MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough ripped into Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), calling her a “clown” for defending former President Trump, who appeared to confuse Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a speech.
Trump, during a campaign rally last week, discussed the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots and appeared to mix up Haley for the former House Speaker.
When pressed over Trump’s mental fitness a day later, Stefanik, a staunch supporter of Trump and rumored potential pick for vice president, argued the former president’s comment “wasn’t a mix-up.”
“The reality is Nikki Haley is relying on Democrats, just like Nancy Pelosi, to try to have a desperate showing,” Stefanik told NBC News, adding later, “President Trump has not lost a step. He is a stronger candidate” now than in 2016.
Playing the clips of Trump’s miscue and Stefanik’s later defense on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Scarborough described the New York Republican as a “joke.”
“She’s a joke; she’s a clown,” Scarborough said, adding later, “What a clown, what a clown. He confuses [former President] Barack Obama. He thinks he’s running against Barack Obama, Elise, and you know it. And if you say anything otherwise, you’re lying through your teeth. He confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi on January the 6th. And if you say anything else, you’re lying through your teeth. For what? He’s not going to pick you as vice president. Give up the ghost.”
“I can’t tell you how disappointing, how disappointed I feel every time I see her talk,” MSNBC co-anchor Mika Brzezinski added.
Scarborough was referencing a series of apparent mix-ups by the former president in which he appears to confuse former President Obama and President Biden. Trump in November claimed he intentionally and sarcastically inserts Obama’s name for Biden to show “others” may have a “very big influence in running” the U.S.
Scarborough and Brzezinski then dug further into Trump for his apparent mispronunciation of Stefanik’s last name during a rally last week.
For nearly 40 seconds, Scarborough repeatedly emphasized Stefanik’s last name while discussing her professional experience with Trump.
“He knows Stefanik really, really well, and ‘he’s all with it,’ Stefanik says,” Scarborough said, before pretending to look through his Congressional Quarterly for a lawmaker with a last name as Trump pronounced.
Rumors have swirled that Stefanik could be in the running for Trump’s vice president. He told Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Sunday that people will not “be that surprised” by his choice of running mate.
A series of Democrats shared clips of Trump’s Pelosi and Haley mix-up, taking aim at the former president’s age and mental fitness. Trump, 77, would be 82 at the end of his second term if reelected president.
Haley, who is now the main challenger to Trump in the GOP primary field, suggested on Sunday Trump’s mental fitness is “not at the same level” as it was the first time he won the White House.