis and white supremacists with his words.

Barnicle: Hold The President Accountable

“This is a resilient country. We have survived, gotten up off the floor after assassinations, during wars, after terrorist attacks, after natural disasters; but, what happened yesterday was quite different. What happened yesterday because of the nature of the media and all of the tools we have available to us today, will live forever….You’ll see and remember the President of the United States pouring words like salt on open wounds of race, of class, of gender, of income inequality. You’ll see the President of the United States not only diminishing the office, but diminishing himself by misconstruing history, which he certainly has not read and certainly does not understand,” says Morning Joe’s veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during the panel discussion about President Trump’s impromptu news conference in New York where he blamed the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on both sides of the conflict, equating the white supremacists with the “alt-left” on the other side. “What we ought to be talking about is the country and the people who represent the country in Washington D.C. because now it’s up to them. What are they going to do? Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, tweeted last night without mentioning the President’s name. Put his name on it, Mr. Speaker. It was the President. Put his name on it and do something about it.”

POTUS Pressured to Part with Bannon

“The wild card in this is General John Kelly’s role as Chief of Staff and…he would view an assault on the character and the integrity of a three-star general, H.R. McMaster – his friend – as nearly treasonous. That’s a wildcard that Donald Trump just would simply not understand,” says Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle as the panel talks about the Trump Administration struggle between White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, following reports that POTUS suspects Bannon is behind the leaks to the media that target McMaster.

Barnicle: Trump ‘Ceded’ His Moral Authority

While the Morning Joe panel analyzes President Donald Trump’s delayed rebuke of the hate groups involved in the violence and bigotry that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, senior contributor Mike Barnicle explains: “The pace of the media and the culture today has been accelerated, and it is accelerated every single day. This might be a moment to pump the brakes — to stop, and pause, and think about what just happened to the Presidency. The President of the United States ceded his moral authority on Saturday. He could not define or distinguish the different between protests and Nazis – Nazis – on the streets of an American city fomenting a riot. This is not the American story that we’re witnessing. This is a selfish, inward, destructive story that’s taking place and the President’s voice is lacking. And the President has decided not to lead, but to follow, and to follow what and who, we really don’t know. But, it’s not good….I’m an optimist by nature. This country has survived much — it’s prospered greatly. One of the jobs of the President – any President – is to recognize something that people in this country do recognize. There are open wounds in this country: Open wounds of race, of economic disparity, of class disparity. A President’s job is to heal those wounds, not allow the wounds to fester, and poke at the wounds, and probe them, and open even further fissures in the wounds.” Listen to more of the discussion here.

POTUS: Approval Ratings Hit New Low

“Kristen is there a number out there – 33, 32, 29 – that in September if that number is that number that more Republicans would say, ‘Hey, we got to take a look at what’s going on here and walk away from this guy,’ at the expense, perhaps, of some of the agenda?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson as the panel analyzes President Donald Trump’s approval rating falling to 34 percent in the latest Gallup Poll, marking a new low for POTUS. Listen to Soltis Anderson’s explanation that there’s no good way to spin these numbers.

Donald Trump the Conservative

As Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, MSNBC senior contributor Mike Barnicle, The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters and Bloomberg Politics’ John Heilemann discuss the role of Fox News and the definition of conservatism today, Barnicle explains: “Twenty years is a snap of a finger in terms of history, but within that 20 years, and especially the accelerant of the last three or four years has changed both the nature of conservatism in this country, the definition of conservatism, and many of the legitimate principals of conservatism. And now it seems that conservatism is defined, actually, by the presence, and the voice, and the thoughts – if there are some – of Donald J. Trump.” Listen in on the differing opinions on whether Trump is a conservative here.

POTUS Needs a Shiny New Object

The Morning Joe discussion shifts to the temperament of President Donald J. Trump, referencing a column by the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson that begs for a “shiny new object” as a distraction for the Commander in Chief. Asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle: “Gene, one of the things that you continually hear when you speak to people in Washington, whether it’s within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), or any of the intelligence agencies, or a certain select few people in The White House: The one thing that concerns them most, above all else, is the erratic behavior of the President of the United States — something they have no gauge for, can’t control, and can’t predict.” Tune in to more of the conversation here on MSNBC.

The “Woe is Me” Presidency

In discussing President Donald J. Trump’s press conference at his Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle explains: “It’s a theme that he has perfected, and it’s not the Art of the Deal. It’s the President of the United States outlining the “art of victimization” — and he is always the victim. He’s always the victim in everything that occurs that’s negative about his presidency, everything that can’t get done, everything that he doesn’t participate in — in the way a president ought to participate in — like the health care legislation. It’s victimization. It’s, ‘woe is me. Why did they do this to me?” Listen to more of the discussion on President Trump here with Joe Scarborough and John Heilemann. Only on MSNBC.

North Korean Crisis

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and the panel discuss President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, over-reliant on force, and the escalating nuclear crisis with North Korea. “What’s our reaction to a test missile run that the Defense Department and the intelligence agencies say, ‘hey, wow, it’s up and it’s nuclear tipped.’ What do we do then? That’s our problem. That’s the world’s problem,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle. Listen to more of the discussion here.

