While the “Morning Joe” team has traditionally never strayed from being hyper critical of former president Donald Trump, they weren’t quite getting out the champagne and celebrating his indictment on Friday.
Perhaps surprisingly, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough actually took a somber tone, emphasizing the “history of this moment,” its “potential consequences” and above all, how “perilous” today’s political climate feels.
“I think the history of this moment is the big story today. If there were viewers or people coming right now expecting to see hysteria or glee, there’s nothing to report on,” Brzezinski said at the of the segment. As for news media colleagues – especially ones on the other side of the aisle – who are raging against Trump’s indictment, she called their reports “completely baseless.”
“We don’t know what is in this indictment. So for those who are screaming and crying on the air about weaponization of the government or collusion with the Biden White House or all sorts of other things that have led to this moment that are completely baseless, it’s not responsible,” Brzezinski said. “Right now, we don’t know what is in there, but we do know that this is a really sad moment and a perilous moment in American history because of the potential consequences of a former president being indicted and what that might open the door to. But if the indictment has legitimate laws broken, then there was no other choice but to move forward, and that’s that.”
Reflecting on the potential consequences of making Trump the first-ever former president to be indicted, Scarborough chimed in.
“This is crossing the rubicon, and there’s no going back, and the consequences of this could be horrific,” he said. “You could have a prosecutor in West Texas decide to go after the next Democratic president, and then you could have a Democratic DA doing the same thing. And so yeah, that may be the rubicon that we’ve crossed.
“At the same time, you also have the very American concept and those of us that still actually believe in America, love America and want to defend the rule of law in America, despite the fact that a lot of people love a former game show host who started riots and behaved abhorrently, there’s a lot of us that still believe that in this country, no man is above the law,” he continued. “And so there is a balancing act, two things can be true at once.”
Scarborough then echoed Brzezinski’s posit that their tone may take some viewers by surprise, considering how harsh they’ve been on Trump’s Republican party in the past.
“If you turned this on expecting anybody to be gleeful on this show, you’re not reading the room right,” he said. “These are very perilous times. It’s not to say that perhaps after we read the indictment, ‘Well, that makes a lot of sense.’ But there is so much at stake, so much on the line, that we should probably treat this a little differently than, let’s say, Red Sox baseball games.”
Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video above.