Entries from May 2017
Trump’s Middle East Mistake

As the Morning Joe panel marvels that President Donald Trump apparently does not know that Israel is located in the Middle East and ponders if his recent statements are “malicious” or “plain stupid,” the show’s senior contributor Mike Barnicle adds: “Is it part Captain Queeg? Is it part John Gotti? We now have to ask how much a part of it is Chauncey Gardiner? Because that’s where we are on this…Israel has been in the Middle East for quite some time.” Listen to Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough’s take on Trump: “We’ve gone from ‘Being There’ to ‘Dumb and Dumber’.”

Russia Probe Problems Continue

“He incriminates himself neary every day in one way or another,” says Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle about President Donald Trump and reports that he called two of the nation’s top intelligence officials and urged them to publicly deny that there is any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia. Listen in on the conversation with host Joe Scarborough, Barnicle, former Treasury official Steven Rattner and former advisor to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Elise Jordan about a possible legal case for obstruction of justice against President Trump and how the issue has “hijacked” his agenda.

Russian Meddling Probe

“You could not have come up with a better candidate for this position than Bob Mueller,” explains Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle as the panel examines Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Listen in to the conversation with The Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

The Next Leader of the FBI

Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle spoke with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) about the possibility of his former colleague Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) leading the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation, as it was reported that Lieberman is one of four candidates currently being considered for the chief post. Hear what Murphy has to say in the conversation of political v. law enforcement experience when it comes to the position of new FBI director.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

While the Morning Joe panel analyzes the Justice Department’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into the probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, senior contributor Mike Barnicle says: “What adjective do you want to use to describe Bob Muller? Honorable, honest, character, great integrity, inspires tremendous loyalty in the people who work for him; led a Marine Corps rifle team in Vietnam after graduating from Princeton…There will be no leaks. I can tell you from personal experience with him, knowing him for over 30 years, there will be no leaks out of this investigation. There will just be the hard-nosed plotting, timely, time-consuming work of an investigation.” Listen to more of the discussion here.

Is that Intent?

“Michael Schmidt’s reporting indicates that the President asked the Vice President, the Attorney General, and the Chief of Staff to leave the Oval Office. Is that intent?,” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of public policy professor Harold Ford Jr. during a conversation about President Donald Trump possibly having committed obstruction of justice when he privately asked then FBI Director James Comey to end the federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt originally reported. Listen to Ford Jr.’s response here. Only on MSNBC.

At the Edge

“We’re right at the edge of Title 18, Section 1503 of the United States Code, which is obstruction of justice, and we have (FBI) Director Comey’s contemporaneous notes….I don’t think anybody can predict where this Congress is going to go on this, especially the Republican Senate and the Republican House,” says Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle, as he references New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s recent article that reveals FBI Director James Comes wrote in his notes that President Donald Trump asked him to end the federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Listen to more of the discussion here.

Lincoln residents to be honored at Bosto...

Journalist and MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle and his wife Anne Finucane, Bank of America Vice Chairman, will be honored by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) with its 8th annual Tim Russert Award at the Medicine That Matters Gala on Monday, May 15, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

BHCHP President Jim O’Connell, MD, said in announcing the award: “Anne and Mike have both reached the pinnacle of their professions, yet always maintained a deep commitment to those in need. At Bank of America, Anne has focused on strengthening communities through investment and at the same time supporting nonprofits like BHCHP. And for decades, Mike has given voice to people who struggle with all of life’s challenges, particularly poverty and the disease of addiction. Tim Russert was a close friend of theirs and I imagine he is very proud to see them honored with this award.”

Founded in 1985, BHCHP has evolved into the largest and most comprehensive health care for the homeless program in the country, delivering services to more than 11,000 homeless men, women and children a year at more than 60 shelters and sites. For more information, visit www.bhchp.org

Lincoln residents to be honored at Boston gala


Continuing Comey Fall Out

Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle talks with NBC News National Correspondent Peter Alexander about the further fall out from President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director Jim Comey following a “classy” letter from Comey to his colleagues and an all-smiles meeting between Trump and Russian diplomats in the Oval Office with only Russian press invited. Hear the panel’s discussion here.

TIME with President Trump

TIME Magazine editor Nancy Gibbs joins the Morning Joe panel to talk about this week’s cover story “Donald Trump After Hours,” an exclusive and inside look at the Oval Office and West Wing, including the President’s private dining room. “Nancy you’ve been around. Were you surprised at his openness, the graciousness that appears in this piece?” asks senior contributor Mike Barnicle. Hear Gibbs recount stories and give her impressions of her time meeting with President Trump and how it differed from any other White House visit with a sitting President.

