Joe Scarborough led the discussion as the panel reacted to Trump’s jabs at McCain from the Oval Office, which comes amid the president’s renewed fight against the six-month dead senator. As the panel remarked that Trump hates McCain for having the bravery and the public admiration he does not, the conversation also touched on how the Republican Party seems to tolerate the president’s smears of McCain’s legacy.
“It’s baked into the cake for Donald Trump, as a public figure, he’s just abhorrent,” Scarborough said. “But, he’s also completely brainwashed an entire party.”
Scarborough defended his point by observing how McCain was lambasted on stage by Michelle Malkin at CPAC, and he also cited a “disgusting” trend among GOPers to call McCain “traitor.” This prompted Scarborough to note how Trump has insulted McCain’s status as a war hero while dodging the Vietnam War draft through his supposed bone spurs.
“Calling John McCain a traitor,” Scarborough said. “That is a sickness in the Republican Party.”
The panel agreed, with Kristen Anderson and Willie Geist making the point that Trump’s 2016 political momentum kept going at a time when people thought the outrage from his McCain insults would destroy him. Scarborough also wondered why Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is able to condemn Trump’s latest smears on McCain while Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is settling for a timid non-rebuke of Trump.