“Everywhere I’ve gone, people have been talking about Donald Trump’s . . . shift.”
For months Morning Joe has offered up a steady stream of apocalyptic condemnation of President Trump: his mental health has been explicitly questioned and comments on Charlottesville were blistered, with one panelist calling on his aides to resign en masse or be “forever tainted with the stench.” Just last week, Mika Brzezinski was calling Trump “unhinged,” claiming she couldn’t distinguish between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
All of which makes the praise for President Trump on today’s show all the more remarkable. Joe Scarborough led off by observing that “everywhere I’ve gone, people have been talking about Donald Trump’s sort of shift.” He praised the president’s “even-keeled” tweets and the “steadier” organization inside the White House.
Richard Haass, president of Council of Foreign Relations, spoke of the “best 10 days of the Trump presidency.”
Even Mika Brzezinski, who has been Trump’s implacable antagonist, grudgingly joined in. After cautioning that the shift might be “unsustainable,” Mika acknowledged that “this appears to be a good turn of events.”
Note: My Quick Hit of this morning, written before the show aired, sounded a similar note, attributing President Trump’s recent bump in the polls to the solid response to Hurricane Harvey, and the fact that the president has “laid off the controversial tweets in recent times.” Should I be worried about thinking like Morning Joe?
Note segundo: Scarborough cites the Axios newsletter explanation of why Trump made the shift, saying Trump looked around and said “people hate my guts.” Turns out it was even stronger than that. Axios has a Trump aide quoting the president as saying, “people really [email protected]&@ing hate me.”
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Everywhere I’ve gone, people have been talking about Donald Trump’s sort of shift, with what happened last week. The tweets have slowed down. They are even-keeled, if you compare them to tweets in the past. Organization inside the White House seems to be steadier than it has been in quite some time. And the president meeting — is it tonight? I think he’s meeting.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI Tomorrow night. Heidi Heiykamp and Joe Manchin.
JOE: With Democrats that you can get over to your side. It’s fascinating. What do you make of the shift that is at least lasted for five, six days now?
RICHARD HAASS: Plus the two trips to Texas. In some ways, it’s been the best and almost most normal week, ten days of the Trump presidency and what everybody is asking is whether it was you know a one-time thing, a one off, or whether this is the shift, the pivot whatever you want to talk about, that people have been talking about for years.
. . .
MIKA: This could be the [chief of staff John] Kelly factor, which may be unsustainable, but it certainly appears to be a good turn of events.
. . .
JOE: I love the quote in Axios, the newsletter: why is he doing it? Donald Trump looked around and he said, man, everybody hates my guts!
JIM VANDEHEI: Hates my guts.
JOE: Hates my guts! And he came to the conclusion, I’m going to stop doing things that make people hate my guts.
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