MSNBC Host Says Donald Trump Wants to Bring Back 'Good Old Days of Hanging' Whistleblowers

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough responded with shock President Donald Trump's comments regarding the whistleblower who filed a complaint about the commander in chief's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I want to know who's the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that's close to a spy," Trump, who previously called the whistleblower a "partisan" despite not knowing the person's identity, said while speaking at the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday. "You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now."

The president has previously railed against the steady flow of leaks coming from the White House.

Scarborough, the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, voiced his indignation on Friday morning.

"The President of the United States while at the United Nations, at our mission, talking to civil servants, people that actually work for the taxpayers, said of a whistleblower and those who gave the whistleblower information, in effect, that they were spies and if it were the good old days we could kill them," Scarborough said.

"Isn't it amazing how it parallels what he said in the campaign, where he said in the good old days we could beat them up and take them out on a stretcher? Now Donald Trump is saying, in effect, we should be able to kill whistleblowers. I haven't read the whistleblowers' statute. I'm thinking it's probably a violation to threaten death for a whistleblower, retaliation and long for the good old days of hanging people," he continued.
Democrats, including lawmakers vying for the party's presidential nomination, also jumped on the president's remarks.

New Jersey Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told MSNBC that Trump sounded "more like a threatening thug than giving forth the ideals of a statesman" and cautioned that the president's language "gives license to people to do dangerous things." California Senator Kamala Harris and former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, both of whom are running for president, also criticized Trump's remarks while appearing Thursday on MSNBC.

Other presidential candidates criticized the comments on Twitter, and the chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform Committees released a joint statement saying that threats of violence from the president would "have a chilling effect on the entire whistleblower process."

On Thursday, after Congress questioned acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire about the whistleblower complaint that said Trump sought to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Joe Biden and his son, Trump bristled at the efforts, calling them a "witch hunt."

President Donald Trump walks away after receiving an award from the National Sheriffs' Association after receiving an award at the White House on September 26. Mark Wilson/Getty Images