Manafort Mistreated?

Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle speaks with Washington D.C. attorney Mark Zaid, who specializes in cases involving national security, about President Trump’s lawyer protesting the treatment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whose Alexandria, Virginia, condominium was recently raided by the FBI as part of the Russia investigation. “John Dowd is not representing Paul Manafort. Is this not kind of odd that someone else’s lawyer is speaking on behalf of Paul Manafort?” asks Barnicle of Zaid. Hear what Zaid has to say about the case here. On MSNBC.

Chaos: “Unmatched in Presidential History”

“You saw a level of chaos that’s been unmatched in presidential history,” says Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle while the panel reviews President Donald Trump’s “bizarre” day in the press, where he doubled down on his “fire and fury” threat to North Korea and further criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “You saw a President of the United States literally trying to goad an unstable regime into doing something completely crazy that would change our world forever. You saw a President of the United States who clearly doesn’t understand the concept of legislating in Washington D.C. — that you do need, at some level, at some point, a friend to help you….You saw a president alienate huge parts of his own party, if he does have a party. You saw a level of selfishness and self-absorption on the part of the President of the United States — it’s unmatched in history…So, this is schoolyard stuff from the President of the United States.” Listen in on more of the conversation here.

Trump v. McConnell

“Does Donald Trump need Mitch McConnell?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of The Daily Beast politics editor Sam Stein as the panel discusses President Donald Trump’s public criticism of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republican Party’s failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Listen to the conversation about the status of the Trump White House and Stein’s response here. Only on MSNBC.

More on Trump’s “Fire and Fury”

Listen in on Morning Joe as senior contributor Mike Barnicle and The Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius discuss President Donald Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea. “In talking to people in Washington…I was struck by their fear that this is less-than-rational behavior coming out of the Oval Office — not the White House — but the Oval Office. Their fear is that the accidental start of a war could easily occur,” says Barnicle, who recommends the President read – or at least listen to – John Hersey’s classic “Hiroshima,” which tells what happened on August 6, 1945, when Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city, told through the memories of survivors.

We Cannot Do this Attack Alone

“David, what role did the President’s incendiary comments play…in the North Koreans seemingly ratcheting up very quickly their response with regard attacking Guam?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of The Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius as the panel talks about the escalating nuclear crisis with North Korea, following President Donald Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea. Listen to Ignatius’ response here and why “we cannot do this attack alone.”

Donald Trump: Artful but Fraudulent

“Donald Trump…artfully but fraudulently…managed to, without really saying it, identify with a huge, huge percentage of people in this country who suffered grievous losses in 2008 and 2009: They lost jobs, they lost income, they lost retirement savings, they lost their homes – many of them – and a lot of them also put their sons and daughters at risk of losing them in a war that’s being fought for 16 years. These are the people, the composition, the basis of what the Democratic Party used to be, and they fled because of optics,” explains veteran columnist Mike Barnicle as he joins the Charlie Rose panel with Bloomberg View’s Al Hunt and Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, to discuss the current problems facing the Democratic Party. Listen to more of the discussion only on PBS.

Democrats: Who Are You?

Joining Charlie Rose to discuss the current issues facing the Democratic Party, veteran columnist Mike Barnicle says: “I think the larger problem for the Democrats is they basically have to answer a question individually and collectively as a party: `Who are you? What do you represent?’ The Democrats…have to get younger. Their message has to be more encompassing. It’s got to be economic. It’s got to be cultural. It’s got to be social. It’s got to address things like education reform, what robotics are going to do to your job, what artificial intelligence might do to your children’s jobs, what’s going on in your kids’ schools. Do you have daycare, can you afford childcare? A whole range of social issues. They’ve got to be unafraid to wade into that.” Hear more of the conversation here with Charlie Rose, Al Hunt of Bloomberg View and Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress only on PBS.

POTUS: Fire and Fury

During the conversation about President Donald Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea, Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle says: “It is a frightening selection of words. I think everyone agrees on that, and an imposed threat that was made public by the President of the United States yesterday. The threat is more powerful if it’s made privately and directly to the Chinese or certainly through channels to North Korea.” Tune in to hear the conversation between Barnicle and The Washington Post’s foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius on the President’s latest move. On MSNBC.

John Kelly to the Rescue?

“Phil Rucker, John Kelly has carried quite a load in his military career. He’s now White House Chief of Staff. He attracts enormous support and respect from anyone who knows him, who has worked under him. How does he cope with this in this White House? What’s going on there?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of The Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker during a wide- ranging conversation about White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and the polls showing slipping support for President Donald Trump. Listen to the discussion and Rucker’s response here.

Trust in POTUS Down

“Joe, that trust number and that base number; what are you thinking about if you’re a political adviser to the President of the United States?,” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of host Joe Scarborough as the panel reviews President Donald Trump’s lowest poll numbers in a CNN survey, which reports that President Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is down to 59 percent and 73 percent of Americans don’t trust most of what the White House says. Listen to Scarborough’s response here.