MSNBC's Morning Joe started off Thursday with their favorite game, gaslighting conservatives -- or anyone opposed to violent far-left protests taking over city streets. They attempted to do this by pretending that demonstrations in major cities across America aren't violent, that rioters and looters aren’t beating people up, attacking police officers, and setting things on fire. Nope, the media would rather pretend that Trump sending in federal officers to quell the chaos is the real problem, not the actual rioters themselves.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski started off enabling the radicals by denouncing the actions of federal authorities:
This as the Washington Post reports that federal officers have repeatedly fired chemical agents, less than lethal rounds, and flash bang devices at the crowd in recent nights dressed in camouflage and tactical gear and unleashing tear gas. Federal officers have clashed violently with protesters and pulled some people in unmarked vans. In what Governor Kate Brown called a blatant abuse of power. The demonstrations have now rocked Portland for 55 consecutive nights since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, this all seems to be part of the president's latest efforts to place so called law and order at the center of his re-election campaign. President Trump announced plans to send federal agents into Chicago and says more cities all run by Democrats will be added to the list.
Democrat-run cities like Portland and Chicago have been devastated because of these rioters. Mass looting, violence, and severe spikes in murder rates have occurred largely because the mayors of these cities have kept the police from doing anything. But instead of focusing on the inaction of incompetent leftist politicians and the increased violence as a result, fellow co-host Joe Scarborough decided to pile on law enforcment, even comparing federal officers to secret police in an authoritarian regime:
And yet, even with that happening, David Ignatius, so many people are looking, as we are, at what's happening in Portland with unmarked police officers throwing protesters into the back of vans with no probable cause, and then whisking them away and interrogating them as deeply un-American, extraordinarily frightening in 2020 for the United States government to have a president who is using these tactics that, you know, of course, people like Pinoche used in the past.
Has Scarborough ever heard of unmarked police vehicles before? Also, it is clear in photos that the officers have badge numbers on their uniforms, so saying that they are unmarked is a complete lie. But longtime guest Michael Steele had one last point to make, that the dispatching of federal officers to help with violence is racist:
When you look at federal intervention it's because it's asked for and appreciated and welcomed by the local or state officials who have a problem they cannot manage. That's not the case in many Portland, not the case in Chicago, and what the president is doing is stoking a law and order meme to appease not those folks but those white citizens who look at these places, these largely black and brown cities, these urban centers and says we got to do something, Mr. President. And he's like, I'm here to the rescue.
Trump became president because many Americans felt that their concerns were pushed aside by the left-wing, elitist media and Democrats, yet here they are doing the exact same thing in 2020.
Read the full transcript below to learn more:
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
6:09 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let's go to the latest developments now from Portland, Mika.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: All right, late last night, Mayor Ted Wheeler was hit with tear gas fired by federal officers as he stood alongside protestors, masked once again, outside a courthouse. While the mayor attempted to calm the crowd, many protesters called for his resignation as protests continue to grip the city where President Trump has sent federal officers. Activists have called on the mayor to defund the police by 50%, free protesters held in custody, and get federal agents out of the city . This as the Washington Post reports that federal officers have repeatedly fired chemical agents, less than lethal rounds, and flash bang devices at the crowd in recent nights dressed in camouflage and tactical gear and unleashing tear gas. Federal officers have clashed violently with protesters and pulled some people in unmarked vans. In what Governor Kate Brown called a blatant abuse of power. The demonstrations have now rocked Portland for 55 consecutive nights since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, this all seems to be part of the president's latest efforts to place so called law and order at the center of his re-election campaign. President Trump announced plans to send federal agents into Chicago and says more cities all run by Democrats will be added to the list. More than 200 federal agents have already been deployed to Kansas City, Missouri to address a surge in violent crime. Now the Justice Department is expanding the program, sending roughly 200 federal agents to Chicago and 35 to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Attorney General Bill Barr said this operation is not like Portland where unidentified agents in camouflage targeted protesters, Barr says the program adds manpower to existing federal task forces that already work with local police.