Russia Scores

“Vladimir Putin scored six goals yesterday playing hockey. He actually scored seven – that picture you just held up. That’s the seventh goal,” says Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle to host Joe Scarborough during a conversation about how President Donald Trump allowed a photographer for a Russian state-owned news agency into the Oval Office during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, leading to a widely circulated and much criticized front page photograph of POTUS and the Russian diplomats all smiles. Hear more of the story here.

Senate Probe Widens

Morning Joe’s veteran columnist Mike Barnicle talks with Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT) about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe of President Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal money laundering case, in which the FinCEN division of the U.S. Treasury fined the Taj Mahal $10 million back in 2015. Asks Barnicle: “Congressman, in your prior life before you were elected to the House, you were very familiar with the world of finance and Wall Street. So, what triggers an alert like that in the Treasury Department, the movement of money from banks or banks overseas? What would send up a red flag that would result in the $10 million fine that was imposed?” Listen to Hines’ response here.

Inside the White House

“They are caught in one of the age-old elements that beleaguer all cover ups and that is: ‘A lie is the hardest thing to remember’,” says Morning Joe’s senior contributor Mike Barnicle during a conversation about the various stories coming out of the White House about the President Donald Trump’s surprise firing of FBI director James Comey. “They can’t figure out which story to tell from hour to hour about what occurred over the last five or six days.” Listen in here for the inside story from The New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush and The Washington Post’s national political reporter Robert Costa about the difficult job today and ahead for President Trump.

Constitutional Crisis?

The Morning Joe panel, in conversation with the Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson, the best-selling author of Einstein, continue to discuss the fall out from President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI director James Comey. “What you have had happen…is just one more indication that Donald Trump and clearly the people around him do not understand the presidency itself and the value of the presidency to this country,” says senior contributor Mike Barnicle. Tune in to hear more about the White House’s potential “constitutional crisis.”

Comey Fallout Continues

While the conflicting stories continue to swirl about why President Donald Trump unexpectedly fired FBI director James Comey in a termination letter that claims Comey told POTUS that he is not the subject of an FBI investigation, Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle explains: “I was told that line in the letter that the President wrote to Comey firing him; the three times…’thanks for telling me three times I’m not a subject of an investigation,’ I was told flat out by two agents that never happened. And another person told me there’s a possibility that the President inadvertently waived executive privilege going forward by mentioning that in the letter.” Listen to more of the discussion here with Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist and former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.

Comey Questions Swirl

During the ongoing Morning Joe discussion as to why President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey this week, including reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been ordered by POTUS to write a memo recommending Comey’s dismissal, senior contributor Mike Barnicle explains: “(Rosenstein) has only one option to maintain his sterling credentials, and that is to appoint a special prosecutor. So, we’re going to see going forward exactly what happens here, but the logic of what the White House is trying to sell in terms of the chain of evidence concerning how and why Jim Comey was fired by the President does not stand up to common sense.” Listen to more of the conversation here.

Graham’s Call

The Morning Joe panel talks with Sen. Lindsey Graham about his phone call with President Donald Trump informing him of the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. “During the course of that call, did you get the opportunity to ask him – why now?” asks senior contributor Mike Barnicle. Hear what Sen. Graham had to say about his advance notice and the impact of the Comey decision by President Trump.

Connecting the Dots

Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle asks Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) about the possible connection in subpoenas issued involving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey and the Russia investigation involving the Trump campaign. Hear what Kaine says about the “connective tissue” in these instances and what it could mean for the pace of the investigation.

The Presidency Defined

As the Morning Joe panel examines the bigger picture behind President Donald Trump’s unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey, veteran columnist Mike Barnicle explains: “There is a daily diminishment of the presidency involved here. This is about an issue far larger than this individual, Donald Trump or James Comey. It’s about America, and it’s about the United States of America – about us – and about the presidency itself: How we define it, how we think of it, and the behavior of a president. Listen to the discussion here and what it could mean for the Republican Party.

President Donald Trump’s letter

“Sarah, let’s skip over your investigative prowess and go back to the letter that the President wrote to Director Comey, in which he says: ‘Well, I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the DOJ to dismiss Comey.’ Do you know how many people helped the President prepare that letter, if any? Who approved sending that letter and the allegation that (Trump) was told three times by Jim Comey? Do you know anything about this?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a conversation about President Donald Trump’s letter that informed FBI Director James Comey that he was fired. Listen to Sanders’ response here.