Scarborough And Robert Gibbs Clash Over Whether Obama Knew About Scandals Before They Broke

On Monday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and former White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs clashed over whether the president had knowledge of the IRS and Justice scandals before they became news, with the latter asserting that even if he did, it’s best that he did not “meddle.”

Scarborough asserted that the president’s claim he learned of the scandals from watching the news, “at some point, begins to sound like Ronald Reagan and Iran Contra in 1986.” In return, Gibbs cautioned that even if the president had prior knowledge, Republicans would then claim the president meddled with both departments’ inspector generals to “soften” the scandalous reports.

“Do you want the president to say, ‘Oh, sure, I had a long conversation with the Attorney General,'” Gibbs asked the MSNBC host.

“No, no,” Scarborough said. “I just don’t believe that any chief executive’s going to be in the dark about a leak that everybody’s claiming may have cost the lives of Americans, and that the president’s stumbling around for a year and has absolutely no idea that the largest news-gathering operation is having subpoenas thrown all over them and is having an unprecedented seizure of their phone records.”

He continued: “There is a middle ground. It doesn’t have to be all black or white. I don’t think this president was totally ignorant of what was going on in the Justice Department, regarding the Associated Press, or what was going on in this Cincinnati IRS field office.”

Gibbs chuckled at Scarborough’s assertion and replied: “The better answer is that he didn’t meddle.”

“The best answer is that he wasn’t completely ignorant about it, but he didn’t meddle,” Scarborough responded. “Are they afraid to tell the truth that, hey, he knew it was going on but he didn’t meddle in these investigations?”

Watch below, via MSNBC:

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