WILLIAM BARR: This is a different kind of operation, obviously, than the tactical teams we use to defend against riots and mob violence. And we're going to continue to confront mob violence.
DONALD TRUMP: For decades politicians running many of our nation's major cities have put the interest of criminals above the rights of law abiding citizens. These same politicians have now embraced the far left movement to break up our police departments, causing violent crime in their cities to spiral, and I mean spiral seriously out of control. We will never defund the police. We will hire more great police. We want to make law enforcement stronger, not weaker. What cities are doing is absolute insanity.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, I'm really happy that Donald Trump is now on the side of Joe Biden, who said he's against defunding police. I’ve got to say maybe this is an inflection point where both sides come together. I'm so happy that Donald Trump came out yesterday and said that he still is on the side of James Clyburn who said, weeks ago, that defunding the police was -- might make a good slogan, but it is a stupid policy idea. That, of course, the democratic whip in the house of representatives. And, of course, one democratic politician after another, Mr. President, have said they are against defunding the police. So it's so good that you had the courage to go out yesterday and repeat what Joe Biden says. It's so good that even after Jim Clyburn said it, you weren't afraid to go out and say, in effect, hey, Jim Clyburn is right. Nancy Pelosi is right. The national Democratic leadership is right. We shouldn't defund the police. Such good news. Hallelujah.
SCARBOROUGH: Just very quickly, of course, it's important to say that what is going to happen in Chicago, Kansas City, are, in fact -- they're going to send, it appears, federal officers to help with existing task task forces. It sounds more like sort of an investigative approach. Doesn't sound like anything like Portland yet, of course you have to see what happens. But unless people in those cities start attacking federal buildings, I suspect they will have no excuse to do the sort of things that they're doing out in Portland. And yet, even with that happening, David Ignatius, so many people are looking, as we are, at what's happening in Portland with unmarked police officers throwing protesters into the back of vans with no probable cause, and then whisking them away and interrogating them as deeply un-American, extraordinarily frightening in 2020 for the United States government to have a president who is using these tactics that, you know, of course, people like Pinoche used in the past.
DAVE IGNATIUS: Joe, as you say, the deployment of those forces, in Portland especially, initially, look like the version of the little green men we talk about in Russia. People who come out without clear identification, doing the bidding of the president back in the capitol. And I think people in Oregon, rightly, have been furious about this. There is a significant legal challenge. We'll see how that turns out. I think more fundamentally we have to see that this is a standard page out of the Republican playbook. They do this every four years. They agitate about law and order, the Democrats are weak on law and order, that crime is up. It's just, it's a standard GOP line. It's good that Biden and Pelosi have been firm in saying, no, we don't want to defund the police. We want better policing, policing more in touch with the community. But I think this was to be expected, especially with a president whose other major issues are collapsing because of the pandemic, because of the economic slowdown. I think if in these cities where federal forces are being deployed there are violent protests and there have been violent protests in some of the cities, that's going to play directly in Trump's hands and we'll see the inflammatory claims he makes. So we'll see people protesting the president have to be careful they not give him ammunition. But this is a tactic that has unfortunately worked for the Republicans in the past for several decades. And this is the Donald Trump version of it, sharply, sharply phrased. Biden has been smart not to fall into the trap. I hope he stays sensible in supporting, as I wrote in a recent column, law, order and justice, they go together. Those three are three legs of where the Democrats stand on these issues.
