Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezkinski mocked reporter David Fahrenthold’s widely-praised reporting on Donald Trump’s foundation, with Brzezinski claiming that he uncovered “a picture and money that they take from one company and give to another as a donation, as opposed to their own money. All legal.” In fact, Fahrenthold reported that Trump “may have violated laws against ‘self-dealing,’ — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves” by using his charity’s money to purchase a portrait of himself for display at one of his golf clubs and to settle lawsuits that involved his for-profit businesses. From the October 27 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): This all starts with Bill Clinton and I also think it's one of those situations when you -- when you really look at this, and we'll get through it point by point, you have to wonder about being careful about throwing stones. Because I love the way everyone calls the Trump's [Foundation], “sleazy” , “trashy,” whatever, because of a picture and money that they take from one company and give to another as a donation, as opposed to their own money. All legal. But still like they consider it “trashy” and sleazy. And you call this “ethically challenged.” It's just so funny that elegant words are used for the Democrats.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): No this is -- actually, let me help. This is sleazy. And everybody knows it's sleazy. You're trading in public service while somebody is secretary of state.
BRZEZINSKI: It's just bigger. Larger amounts of money and the world is used as opposed to Palm Beach and a flag.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, you're shaking down the world for $66 million instead of a Rolex watch or a life-size portrait. I mean [The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold is] going to win a Pulitzer Prize for finding a life-size portrait of Donald Trump that he paid money for with a foundation. We're talking about $66 million here, maybe $100 million.