The “Morning Joe” hosts were unimpressed by newly released audio of Jared Kushner bragging back in April that President Donald Trump had taken America “back from the doctors” and the country was entering a “comeback phase.”
“‘Trump is back in charge.’ That was the message,” said MSNBC’s Willie Geist after rolling the tape. “Just to orient everybody, April 18 — that’s six days after, remember, President Trump wanted to reopen the country, arbitrarily, on Easter, on April the 12th. He said, ‘Let’s get it back open’ just a couple of weeks after we had some of these shutdowns around the country.”
Geist said that Kushner’s comments amounted to a summary of Trump’s pandemic handling as a “political exercise.”
That “comeback phase” never happened, and six months later the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are spiking.
“‘Donald Trump is in charge.’ Yeah, he was in charge and look where we are right now as we sit at the end of October,” said Geist. An on-air graphic under his face carried the current American COVID-19 death tally: 228,860.
Host Joe Scarborough chimed in, addressing Kushner’s heralding of an impending “comeback phase”: “Wrong again, and again, hundreds of thousands of people dead since that time.”
Kushner’s comments were obtained and released by CNN Wednesday. The White House advisor (and president’s son-in-law) made them in April while talking to Bob Woodward for the journalist’s forthcoming second book on the White House. At the time Kushner made his statements, over 40,000 Americans had already died of COVID-19.
“There were three phases,” Kushner told Woodward in the interview. “There’s the panic phase, the pain phase and then the comeback phase. I do believe that last night symbolized kind of the beginning of the comeback phase. That doesn’t mean there’s not still a lot of pain and there won’t be pain for a while, but that basically was, we’ve now put out rules to get back to work. Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors. They’ve kind of – we have, like, a negotiated settlement.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.