MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough took issue with Newt Gingrich early Thursday when the former Speaker of the House posted to Twitter that Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller was the “tip of the deep state spear” whose aim was to destroy or damage the presidency of Donald Trump. Scarborough posted several tweets of his own, condemning Gingrich for his blatant suggestion that Mueller was in some way involved in a shadowy conspiracy against President Trump.
Newt Gingrich took to Twitter early Thursday, and his words were straight to the point. He wrote: “Mueller is now clearly the tip of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the Trump presidency.”
Gingrich, in his reference to the “deep state,” suggests that there is an orchestrated conspiracy against the president from within the established government, whereby career government employees hostile to the administration are actively involved in ridding Washington of President Trump. It is a conspiracy theory that has been making the rounds in Washington and in the media for the last few months. Moreover, Gingrich puts Mueller at the forefront of it.
Mueller, a former director of the FBI, was appointed to his current position to provide an independent investigation into the allegations of Russian interference (and, tangentially, any involvement that the Trump presidential campaign may have had) in the 2016 presidential election.
Gingrich prefaced the Mueller accusation with a post that labeled Mueller as “the anti-Trump special counsel.”
Joe Scarborough, upon seeing Newt Gingrich’s Twitter posts, took the time to address Gingrich’s attempt to spread the “deep state” conspiracy theory, calling such rhetoric “reckless.” He posted: “It is hard to overstate how reckless the fanning of this anti-government conspiracy is the day after a mass shooting aimed at congressmen.
The shooting of which Scarborough wrote occurred in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday at a Republicans’ baseball practice for an annual charity event. According to CNN, at least six people were shot, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R – La.), the third-ranking member of House Republican leadership and majority whip, and were hospitalized after the incident. Federal law enforcement officials identified the alleged shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, who was killed following a shootout with authorities.
Scarborough did not stop with just the accusation that Gingrich was spreading a conspiracy theory. He repeated the accusation, then implied that Gingrich’s words were meant to bolster the chances of his wife, Callista Gingrich, receiving congressional approval as ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican City). Scarborough wrote, “This is grotesque and fans the flames of rage among the unbalanced. What exactly is the price of an ambassadorship these days?”
Scarborough switched to defending Robert Mueller in his next shot at Gingrich, noting that Mueller’s record of public service was beyond reproach. “How dare you smear a man who served his country honorably for decades in both war and peace,” he wrote, “winning the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.”
Scarborough then doubled down on his dig at unconfirmed ambassadorship and in shaming Gingrich for attacking Mueller, writing, “Newt, whatever you think you’re getting in return for obsequiously sliming an American hero, I guarantee it’s not worth it. Stop.”
Some may think that Joe Scarborough’s castigation of Gingrich is uncalled for, but Gingrich’s conspiracy theory pandering does not jibe with his public remarks (via Twitter) just after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Department of Justice. Gingrich posted on May 17, “Robert Mueller is a superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down”.
In less than a month, Mueller went from “superb choice” as special counsel to the “tip of the deep state spear” going after President Donald Trump. Although it is not yet clear why Newt Gingrich should alter his opinion of the special counsel so quickly, it is known that the Washington Post reported, just prior to Gingrich’s tweets, that Robert Mueller was investigating President Trump and the possibility of obstruction of justice charges being filed against him in regard to the president’s alleged interference in the Russian tampering investigation.
[Featured Image by Efrem Lukatsky/AP Images]