Sarah Sanders was appearing on “Morning Joe” Friday when anchor Mika Brzezinski came back to the White House and threw her rhetorical grenade.
Brzezinski pointed out that Cruz had mentioned border security at the Senate confirmation hearing for the nomination of US District Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.
Cruz immediately shot back that he never made such a remark, but that the Democrats “went off on a frenzy” and “fell asleep at the wheel” on that issue of immigration policy.
He says Democrats have attacked Trump because they have been “crazier than Steve King,” referencing the Iowa congressman who has gone on record expressing support for white nationalism.
And he pointed to a story that ran in The Washington Post yesterday with the headline: “In five debates, Martha MacCallum didn’t press Cruz on his role in anti-immigrant defense” of anti-immigration restrictions.
This past Wednesday, Brzezinski had said that MSNBC “basically just wrote off” the midterm elections and suggested that some Democrats actually think that President Trump will get impeached.
Now that she’s emerged as the White House go-to surrogate on MSNBC, she’s having her say on subjects that leave conservatives fuming.
This Cruz-Trump tempest started when MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough noted that Cruz “only fired three people during his 16 months as attorney general” — a reference to the purge ordered by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that saw the indictments of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and others.
After Scarborough noted that Cruz had said on the Senate floor during the confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh that “the White House has the authority to either appoint or remove a U.S. attorney,” Mika Brzezinski quickly interjected: “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah — this is exactly the point.”
But then Scarborough said, “I’m done. I’m done with that.”
“You’re not done with anything,” Brzezinski interjected.
“You’re not done with anything,” Scarborough said.
“Well then go ahead and shut up and leave Sarah to speak,” Scarborough said.
Sally Yates, who was fired as the acting attorney general, told Scarborough earlier in the interview that she was deeply disappointed in Sessions, because he wasn’t a “strong, independent” leader.
Scarborough wasn’t finished.
“Can you please describe what your experience was like working under Sessions?” Scarborough asked the Texas senator.
“I was shocked — shocked, shocked — that my attorney general would not stand up to the president in a hearing about whether or not he could appoint someone who’s a federal judge,” he said.
And then Scarborough got out his usual list of highlights from Trump: the Russia probe; the alleged payments made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal; Sessions being too partisan for the job and not intervening enough against Trump in the Mueller probe; Trump’s action in the judicial system against a leader who had done nothing wrong, and so on.
“Tell me — show me — what are you going to do about all of this?” Scarborough said.
“It’s not the president’s choice,” Cruz responded. “The president has a choice as to whether or not to seek his legal advice and advice from his counsel. And at the end of the day, obviously, I’ll have to weigh in but I will always encourage him to follow the law and not follow the law if it’s contrary to the Constitution.”
But by the end of the segment, Scarborough wasn’t buying it.
“Will you defend the president?” Scarborough asked Cruz.
“No, I will not defend the president.”
Asked if he would defend himself in a debate, Cruz said he wouldn’t be “micromanaging the president’s legal advice or his behavior” to distract from “what I want to talk about, which is the best interest of the country and the best interest of America.”