SCARBOROUGH: You're so right about the protesters not playing into the president's hands. Two things can be true at once. These can be deeply troubling, disturbing rallies or attacks against rallies, against peaceful protests for the most part. The seizing of Americans off the streets by unmarked police officers, thrown into unmarked vans and whisked away with the police not having probable cause. And at the same time protesters, it would -- if they want federal officers out of their cities doing this, of course, they can do court challenges and should do court challenges. They should also, you know, if they stay away from federal buildings, the president and Barr have absolutely no legal standing to be where they are. They can protest in other places and that takes all legal rights, any legal rights they may have through this order to continue. But Willie, this law and order approach, this extreme law and order approach that the president has tried since the death of George Floyd has backfired on him tremendously. His poll numbers dropped after June the 1st. And, you know, his aides thought that was a great idea. I'm sure they think this is a great idea as well. But in the latest poll, he's losing by 9 points on the issue of law and order to Joe Biden. This doesn’t help the president. And yet he continues to double down on it. ,
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Yeah, it's just the latest area where the president curiously digs deeper into a hole that he’s made for himself that's not helping him in the polls. Interesting to listen to mayor Lori light foot of Chicago who's on the show later today, and also is not in favor of defunding the police. But she said, listen, if you're coming to Chicago to help us investigate crimes, investigate shootings, great. But if you're coming to sweep people up and put them in unmarked mini vans we don't want that. She talked to the president yesterday and we'll ask her about that coming up a little bit later. And Michael Steele, I’m interested in your point of view of this as someone who was Lieutenant Governor, Tom Ridge, first Homeland Security Secretary and Governor of Pennsylvania said it would be a cold day in hell before he let these agents come to his state, his city. That guy is a Republican. What do you make of this?
MICHAEL STEELE: I think Tom Ridge, Governor ridge has it right. I know from Maryland to Massachusetts to California to Florida all across the country, governors, whether they're Republican or Democrat would not welcome the kind of approach this president is taking. Not only does it set up the obvious constitutional problems between the 10th and the 14th amendment and lord knows what else. But the idea that the federal government is going to come in and do something over and above what the local officials, the mayor and of course the governor and state officials are already doing speaks to their individual sovereignty. Speaks to how they manage and run the cities. Mr. President, once you bring your troopers into our states do you now want to stay and clean up the mess that you create afterwards? Because the states are left with that, they're left with the cost, the disruption amongst the citizens. The citizens of Oregon will decide whether or not they like what's happening in Oregon. The citizens of Portland will decide relative to their elected officials whether they appreciate the ongoing protests since May 25th. Donald Trump can sit back and be dismayed. Donald Trump can be concerned. But unless the governor calls him and says, look, I need help. You stay your behind out of the state. That's how this works. How this has work. When you look at federal intervention it's because it's asked for and appreciated and welcomed by the local or state officials who have a problem they cannot manage. That's not the case in many Portland, not the case in Chicago, and what the president is doing is stoking a law and order meme to appease not those folks but those white citizens who look at these places, these largely black and brown cities, these urban centers and says we got to do something, Mr. President. And he's like, I'm here to the rescue.
BRZEZINSKI: So Jeff Mason, I want to hear what you're hearing from the White House. But some analysis leading into the question out of this conversation is that, yes, everything Michael Steele said, but I kind of look at it through the lens of a buildup toward the election with grave concern. You look at what happened June 1st. When the President had his photo op outside the church with his bible and what happened to peaceful protesters who were shoved out of the way and gassed. It happened, and now it's over. No recourse. Maybe a few people got mad at the President. But he blows through stop signs and nothing happens. Now, roiling hate, stirring up violence, putting perhaps a stronger reaction in place than needed, hoping perhaps to ratchet up tensions which could perhaps ratchet up violence and put this president in this law and order position where for his base it appears he's, quote, keeping the peace. I look toward the election with grave concern and I'll say it basely, this man won't leave. But what are you hearing inside the White House about these preparations to move into other cities?
JEFF MASON: Well, Mika, I think the point you make about a build up is worth underscoring. It started after the death of George Floyd. We're now in July and continuing to talk about law and order. And at the same time, seeing his poll numbers go down because of his response to the coronavirus. Voters across the country unhappy with that response and was noted earlier, unhappy with his response to the protest to the death of George Floyd. It's a continuation of that. The politics are also pretty clear in as far as he's focussing on the cities and states run by Democrats. He says that, focusing on Chicago, Albuquerque, when if it's just about a surge in crime, it's happening in cities run by Republicans as well. One of them being Jacksonville where the Republican National Convention is set to take place next month. But you don't hear the President talking about it on an equal footing. It's focused almost completely really on cities and states run by Democrats. So the political strategy there is clear and he has employed that -- or implemented that strategy from the White House.