Joe Scarborough ripped into co-host Donny Deutsch on Morning Joe earlier today after Deutsch attempted to make the issue of the Benghazi cover-up at the White House all about Republicans in 2014. The segment starts off with some fluff, and then turns to Benghazi shortly afterward. The big explosion starts after the six-minute mark, when Deutsch begins to warn the GOP not to bite on this scandal, and then asserts that the media has “covered it” sufficiently. Mika Brzezinski can’t buy that one, either (via Mediaite):
“I want to put up a warning here for the Republicans,” Deutsch replied. “I think this is fool’s gold for 2016.”
“What about the cover-up for the White House?” Scarborough interjected. “I’ve got everybody here apologizing for the White House. What about a cover-up, Donnie?”
“Why are you jumping to political strategy?” he continued. “So, tell me, what’s the politics of the White House lying about something that we all know they’re lying about?”
“You see the White House spokesperson lying on national television. You see an ABC Newsperson shocked that he’s lying and treating the press corps like they’re stupid. He says it’s not about Benghazi. Republicans and conservatives have been called fools for a year now for saying this happened. They don’t release it with the original the documents. They finally, reluctantly are forced to release it. Then you have the White House lying about it, saying it’s not about Benghazi, and you’re only reaction is, ‘Hey, Republicans better not overreact to the cover-up?’”
“We, as voters, understand both Republicans and Democrats are political animals and are going to manage a crisis to their favor,” Deutsch contested before he was interrupted.
“So, when Democrats cover something up, it’s politics,” Scarborough interjected. “When Republicans cover something up, it’s a scandal.” He closed by calling his co-hosts reaction to the White House’s behavior a “disgrace.”
That will make for an uncomfortable set the next time Deutsch returns.
Sam Stein came up next, and half-jokingly said he was “too scared to speak” about the story. However, he jumped in on Scarborough’s side. Stein’s wife worked at the White House on this issue, but he believes that the White House has not been transparent on Benghazi, and that it’s coming back to bite them now. Stein tries to turn the conversation back to the intelligence failure that led to the attack, but Scarborough interrupts Stein to remind him that Ambassador Chris Stevens and the US diplomatic staff in Libya repeatedly warned the State Department about the situation in Benghazi. This was not an intelligence failure, but a leadership failure — brought on by the need to pretend that the Libya intervention was a smashing success instead of an abject and costly failure.