The set of “Morning Joe” was not amused by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that the president could not be indicted even if he “shot” former FBI Director James Comey. On Monday, co-host Joe Scarborough said the suggestion from Guiliani was tyrannical and was reminiscent of Vladimir Putin and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“This is really literally out of a tyrant’s playbook,” he said. “You pick the president’s sworn political enemy and then you put it out there, about the shooting of him and then you let the president’s followers know that Vladimir Putin, Erdogan could do the same thing.”
Over the weekend, Giuliani spoke to the Huffington Post and revealed that Trump, as president, was essentially above the law while he served in office.
“I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is,” Giuliani told the website. “If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day … Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.” The remarks continued Giuliani’s significant evolution on the issue of presidential immunity since Bill Clinton’s time in office.
Giuliani’s line was something of a riff on Trump’s own famous assertion while running for president that he could shoot man “on 5th Ave.” in New York City and that his supporters would stick with him.
“What if Eric Holder had said, ‘you know what Barack Obama could shoot Rush Limbaugh and he can’t be indicted. Barack Obama could shoot Paul Ryan and he couldn’t be indicted. You know what, Barack Obama could shoot George W. Bush and he couldn’t be indicted.'” said Scarborough in the segment. “The reaction from Republicans and the media would be just mind-boggling.”
It appears Trump and his team are laying a preventive foundation for a worst-case scenario. On Monday, the president tweeted that he could pardon himself if it ever came to it.
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” said Trump.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018