MSNBC Panel: Obama’s Defense of Hillary’s Email ‘Campaigning for Hillary,’ ‘Rigged’ Investigation, Like He’s Her Comms Director

MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, along with Bloomberg Politics Managing Editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann panned President Obama’s statements on Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails on Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

After playing two clips of Obama’s interview on “Fox News Sunday” from the day before, Scarborough stated, “He said he wasn’t going to talk to the attorney general about the pending investigation, but he just did, as he did back in October, when he said, no national security issues here, nothing to see move along. The FBI complained, there was a New York Times article back in October, saying the president of the United States should really let us finish our investigation before he starts drawing conclusions that we have scores of agents studying on, and he just did it again. And then in the same interview, Mark Halperin, said, but I’m not talking to my attorney general about it. Talk about a rigged process.”

Halperin added, “I don’t know why he went on at such length defending her, because, in theory, he shouldn’t really know the facts of the case.” And that this was a case of “verdict first.”

Heilemann then stated, “[B]y saying this, he’s undermining, if the attorney general decides that there’s nothing — that there’s no problem he’s undermining that conclusion by having pre-judged it. He’s also, just in a purely political context, he’s also implicitly putting his finger on the scale in terms of Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders. … If I were a Bernie Sanders supporter, I would not appreciate the president of the United States doing something that, as bernie sanders criticizes her judgment on the email thing, having the president weigh in on her side, on national television if I were a bernie sanders supporter.”

Host Mika Brzezinski agreed, and wondered why Obama hasn’t just endorsed Hillary, since he was “campaigning for Hillary.”

Scarborough stated that the president was telling the FBI, “[T]he lady’s not blindfolded, I’m actually tipping the scales right now, as the guy that runs this government, telling you, no problems at all, no national security problems at all.” Brzezinski added that Obama was making a fool out of the FBI’s director.

Scarborough added, “A criminal investigation is being rigged.”

Halperin further argued that President Obama’s approach to the investigation was “similar to her [Hillary’s] cavalier attitude about the way she handled secrets, and, both — anyone in the government shares this view that there’s overclassification, but…I just don’t understand why he’s commenting on it. He’s making the case, it’s as if he’s like the Clinton campaign communications director, in trying to exonerate her before the investigation’s completed. He’s the last person in the world who should be doing it.”

Scarborough then asked, “Especially, isn’t this the same president, John Heilemann, that wanted to throw reporters in jail, and was more aggressive with reporters about classified secrets being leaked than any president, and this is the president that’s saying no big deal, when the state department is saying that there are at least 22 emails that would cause ‘exceptionally grave damage to America’s national security if released.’? If a reporter passed that information on, this president would have them in jail already.”

Heilemann responded, “[T]he inconsistencies there are pretty profound, and I think the — again, the ill-advisability of him commenting on this is just — again, on multiple levels, just something…he should not be talking about. He should not be talking about it.”

Scarborough added, “This is a rigged system, because if a reporter had done this, that, let’s say, oh, I don’t know, worked for the AP, or worked somewhere else, and had classified information like this, and passed it along through a server that was not secured, that reporter would be in jail. Under this president, that reporter would be in jail.”

(h/t GOP War Room)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett