MSNBC’s Brzezinski: Trump ‘Has Not Put Any Points on the Board’

'Morning Joe' panel dismisses president's early accomplishments, blames Bannon for shortfalls

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 21 Nov 2017 at 9:29 AM

MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski claimed Monday that President Donald Trump “has not put any points on the board” so far in his presidency and suggested his domestic-policy moves have all ended in failure.

The “Morning Joe” panel began its Monday morning Trump-bashing when Brzezinski pointed to Trump’s “horrible inauguration speech” January 20, which spoke of “American carnage” and the need to revitalize the country. Saying that it was “absolutely the worst in history,” Brzezinski proceeded to dismiss Trump’s efforts to fulfill several campaign promises.

“How do they get [Bannon] out of the White House without just him exploding all over them?”

“[Trump] has not put any points on the board,” Brzezinski said. “In fact, it’s been all failures domestically up until now.”

Even though Trump has begun enforcing immigration law, presided over a huge reduction in illegal border crossings, removed the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, successfully nominated Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and more, Brzezinski was at a loss to come up with a single win Trump has registered as president.

The “Morning Joe” panel also discussed fresh reports of ideological infighting between White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. The two articles mentioned — Vanity Fair’s “The Inside Story of the Kushner-Bannon Civil War,” published Friday, and The New York Times’ “Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: Pillars of Family-Driven West Wing” published Saturday — speculate that Bannon, along with much of Trump’s populist agenda, is on his way out of the White House.

Brzezinski pointed to a section from the Times article in particular, which reads, "In recent weeks, [Ivanka Trump] has spoken bluntly about Mr. Bannon's shortcomings to the president. She was especially incensed by articles she believed were planted by Mr. Bannon's allies suggesting he, not her father, honed the populist economic message that helped sweep the Midwest. She made that point in the strongest terms to her father, who agreed, according to a family friend."

Brzezinski insisted Bannon was to blame for policy duds so far in the administration.

"And I believe Bannon put himself in front of that and thought he was the kind of 'fixer' on everything," Brzezinski said. "And it was a disaster."

Co-host Joe Scarborough, a regular critic of Bannon and a personal friend of Kushner, chimed in, noting, "people in the White House are starting to look at [Bannon's] past. They're starting to say … hey, this guy always ends up blowing himself and people around him up," Scarborough said. "But the past is always prologue in politics. Show me somebody's past, and if they've done it over and over again, they're going to do it in the future. And Bannon blew himself up."

Elise Jordan, a former adviser to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), warned a Bannon exit could put the White House in an "extremely volatile position."

"How do they get [Bannon] out of the White House without just him exploding all over them?" Jordan asked.

Brzezinski suggested Bannon's imminent demise was already settled and agreed "the issue now" is what the blowback would be for the White House.

"The real reporting here is that they are trying to figure out what the heck to do with him so he doesn't hurt them on the outside," Brzezinski said.

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