With Donald Trump suffering probably his worst week on the campaign trail (shitty debate, feud with beauty queen, Trump Foundation problems, $916 million write-off on taxes) and Hillary Clinton rising in the polls, the Morning Joe crew decided they needed to go to bat for the Trumpster on Tuesday.
Discussing the New York Times report on Trump’s 1995 tax return that showed him claiming a nearly billion dollar loss that could have conceivably allowed the real estate mogul to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough came to the conclusion that it is a non-story. In fact, not only is there no there there, but the GOP nominee is “brilliant” for boasting about his ability to game the system so he can continually evade taxes.
Mika began the convo by asking the panel if any laws were broken. After political hack Mark Halperin dutifully answered no, Mika then created a false equivalency that would make Chuck Todd blush.
From Media Matters transcript:
“OK so [Donald Trump] talks about brilliantly using this system, great. Hillary Clinton could have had that same reaction to her speech money, that she says she’s going to change Wall Street, but you know what, I used the system to make millions of dollars. But instead she hides it. Donald Trump just doesn’t hide it. He’s very comfortable with the fact that he followed the law and made a lot of money. She also followed the law and made a lot of money and for some reason it’s OK to look at that speech money and somehow we just let it go because she’s — her campaign keeps it kind of under — it’s the same thing and that’s what people see. People see somebody being honest about it and somebody kind of like, not mentioning it but still doing it. What’s the difference? Does anybody want to explain to me, because I think voters like what they saw from Donald Trump and I’m very worried about that.”
Oh sheesh, Give me a break. For one thing, Donald Trump has also made lots of money from speeches, yet no one talks about that. Two, Trump’s entire qualification for running for President is that he’s an incredible businessman. Yet, he refuses to let us see his tax returns. And all the ones we’ve seen show that he’s neither as rich as he claims, he’s lost tons of money and he’s consistently found ways to pay zero taxes. Three, Trump wasn’t honest about shit. He’s only spinning this because the NYT story came out.
Joe jumped in to help Mika carry that huge tub o’water. In his mind, Trump is just doing what everyone else would do so anyone bitching about it is just a hypocrite.
“This tax thing, I’m sorry, this tax thing, please, find me one person that pays more taxes than they have to pay. You can’t do it. So everybody that’s acting so shocked that he did what he was legally entitled to do is a freaking hypocrite…That’s why Warren Buffett goes, “Oh, rich people need to pay.” Well, pay more money, Warren Buffett.”
But the coup de grace was at the end of the exchange when Mika then chastised Hillary’s team for trying to make political hay out of this bombshell story, as if that was something a campaign should be doing.
“I think the reaction to this New York Times story on Donald Trump’s part was brilliant, and the thing is he didn’t even think twice about it, he just went there, while she has been hiding this speech money, hiding this foundation stuff, hiding this email stuff, and trying to get around it, mistakes were made. And I’m telling you people don’t, they are not feeling a complete connection with her and this didn’t help to get all high and mighty. Get off your high horse about this tax thing. Unless laws were broken, it’s not an issue. You guys cancel each other out.”
Brilliant, she says. Get off your high horse, she bellows. I mean, this is right up there with Rudy Giuliani calling Trump a “genius” for losing a billion bucks. However, Rudy at least has the excuse that he’s a Trump adviser and surrogate.
WaPo’s Dave Weigel had the perfect reaction to Mika and Joe going all in to assist Trump:
Also pretty remarkable that Joe and Mika will haul water for Trump after he accused them of sleeping together.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) October 4, 2016
It should also be noted that Trump has called Mika neurotic and crazy, among other things. Well, I guess that trip to Trump Tower by the duo paid off for the former reality TV star. Looks like they are back on message.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) October 4, 2016