MSNBC host Joe Scarborough urged President-elect Donald Trump to reset his relationship with the US intelligence community following tensions over alleged leaks.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the president-elect capped off weeks of criticism of US intelligence community, suggesting that the intelligence community could be responsible for leaking an unverified memo published by BuzzFeed alleging Russian intelligence had compromising information about the incoming president.
Scarborough dubbed Trump’s criticism of US intelligence officials “deeply offensive.”
“Everything Donald Trump has said about the intelligence community has been egregious and wrong,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough acknowledged that the president-elect “has made positive statements about the intel community,” and said that leaks of intelligence information about Trump created a “corrosive relationship” between him and the agencies.
But the MSNBC host argued that Trump should have “stopped” after releasing a statement on Saturday praising the intelligence community, as foreign leaders in North Korea, Russia, Iraq, Iran, and Syria enjoy seeing the incoming president at war with the intelligence community.
“He should’ve just gone out and golfed,” Scarborough said. “He needs to give an unequivocal, unequivocal, unambiguous statement praising the intel community, thanking James Clapper for reaching out last night, and using this as a reset.”
He continued: “There can’t be a tweet following a statement from the president elect saying how much he trusts the intel community. It needs to be ‘Trusts the intel community, they’re professionals, look forward to working with them, period.'”
But Scarborough also debated with co-host Mike Barnicle, asking whether Trump was justifiably upset by the unverified, salacious details in the memo released by BuzzFeed.
“A new low for just Donald Trump? And for nobody else?” Scarborough asked. “Would you say that it reached a new low that we spread around stories about what he did at the Ritz in Moscow? Again, let’s put context in this.”