Scarborough: 'Don't Tell Me White House Didn't Know About Petraeus Till After Election--That Is Not True'

Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying.  On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.

Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago."  Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know.  That is not true."  View the video after the jump.

Give Scarborough credit for expressing his unequivocal skepticism about the Obama admin's claim not to have learned about Petraeus until after the election.  The question does arise, though, whether Scarborough, having heard the rumors weeks before the election, should have alerted NBC news sources and asked them to investigate, or even have done some reporting on his own.  How might that have changed the election dynamic?

Watch Scarborough lay down a marker . . . and counter his NBC colleague, Andrea Mitchell.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But people on Capitol Hill--I've worked on Capitol Hill, you know Capitol Hill, we all know Capitol Hill.  This was getting around Capitol Hill.  We've got a couple of congressmen that know.  [Ed. e.g., Eric Cantor] They're calling over to the Bureau [FBI]. We're supposed to believe that the President of the United States and the White House did not know about this until five o'clock election day?

ANDREA MITCHELL: Can I just say something?  It was not five o'clock election day. Let me just correct that. That's when Clapper was told. Clapper didn't tell the White House--Tom Donilon and the national security staff, until the next morning, Wednesday morning.  The president was not told, according to all the officials involved, until Thursday.

SCARBOROUGH: OK, so we will take the timeline one more day. So the day after the election.  It's just as bad. I don't believe it. I do not believe that Eric Holder, and the Justice Department, and the FBI, and Republican congressmen, and people on the Hill, and this loose cannon down in Tampa, this FBI agent, and everybody else knew about this, and nobody inside the White House knew. Guess what? I heard about something like this coming several weeks ago.  Don't tell me the White House didn't know.  That is not true.            

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.