Morning Joe Blasts Harris Faulkner’s ‘Pathetic’ Smear of Jamal Khashoggi: ‘Very Trump-Like’


Writing for the Washington Post, Robert Costa reported yesterday that “hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi,” claiming that the smear campaign was designed to “protect President Trump from criticism of his handling” of the alleged murder by Saudi operatives. Literally, blaming the victim.

This became a topic on Morning Joe today, who seamlessly pivoted to a moment on Fox News’ Outnumbered which Mediaite pointed out yesterday.

After an explanation why the Saudi Royal Family’s interests are threatened by the outrage over their seeming involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Harris Faulkner took the discussion in a new direction when she noted the columnist was “tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

After Marie Harf pushed back on that claim, Faulkner argued that she made her comment in an effort to provide the full context of Khashoggi’s connections. Harf fired back by saying, “people are using that to discredit him.”

Towards the end of the Outnumbered clip aired on Morning Joe, Faulkner defender her Muslim Brotherhood comment by saying “just putting it out there because it is in the mix,” a comment which earned Mika Brzezinksi’s immediate ridicule.

A mocking Mika parroted Faulkner’s comment saying “that’s very Trump-like, “I’m just going to put it out there because that’s my responsibility, to lie”

The panel then continued to tee off on Faulkner and Lisa Boothe, comparing them to “sleaze merchants” who are unfairly smearing Khashoggi.

Willie Geist finished this segment by speaking to those who are smearing Khashoggi (ostensibly Faulkner and other Fox News opinion people) saying to camera: “Forget politics. On a purely human level, if you’re you a part of the smear campaign, think about what you’re saying.”

He added “think about what you’re saying. You’re saying a man who went into a consulate to get a marriage license and left in pieces in a bag after he was tortured and murdered, he’s the bad guy? Wow.”He finished with “it’s pathetic.”

By any measure, this was a very tough segment for Ms. Faulkner but on the upside, her status is now elevated to one that gets criticized by a competitor. So she’s got that going for her.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC.

UPDATE:  Harris Faulkner issued a statement on her comments:

“My job as a journalist is to ask the tough questions, which I was doing yesterday, in citing reports from the New York Times on the various ties journalist Jamil Khashoggi had, including to the Muslim Brotherhood. My questions surrounding the disappearance of Kashoggi are unwavering and does not differ from the way I do my job on other stories. The Oct. 2nd disappearance is a terrifying reminder of the dangers facing journalists and we will continue to report on all areas of this case as we search for answers.”

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