October 10, 2016

Calling Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International!

The panel at MSNBC took on Donald Trump's performance at last night's debate, and were horrified.

First, the panel discussed Trump's threat to have Clinton arrested, then they discussed his body language as he stalked Clinton on the stage.

EUGENE ROBINSON: The second thing I think people will take away is the -- I would put her in jail. If I'm elected president, I'm going to call a special prosecutor to look into your affairs. And you belong in jail. Talk about Banana Republic., that's unprecedented in American politics.

RACHEL MADDOW: There's a reason why presidents don't weigh in on anybody else's legal cases let alone threatening to prosecute a person.

ROBINSON: That's shocking. I think we've become kind of numb to that but Steve Schmidt mentioned it. But it's shocking.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: It’s the reason we have special prosecutors.

ROBINSON: And the other thing was as I believe James Carville mentioned, the visuals. You know, after the last debate, The New York Times did the academic exercise of having a reporter watch the debate with the sound down and being able to tell immediately who won. I thought the visuals were really weird. I thought you know, you had this, she didn't seem rattled to me. She seemed composed and to have made a decision not to rise to every piece of bait he threw out there. But you saw trump scowling and stalking and breathing heavily and looming and this sort of weird body language that I think people will take away.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Right, and smirking.

ROBINSON: It was -- it was weird. And I don't think it was presidential. I think it was -- I think it will come across to a lot of people as bizarre.

WALLACE: And gore paid a price for doing far less than what -- Al Gore.

ROBINSON: Physically approaching W.

WALLACE: They were two men, Al Gore was taller than Bush. This visual and the way it's processed by people viewing at home, especially women, of a much larger man standing behind her.

ROBINSON: Getting closer and closer.

WALLACE: I have space issues but people behind me freak me out.

MADDOW: I was getting a lot of messages about the body language and ‘what is he doing?’ on social media, people taking pictures of their tv screens at that moment and posting them without a caption because it was creepy enough to not need a description.

Then Joy Ann Reid joined them from St. Louis, and brought the perspective of her father, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the discussion:

JOY ANN REID: Good evening to Rachel and all you guys up there. I made a few notes on the debate. I was watching in the room with a very, very large screen. The last point that was made I concur with. The visual, the split screen of Donald Trump looming over Hillary Clinton pacing around, leaning on the chair was very strange.


And you know, the term ‘thug politics,’ I thought about that a lot throughout this debate. Not to get too dramatic, but my father came to this country from the Democratic Republic of Congo. We talked about the Congo and the politics there. We need to not speed past the point that an American candidate for President threatened to jail his political opponent. This is something that Human Rights Watch, that Amnesty International is investigating in the Democratic Republic of Congo right now. Right now. Because as of this summer, a political opponent of the current leader was put in jail on charges. This happens in Malaysia, in Uganda. This does not happen in the United States of America.

When you combine the fact that somebody who essentially admitted to being a serial sexual assaulter of women, then took people that he calls victims of sexual assault and harassment, brought them along into the debate and even before the debate, held that conference which I could have seen in a third world country, this kind of “thug-ocracy” that Donald Trump essentially represented tonight started with that press conference, then moved over to the debate where he spent an entire debate saying absolutely nothing about the issues he's asked about. No answers. Meandering and wandering.

When he did get specific, he admitted to not paying federal taxes. Essentially boasted about not paying federal taxes even when confronted with the fact that means he did not contribute to funding our military, veterans administration, funding roads and bridges and infrastructure and all the rest, essentially admitted to it. So I think when you combine his lack of knowledge about really anything, the answer on Aleppo was stunning, he went right to Mosul. I don't think he knew what the question was. There is no style point that you can award to somebody who did that combination of things. It was a stunning debate that would have been much more fitting in the Third World than it was in the United States of America.

MADDOW: By the way, you're not going to get out of St. Louis tonight without somebody buying you a beer.

REID: I’ll take it!

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