‘Morning Joe’: Trump Team ‘Going to Jail ... for the Rest of Their Lives’
As the "noose" of Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump team's contacts with Russia is "tightening," members of the administration are starting to understand they're going "to jail ... for the rest of their lives," MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said Tuesday.
"Knowing them, I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening," Brzezinski said. "I don't know if they were arrogant or incredibly un-self aware and really dumb about what the job was about, how important it was, and how under the microscope every move you made would be. I think they just thought they'd go in there and riff through it. And I think they're shocked that the noose is tightening and that people might go to jail."
"You're exactly right," her co-host and fiancé, Joe Scarborough, agreed.
"For the rest of their lives," Brzezinski added, perhaps hopefully.
Trump, Scarborough said, only ran for president as part of a money-making scheme, and did not actually expect to win.
"You know, the campaign — Trump didn't think he was going to win even on Election Day," he said. "But it was all about money. It was all about making contacts. We've said this before. But the most remarkable thing about it is that even now that he's president, it's still all about money. Like, he's not sitting there thinking what Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan thought. Like, what is my legacy going to be? He's thinking every day, how can I leverage this so when I get out of the White House I can make even more money?"
Here's a transcript from the exchange:
GEIST: “The list has gotten so long of people who have claimed they didn’t have a meeting with Ambassador Kislyak or who left something off their disclosure form, or said, ‘The meeting I had with Russians was about adoption.’ You have to just, as a layman even, to see a pattern, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, K.T. McFarland... I don’t know if it’s ignorance or arrogance or some combination of the two to under sworn testimony say, ‘I’m going to say this thing and they’ll never find out about it.’”
SCARBOROUGH: “Again, they didn’t lie about their contacts with the UAE or the contacts with the Saudis or contacts with Japan or the contacts of China. They didn’t lie about the contacts with everybody during the transition or the campaign, but they always lied about their contacts with Russia. And I want to follow up on what Susan said. You know, the campaign — Trump didn’t think he was going to win even on Election Day.”
SCARBOROUGH: “But it was all about money. It was all about making contacts. We’ve said this before. But the most remarkable thing about it is that even now that he’s president, it’s still all about money. Like, he’s not sitting there thinking what Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan thought. Like, what is my legacy going to be? He’s thinking every day, ‘How can I leverage this so when I get out of the White House I can make even more money?’”
BRZEZINSKI: “Knowing them, I think they’re shocked that the noose is tightening. I don’t know if they were arrogant or just incredibly un-self-aware and really dumb about what the job was about, how important it was, and how under the microscope every move you made would be. I think they just thought they’d go in there and flimflam and riff through it. And I think they’re shocked that the noose is tightening and that people might go to jail.”
SCARBOROUGH: “You’re exactly right.”
BRZEZINSKI: “For the rest of their lives.”
SCARBOROUGH: “What’s gotten them where they are right now, Josh, is a gross misunderstanding of the rules of Washington, the laws surrounding public service and constitutional norms. Coupled with the arrogance of New York developers thinking — and I know, I talk to them — thinking people in Washington were just dumb local yokels, and they — ‘Just get out of our way. Listen, listen, you guys have had your opportunity, and you guys — come on. You’re just a bunch of hicks in Washington D.C. Let the big city developers come in and we’re going to show you.’ They wouldn’t listen to anybody, and they stumbled into one possible crime after another possible crime. And then Donald Trump goes into his mode. He thinks taking on Bob Mueller is the same as taking on Rosie O’Donnell. No, I’m dead serious.”
EARNEST: “I think that’s right.”
SCARBOROUGH: “He does. He thinks, ‘This worked with Rosie. I’ll do with this Comey. I’ll do this with Mueller.’ He has no idea that he’s going down.”
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