MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that President Donald Trump is a "far graver" threat to the "idea of America" than the 9/11 attacks.
"You have just this week Brett Kavanaugh, who wants to be on the Supreme Court, refusing to answer whether people should be banned from coming to the United States because of their race. And his reading of the Constitution. The accumulation of that–[Trump's] re-tweeting of neo-Nazi videos, Charlottesville, I can go on and on, what he said about the majority black countries–that is tearing more at the fabric of America than attacks on the twin towers did," Scarborough said. "We became stronger because of that. But this seems to me a far graver threat to the idea of America."
Scarborough's comments came during a "Morning Joe" discussion about his latest op-ed, which is titled, "Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski quoted the op-ed.
For those of us still believing that Islamic extremists hate America because of the freedoms we guarantee to all people, the gravest threat Trump poses to our national security is the damage done daily to America’s image. As the New York Times’s Roger Cohen wrote the month after Trump’s election, "America is an idea. Strip freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law from what the United States represents to the world and America itself is gutted."
Osama bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team 6 before he accomplished that goal. Other tyrants who tried to do the same were consigned to the ash heap of history. The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.
"Couldn't agree more, Joe," Mika added.
"I love that line–that Roger Cohen line–America is an ‘idea,'" Scarborough said. "And if you strip America of its ideas, forget about knocking down buildings in the financial district, forget about running planes into the Pentagon. Those are tragedies, but those tragedies bring us closer together. America is an idea. You gut America of that idea, that is when you do the most harm."
Scarborough and Brzezinski have frequently criticized the Trump presidency, but when Trump was a candidate for office, the three shared a friendship.
Later in the day, Scarborough appeared to walk back some of his comments in his op-ed.
On September 11th, I’ll read the column again and think about whether I could have said the same thing in a way less offensive to Trump supporters on September 11th.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 11, 2018
UPDATE 3:37 P.M.: Post was updated to show Scarborough's comments.