The co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” reached for a new level of hyperbole Tuesday in their ongoing effort to discredit President Donald Trump.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski devoted a considerable segment of their program Tuesday morning to dissecting the president’s sanity. They would have their MSNBC audience believe there is cause for concern over his mental state.
“It’s better to critique a president for his policies and his decisions than to try to put him on the couch and read his mind.”
“Presidential historian Doug Brinkley … described the President’s confused mental state,” said Scarborough. “I saw the transcripts from just the rambling, talking about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. We’ve seen him try to bluff his way through things before,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough suggested Trump’s comments about the Civil War were a product of a mental health problem.
“My mother’s had dementia for 10 years,” he said. “That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today … It’s beyond the realm,” he said.
“I’m not trying to be anything here but very direct,” Scarborough continued. “That’s something that a five-year-old might ask, but that is not anything that any grown-up that I have ever been around in my entire life would ever let pass from their lips because that has been the central question of how did America begin with slavery as our original sin, and how did we move past that original sin in part through the Civil War,” he said.
Scarborough’s loaded description does not accurately portray the comments from Trump, unartful as they were.
“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” he said. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.'”
“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?” Trump said.
Trump’s comments, while certainly uncouth, appeared to be in reference to Jackson’s handling of the Nullification Crisis — and to the fact that the seventh president of the U.S. predicted disunion and “southern confederacy.”
But according to Scarborough, Trump’s Civil War comments were only the tip of an iceberg of mental instability.
“You take that and John Dickerson,” Scarborough continued. “It was really, really shocking. With Dickerson he was mumbling, rambling around, incoherent, and then just sort of quit talking, walked off.”
After claiming that getting short-tempered during a hostile interview with John Dickerson and poorly worded historical observations are somehow symptoms of mental illness, Scarborough and Brzezinski proceeded to diagnose Trump’s alleged condition — while simultaneously trying to deny they were doing so:
SCARBOROUGH: “You know, perhaps it’s exhaustion. Perhaps it’s the weight of the job, the pressure of the job.”
SCARBOROUGH: “Perhaps it’s anxiety. Perhaps he’s exhausted.”
BRZEZINSKI: “But those are all real conditions.”
SCARBOROUGH: “Maybe he’s not sleeping at all. We’ve heard that he’s having trouble sleeping. We don’t know what it is. We’re not analyzing anything —”
BRZEZINSKI: “Not diagnosing. We’re analyzing, that’s for sure.”
SCARBOROUGH: “We’re not diagnosing anything, but there is no doubt that there is something impacting his thought process. Perhaps it is exhaustion.”
The bizarre segment earned a swift rebuff from a key ally of the White House on Capitol Hill.
“There’s a lot of people in the media and a lot in the Democratic Party who still cannot come to grips with the fact that the American people elected Donald Trump to shake up Washington,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” while discussing the “Morning Joe” episode.
“And the sooner they do so, the better off we’ll all be as a country as we try to solve some of those problems,” he continued. “It’s better to critique a president for his policies and his decisions than to try to put him on the couch and read his mind.”