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Morning Joe Shreds Cotton and Perdue: ‘They Lied to Cover the President’s Racist Remarks’

Morning Joe’s Tuesday panel took turns tearing into Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue over their denials that President Donald Trump derided Haiti and unspecified African countries as “shitholes” in an Oval Office meeting on immigration.

Though the two lawmakers initially said they hadn’t heard Trump’s comment — despite multiple reports and other lawmakers claiming he had indeed made the vulgar remarks — on Sunday they claimed he definitely did not use the term “shithole.” New reports suggest the White House thinks their denials rest on a belief the president said “shithouse.”

Joe Scarborough opened a Morning Joe segment on the topic with a blistering rebuke of the two senators:

“Tom cotton heard the vulgarity. David Perdue heard the vulgarity. They lied on Sunday morning. The lied to the American people. They lied to their constituents in Georgia and Arkansas. They lied to cover the president’s racist remarks. We know that.”

Scarborough added that a new Washington Post report has revealed Trump invited Sens. Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham to the White House to discuss a bipartisan immigration deal, but the meeting was derailed after Chief of Staff John Kelly advised him that such a deal would not fare well with his political base — reportedly leading to the tense meeting in which Trump derided African “shithole countries” and their emigrants.

MSNBC’s Willie Geist noted that the Post story is “more troubling” as it demonstrated the volatility of Trump’s decision-making.

“Mr. Negotiator, Mr. Art of the Deal was swayed by a couple people saying this is bad for the 30% of people that elected you, so blow up the deal,” Geist said mockingly.

Scarborough continued that while Trump was reportedly calling up friends to brag about his harsh words from the meeting, Cotton and Perdue were appearing on television to deny he had made them.

“They were lying to their constituents, they were lying to the American people. They were lying to the press. All to cover up the fact that the President of the United States is a bigot.”

When co-host Mika Brzezinski asked why Cotton would lie about the meeting, Scarborough speculated that the Arkansas senator was being considered to head up the CIA.

“The thing is they’re lying, and they’re lying so badly,” John Heilemann joked.

“These people are unusually bad liars,” Scarborough added.

“And the thing is, what are they lying about on Martin Luther King weekend?” he continued. “They’re lying about a bigoted president.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Managing Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com or via Signal: 917-817-8266. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin