August 2, 2018

Things got heated on Hallie Jackson's show this morning between her and Micahel Steele for a moment or two. They were discussing the feud between the Terra Cotta Tyrant and the Koch brothers, when Jackson asked whether or not trump should be concerned about any criticism from the Kochs. After all - he ignored them before and now he's president. (I still throw up in my mouth a little each time I have to type that.)

You have the Koch brothers in this sort of feud with now with Donald Trump, after they came out earlier in the week and kind of said, "Yeah, we don't love everything he does." Donald Trump took that personally and is out tweeting again.

STEELE: Of course. How ELSE would he take it?

JACKSON: Well, right, but this could be potentially problematic for Republicans, right?

STEELE: Of course it's problematic for Republicans, because there is no real separation between what Trump is doing and the party. You have those inside the party like the Koch brothers who are like, "We need to be talking about the substance of policy. We need to be focussed on how we build the brand grow out the party." And they're setting out to do that. They're going to do that with candidates and have fun.

JACKSON: Serious question, though, why, if you're Donald Trump should you look at that and find it compelling argument when you've ignored it for two years on the campaign trail, and now you're the president?

STEELE: Why should you find what compelling? What the Kochs are saying?


STEELE: Because they've been in play long before Donald Trump has been in play. Donald Trump is new to this game. Koch brothers have been on the ground since the 2010 elections. They have had the effort already in place working with the national party, working with state parties, working with satellite.

JACKSON: I get that, I guess my question is you're Donald Trump, you came in and won this election, without any of that. And now you think you can go and help people without any of that too. He was proven right once before. Donald Trump thinks he can get proven right again winning these primaries.

After which, for some reason, Steele seems to take his pent-up frustration at the GOP out on Jackson — something she rightfully pushes back on, setting him back on track and helping him articulate and direct his anger more appropriately towards trump and his party.

STEELE: Donald Trump winning primaries is not him winning general elections. Can we stay focused on what the game is, here? The game is not about the primary. The game is who is about who can get across the finish line with a win in November to hold the House. Right now Donald Trump is losing that battle. I don't think he much cares that he's losing that battle but he is.

JACKSON: I like that you're yelling at me about it, I mean, what the hell? I'm having you on the show...

STEELE: I'm yelling at him about it because we're in a very stupid place we don't have to be here. There's no need to be here. We built this over the last six or seven years. It took a lot to take the House in 2010 and clearly it doesn't take much to lose it in 2018.

JACKSON: You're freaked out about it.

STEELE: I'm not freaked out about it because I'm not the chairman.

JACKSON: What do you make of this?

STEELE: The chairman is going to have to address that, not me.

Personally, I think his frustration is also due to the fact that he doesn't actually have a good answer to Jackson's question. She is right. It's not as if paying attention to conventional wisdom, or considering the good of the party has ever served him well before. Look where he still sits? And conventional wisdom told EVERYONE he would lose in 2016. Why should he listen to it now?

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