MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough warned Monday that President Donald Trump will face "impeachment proceedings within the next six months" if he follows White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller's advice to defy court rulings on his immigration order.
During weekend TV appearances, Miller insisted courts in Seattle and San Francisco took "power for themselves that belong squarely" with the president in their immigration rulings.
"I'm just telling you right now, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, if that sort of thinking were enacted into policy, we would have impeachment proceedings within the next six months," the "Morning Joe" host and former Republican congressman said on his program.
"Donald Trump would be impeached if they did not adhere to what the courts were saying."
Perhaps, said Scarborough, Miller is "just dumb. Maybe he is ignorant and maybe I shouldn't be so tough on him. That is the worst performance of anybody. That made Susan Rice, the Sunday after Benghazi, look smooth. That was horrendous and an embarrassment."
On Sunday, Miller, appeared on morning news programming on several networks, where he insisted that the courts were wrong with their rulings on Trump's executive order on immigration. The president praised Miller's appearances through a Sunday tweet.
On ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Miller sparred with Stephanopoulos, telling him that the "judiciary is not supreme," and that the judges at both the 9th Circuit and in Seattle took "power for themselves that belong squarely" with the president.
Further, Miller said, the "the end result of this, though, is that our opponent, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.
"And the bottom line is the president's powers in this area represent the apex of executive authority."
"They will be questioned by the court," Scarborough said, pointing his remarks directly at Miller. "It's called judicial review. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote about it in the Federalist Papers. It was enshrined in Madison's Constitution."
He further told Miller to go into Trump's office and look on the walls and see the paintings of Jackson and the books he wrote.
"You really need to go back and read the Constitution and, seriously, the White House has got to stop embarrassing themselves by putting this guy up," Scarborough said.
Bloomberg Politics co-editor John Heilemann, though, said Miller's comments amounted to an assertion that "'I don't want the president not being questioned, but nearly unlimited executive branch authority to do whatever it wants.'"
"That is the talk of a dictator and not somebody who is president of the United States," said Scarborough. "I would hope the president of the United States would fill up his lunch box, put him in the corner and put him at his desk and have him read the United States Constitution and have him read the Federalist Papers and have him read the words of our Founding Fathers and have him read the words of Andrew Jackson."
Show co-host Mika Brzezinski, though, commented that the White House loves Miller, and that he has "the whole inner cadre" of the Trump administration.
Scarborough went on to question why Trump and his staff are fighting so hard against the courts.
"Any fool — any fool in their first day of law school knows — I knew the second I heard the 9th Circuit, they are going to overturn this or put a stay on it and it will get to the Supreme Court and they will turn it around," said Scarborough.
"They've got the Supreme Court. They are going to get their fifth vote. They are going to fill up hundreds of judicial vacancies over the next couple of years. So he is picking a fight and sounding like an autocrat. Are they testing this to see if we are going to sit back like sheep and say nothing?"
Scarborough said he does not agree with the 9th Circuit's decision to keep a stay on Trump's executive order, and that it was "wrongly decided," but questions Miller's comments that the president's powers will not be questioned.
Washington Post associate editor David Ignatius, also on the program, said that what Miller said sounded as if it came from "another country."
"One of the things that Stephen Miller said was talking about the unelected judges thinking they can run things, Donald Trump's own comment about the so-called judge, referring to the judge in Washington who made the initial district ruling, these are deeply offensive to our system and deeply offensive to judges," said Ignatius.
"Judges do not like being singled out in this way and having their authority challenged. The issue here is judicial review. It is central to our system of government. You are absolutely right in that Stephen Miller doesn't seem to get that. But we are a long way, I think, from courts and their role being overturned."
Ignatius said he does think Trump is seeing the reality of his choices, but what Miller said
"should worry everyone."
"There are some anti-democratic, anti-constitutional forces in that White House," said Scarborough.
The arguments came on the day after Scarborough and Brzezinski launched a Twitter attack against Miller Sunday night, with Brzezinski tweeting five messages calling Miller's interviews "frightening" and a "bad sign," and launching a new hashtag, #MillerTime2go, the Washington Examiner reports.
Scarborough tweeted that the White House is living in an "alternative universe."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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