January 16, 2018

The Morning Joe crew spoke at length this morning about this Washington Post deep-dive into the failed immigration deal.

"After learning that Senator Lindsey Graham was on board, Trump invited the lawmakers for a noon visit at the Oval Office -- that, according to people familiar with the call, upon their arrival, the senators found Trump, quote, far from ready to finalize the agreement," Mika Brzezinski said.

"He was fired up and surrounded by hard-line conservatives, including Senator Tom Cotton, who according to a person with knowledge of the meeting, seem confident that the president was now aligned with them. Trump informed those present that he wasn't interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to both Republicans and Democrats.

"The Post also reports that attendee who is were alarmed by the racial undertones of Trump's remarks, were further disturbed when the topic of the Congressional Black Caucus came up. Durbin told Trump that members of the CBC were more likely to agree to a deal if certain countries were included. According to people, Trump was curt and dismissive and told those present he he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC, nor did he particularly care about that bloc's demands. 'You've got to be joking,' one adviser said, describing Trump's reaction. Citing White House advisers, the Post also reports that White House chief of staff John Kelly was in the room, and was largely stone-faced, not giving any visible reaction when Trump said those words. The foul language. or when he said Haitians should not be part of any deal.

"Gene, two things to pick apart here," Joe Scarborough said to Gene Robinson.

"One, the president's -- first of all, the racial undertones of the entire meeting. and how rude and disrespectful the president was about the Congressional Black Caucus, just the mere mention of them. You don't have to go along with everything, but just being rude and dismissive. And secondly of course, John Kelly here, a guy who is, by reporting not just this morning, but reporting that we've heard for the past month or so, he is a hard-liner on immigration."

(What was your first clue, Joe? Kelly was the director of Homeland Security and happily enforced Trump's illegal Muslim ban.)

Other things we learned: Tom Cotton is lobbying hard to become head of the CIA. Stephen Miller persuaded Trump that shooting down the immigration deal would be very popular with his base.

Oh, and that Trump has wanted a DACA deal for a long time. That was before the wind changed a few days ago and blew him in a completely different direction.


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