Jake Tapper opened up his show today with a powerhouse panel consisting of Van Jones, Kayleigh McEnany, and Bill Kristol. It didn't even take two minutes for the latter two panelists to start slinging whatever they could at each other on national television, while Jones and Tapper sat back and avoided the dust.
While discussing Trump's absurd remarks about ISIS for the zillionth time, McEnany once again did Trump's doublespeaking for him, but this time she got far more specific after Jake Tapper played a montage of clips where conservative media like Hugh Hewitt and Fox News were working their hardest to give him a hand off from the wall, where Trump was dangling like a hapless fool.
Enter Kayleigh, with her own particular brand of spin, once again claiming falsely that President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq -- which we all understand was actually President Bush's withdrawal -- created a vacuum out of which rose ISIS.
"Shouldn't he pick his words more carefully?" asked Tapper. "A president can move markets and start wars with his words."
McEnany was predictably inane, resorting to ridiculous brinksmanship arguments like, "McCain would have taken it back, Romney would have taken it back. They had a history of dialing things back and looking very weak on these issues."
I guess this would be a bad time to interject the idea that if you speak a blatant lie, it's a good idea to dial it back? I would tend to give small props to McCain and Romney for at least admitting when they looked like fools instead of trying to spin it, anyway.
Watch Van Jones following that declaration, where she earnestly explains that President Obama's name might not have been on the founding documents, but that it was his Middle East policies which gave rise to ISIS. It's classic.
Tapper countered her claims as well, reminding her that every policy she criticized is one that Trump is on the record supporting. To his credit, he held her feet to the fire with actual quotes from Trump too.
Enter Bill Kristol, who has not been a fan of anything President Obama has done in the Middle East. You'd think he and Kayleigh could find some basis for agreement. Instead, the set exploded.
"Trump discredits everything," Kristol declared. "It's pathetic at this point. He is discrediting conservatism. He needs to be separated and severed from conservatism.
"And every Republican conservative who cares about the future of the Republican Party and conservatism needs to say we're not with Trump. and people who supported him, fine, they tried their best, they tried to help him," he added.
Kayleigh was not having any of that. She interrupted to bait him just a bit, saying he was with Hillary, then.
"No, I'm not! I'm against both of them," he retorted.
From there, the fur flew.
Kayleigh tossed her gauntlet. "When Hillary wins this and appoints liberal justices, we'll be asking you why!"
But Bill could give as good as he was getting. In fact, I'd argue that he was just a tiny bit stronger than she was, mostly because he's better at dropping the bait.
"You're supporting a man who is utterly unfit to be President of the United States," he shouted. "For a second in your personal life you would not tolerate him. A bully, a man of genuinely bad character!"
MEOW. "Do you really feel proud to support Donald Trump? You don't. You got on the train. You hope to do the best for him, but you're embarrassed to support him," Kristol taunted.
McEnany retorted, "I'm not, I'm embarrassed for conservatives that allow Hillary Clinton to become president."
You be the judge, but I think Kristol won that one, because he had more truth in his arguments than she did.