David Shuster: Let’s bring in now, Brad Micklin, a trial attorney and Ellis Henican, a columnist for The Global Metro papers called Trump’s American. He’s also the author of Trumpitude: The Secret Confessions of Donald’s Brain.
Ellis, what was your reaction when you heard-
Ellis Henican: Thugery, it’s the word that applies to both of those. By the way, I can’t believe you could read that prompter about that fist fight inside the council [inaudible 00:00:19], with such a straight face, David. I mean, come on. We gotta call this stuff out for what it is, right? Unacceptable, abusive, inappropriate, whether it’s going on in the consulate in Turkey.
Speaker 3: You mean by the consult, from the president’s comments.
Ellis Henican: You wanna know? That’s a really good question because I’m talking about both. I’m not saying they’re the equal but I will tell you, that language out of the president of the United States, sends a message to bad people around the world. And it says you can get away with this kind of stuff and we’re not gonna call you on it. Shameful on both sides.
Speaker 3: Was it simply a joke?
Brad Micklin: I believe so. I mean, of course I disagree. I think no matter what he would say, he would be criticized. If you support him then you think what he said was unjust. If you don’t support him, you criticize him. He was making a joke of it and while it’s not appropriate possibly to joke about an assault, especially when I’m talking to news reporters, but the man served his time, he pled. It’s something in his past and it’s time to move past it.
Speaker 3: Well Ellis, you know, it’s never okay to assault reporters but-
Ellis Henican: Anybody. Anybody.
Speaker 3: And even the congressman, he apologized for this incident but what president Trump did do over the past two years is change or break the cycle in which the media criticize policy makers but policy makers can say nothing.
Ellis Henican: No, people have a right to criticize each other. I’m talking about making violent threats, at dumbing down this kind of commentary and frankly, listen, we’re all old enough to remember when a president behave presidentially and the idea of promoting body slamming of reporters or even worse, turning a blind eye to the kind of brutality that is almost unthinkable.
I mean, try to get your head around the idea of somebody being chopped up inside a foreign consulate and then chopped up with a bone saw. If that doesn’t make you outraged-
Speaker 3: Is it fine to say, fake news.
Ellis Henican: Fake news, no. Every single piece of it is real news.
David Shuster: But here’s what I don’t understand Brad, I mean look, fake news is one thing, actually encouraging somebody to be body slammed is another. Why is it that the president can’t simply say to those media, look, I don’t like those people in the back of the room. They don’t give me a fair shake, those reporters, they’re biased. All that’s fine but to have to go and say, and I love this guy who body slammed a reporter. It does cross a line, doesn’t it?
Brad Micklin: I don’t think so.
David Shuster: Really?
Brad Micklin: I think Hillary threw in the gauntlet when she said we can’t be civil unless we win. How was it appropriate for her to say that but not-
David Shuster: She wasn’t singling out a specific case of violence towards a reporter.
Brad Micklin: I don’t think he was singling out a case of violence. I think he was supporting an individual who had been found-
David Shuster: [crosstalk 00:02:49] who had a specific case of violence against one single reporter.
Brad Micklin: Right, but I think he was supporting him, not his act.
Ellis Henican: Brad, why isn’t it possible for Trump supporters to say you know what? We like the guy, we like the people he’s putting on the court, we support these policies but some of this stuff he says is just wrong.?
Brad Micklin: Because they won’t say that.
Ellis Henican: I wouldn’t my kids to do it and I don’t want my president to do it.
Brad Micklin: Because they won’t say that. Those that support him, will support him and those that don’t, will crucify him no matter what he says.
Ellis Henican: Why don’t you say that?
Brad Micklin: I did say that.
Ellis Henican: That it’s wrong. It’s wrong.
Brad Micklin: I don’t think it’s wrong to support an individual because he didn’t act poorly in the past or commit a … look, if you knew about my past, you probably wouldn’t have me on the show.
David Shuster: Really?
Brad Micklin: We can’t crucify a person for [crosstalk 00:03:26].
Speaker 3: Let’s have a different conversation.
David Shuster: But again, there’s a distinction that’s made, right? I mean, we’re not talking about what happened 15, 20, 30 years ago. We’re talking about what Donald Trump said Thursday night.
Brad Micklin: And I agree. Look, I would prefer to have a president who spoke more presidential.
Ellis Henican: Good.
Brad Micklin: I grew up with that, I’m used to that and I encourage it, but we don’t have that. At least we have somebody who speaks and we know where he’s speaking from. We know what he believes and what he doesn’t believe. If you support him, you can stand behind him. If you don’t, you can stand against him but at least you know where you need to stand.
Speaker 3: And people are really sick of politically correctness. The president, I’m not saying that of course, these comments are okay. Of course not, but standing there and hearing the president saying things in his own style, tells people it’s fine not to be so politically correct anymore.
Ellis Henican: This is not that complicated, alright. We all have friends and family, people we love and care about and sometimes they do bad stuff, right? And what we say is, we like you, we love you but don’t do that. That’s not good, shut up. For some reason, the supporters of the president, the real base of the president, find it impossible to say that. I wish they would.
David Shuster: Well, I think a lot of people also wish that Donald Trump would leave it at oh, you remember what Gianforte did last year, haha. I mean, maybe there’s joke there but then to go and take it further and say, and that’s why he’s my guy because of how he-
Speaker 3: And demonstrate.
David Shuster: And there’s Donald Trump actually demonstrating. I don’t think people see a distinction therefore, between thuggish behavior and somebody whose making a joke. In any case, Brad Micklin, a trial attorney and Ellis Henican, Trump’s America columnist for The Global Metro papers. Thank you both.