“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough raised serious questions today about Vice President Mike Pence’s motivation for calling on Special Counsel to end his investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and President Trump role in it.
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“I think it is a fair time to start asking this question: What did Mike Pence know and when did he know it?” said Scarborough on his MSNBC show.
Scarborough was reacting to Pence’s appearance this morning on the NBC Today Show.
In an interview, Pence dodged the tough questions correspondent Andrea Mitchell asked him about whether Mueller is a “bad guy,” and whether his investigation is “a hoax.”
Instead, Pence went into his lawyerly, put-upon monotone political pitch: “Our administration has been fully cooperating with the special counsel, and we’ll continue to.”
“What I think is that it’s been about a year since this investigation began,” continued Pence. “Our administration has provided more than a million documents. We’ve fully cooperated in it, and in the interest of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up.”
“I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion,” the vice president added.
Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman, clearly wasn’t buying it and wondered aloud just what Pence’s motivation was to speak out at this time.
Scarborough, who knew Pence when both served in the House and since, said that while Pence is “an honorable man,” his involvement in the firing of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and his role in the Trump campaign and administration leave unanswered questions.
When in February 2017, a month into his new administration, Trump fired Flynn, Pence said at the time that Flynn had misled him about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and others.
Months later Trump also claimed it was because Flynn lied to the FBI. That was in December 2017, only days after Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to the FBI.
Later on, there were questions raised about exactly what Pence knew during and after the presidential campaign about Flynn and the Russians, since he was a key campaign official, and headed the transition team that chose Flynn as National Security advisor.
Scarborough finds the whole thing fishy now that new evidence is coming out from the Special Counsel’s probe and other sources.
“Mike Flynn says that Gen. Flynn lied to him,” said Scarborough. “Really? Did he? Is this the way Mike Pense wants this investigation to begin and then end prematurely before we get the truth to all the questions?”
Here is what Morning Joe had to say today:
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) May 10, 2018
Scarborough also wonders what Pence knew about the activities of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who has become a person of interest in the investigation, and whether Mueller is getting close to things that Pence doesn’t want to be made public.
“We’re finding out now that Russian oligarchs may have had money funneled to them by Michael Cohen,” said Scarborough.
“The (U.S. Attorney for the) Southern District of New York is getting deep into this.”
“We’re going to find out what Mike Pence knew and when Mike Pence knew it, about for instance that meeting Don Jr. set up.
“Did Mike Pence know anything about Donald Trump lying when he brought everybody together talking about the purpose of that meeting?”
Scarborough finds it less than credible that Pence knew nothing about the misdeeds of his running mate, and of Trump as president, and the associates of the campaign he helped run and his administration.
“I mean,” added Scarborough, “Mike Pence has been claiming that he was just out in the dark and that he was just this clueless, hapless Indiana Hoosier that Donald Trump and the rest of the White House said nothing to,”
“But you’ve just got to start asking yourself, if Mike Pence wants to kill an investigation that is pursuing how the Russians tried to undermine American democracy in 2016, my gosh, makes me sad to say this, Mike, but I guess we have to start asking the questions why does Mike Pence want to kill this investigation?”
“What did Mike Pence know about General Flynn? Was he lied to or is Mike Pence the one who has been lying to us all this time?”
Pence has proven as VP that he is a loyal soldier on Trump’s team, and Trump has made it clear he considers the Special Counsel’s investigation a “witch hunt” that needs to end.
So it is no surprise that Pence is echoing Trump in calling for the investigation to end not because Mueller’s work is done, not because everything has been learned and not because there are no more indictments to issue, but because after a year Trump – and Pence – are tired of it, or maybe because the evidence coming out is getting ever closer to them.
What it reminded Scarborough and is producers of are the complaints of President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s about the Watergate investigation before it led to his forced resignation.
The Morning Joe team even put together a video to show the similarities.
WATCH: Morning Joe nails stunning similarities between Mike Pence and Nixon calling for end to investigations https://t.co/aYg1P2OJCa
— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 10, 2018
Scarborough, once a friend to Trump and Pence, for the past year has become a critic who is not afraid to ask the kind of tough questions that Trump calls “fake news,” not because they aren’t true but because he feels they reflect negatively on him.
The truth is that Scarborough is raising questions about Pence that are fair to ask in light of his record of being less than truthful and going along with all the lies that Trump tells.