Politics

MSNBC’s Barnicle Claims Obama Era Was ‘Virtually Scandal-Free’

'Exemplary' former president promised 'most transparent White House ever,' but the reality was endless series of ethical controversies

MSNBC senior contributor Mike Barnicle gushed over former President Barack Obama on Tuesday on “Morning Joe,” claiming with a straight face that Obama’s eight years in the White House were “virtually scandal-free.”

Barnicle (above right) was interviewing Robert Gibbs (above left), Obama’s first White House press secretary, when he lavished President Donald Trump’s predecessor with unvarnished praise. Without attempting to disguise his less than favorable opinion of Trump and his administration, Barnicle asked Gibbs about “the damage that’s being done to the institution of the presidency today” after eight years under an “exemplary” president.

“You stood there nearly every day in your tenure as press secretary, and I’m wondering about the presidency that you were a part of and what you think about the damage that’s being done to the institution of the presidency today, given that you worked for a presidency that was virtually scandal-free and [had an] exemplary person as president,” Barnicle said. “And now we have nearly the opposite.”

Gibbs replied, “I don’t think we can solve problems in our country if we can’t sit down and talk about them — if we’re so deeply divided, if everything becomes everybody going to their corners and their trust in the ability of the people that we have on either side leading us can’t help bring all of us together.”

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski chimed in, asking Gibbs, “With all due respect, aren’t we talking about something completely different at this point? You know, people running to their corners, that’s been a problem that we’ve had to deal with.”

“But aren’t we dealing with something completely different?” Brzezinski continued. “What’s holding you back from talking about the reality of this presidency in a real way?”

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Gibbs noted that he isn’t “a political pundit anymore” — which spurred Brzezinski to retort, “Aren’t you deeply concerned as an American?”

“I think everybody is concerned deeply about the country,” Gibbs said, dodging Brzezinski’s invitation to bash Trump.

Although Gibbs declined to jump on “Morning Joe’s” Trump-bashing bandwagon, the pro-Obama bias of Barnicle and Brzezinski apparently blinded them to the “virtually scandal-free” administration’s numerous ethical embarrassments and outrages:

1.) Obama’s former national security adviser, Susan Rice, lied to the nation on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and multiple other news shows, claiming the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans was a spontaneous riot caused by an anti-Islamic TV documentary. In fact, U.S. officials knew before the attack was over that it was a planned terrorist operation.

2.) The IRS targeted Tea Party, conservative, and evangelical nonprofit applicants for extended bureaucratic harassment and excessive processing demands beginning in 2010. Lois Lerner, the IRS executive at the center of the scandal, refused to answer congressional questions about her actions and was allowed to retire without penalty.

Related: Obama Coverup for Hillary Clinton Was Worse Than Collusion

3.) Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, became the first Cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress following the “Operation Fast and Furious” cover-up scandal that allowed thousands of deadly firearms to be sold to suppliers for the Mexican drug cartels.

4.) The Obama administration’s controversial Uranium One deal allowed a Russian-backed company to purchase an American uranium firm, thus handing Moscow control of 20 percent of the U.S. reserves of the critical material. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the deal, which benefited multiple donors to the Clinton Foundation.

5.) Holder’s Justice Department came under fire after it obtained warrants to monitor former Fox News reporter James Rosen and his journalistic activities, calling him a criminal “co-conspirator” for accepting sensitive leaked documents.

6.) Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of an Arizona airport in June 2016, allegedly to discuss grandchildren. Shortly afterward, former FBI Director James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton for her use of a private server and email address to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business.

7.) Obama was widely criticized after releasing five Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in exchange for disgraced former U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

And so on and so on and …

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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