MSNBC Host Slams Republicans Shielding Trump: 'Moscow Mitch Is Not Protecting American Democracy From the Kremlin'

An MSNBC host slammed Republicans in Congress for shielding President Donald Trump from a whistleblower complaint about his communication with a foreign leader, claiming that the GOP is refusing to protect American democracy.

Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were joined by a panel on Thursday morning to discuss the battle between the Trump administration and lawmakers over the whistleblower complaint.

The standoff was revealed Wednesday by The Washington Post, which reported that an official in the intelligence community was so troubled by a "promise" Trump made to a foreign leader that they decided to file an official complaint with the inspector general. It's not clear which foreign leader Trump was talking to at the time.

"Well, the question is what are the Republicans thinking on the Hill?" Scarborough said. "Are the Republicans curious at all about the inspector general, an independent inspector general, saying that what the president said was so deeply troubling that they need to be made aware of it?"

Co-host Willie Geist replied to Scarborough's questions, saying Americans hoping for the GOP to support an investigation should not "hold their breath, knowing what we know about Republicans in Congress."

"Moscow Mitch is not even protecting American democracy from the Kremlin when Republicans now—former conservatives are now coming out, the Trumpists are now coming out and saying we have to protect our democracy," Scarborough added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

One of the show's panelists, Steve Rattner, suggested it's not just McConnell who is staying eerily silent on the issue but other prominent Republicans as well, like Senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham.

"Where are the people who say they are most focused on the integrity of the U.S. and the defense of our state?" Rattner said.

mitch mcconnell press conference capitol hill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media after attending the Republican weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on September 17 in Washington, D.C. McConnell was criticized by MSNBC hosts on Thursday for protecting President Donald Trump instead of American democracy. Mark Wilson/Getty

According to the Post, the complaint was filed with the intelligence community's inspector general on August 12. Records from the White House show that Trump had talks with at least five foreign leaders in the weeks leading up the complaint, including a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump also received letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

House Democrats, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, have demanded full disclosure of the whistleblower complaint and issued a subpoena for the document. But Trump's acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, had refused to hand it over and asserted that the material in the complaint is beyond the scope of his jurisdiction.

Maguire added that the allegations in the complaint did not merit "urgent concern" and that since they are not directly related to the intelligence community, he does not have to give them over to Congress.

Schiff has said Maguire's refusal may be an attempt to cover for the president.

"No DNI—no director of national intelligence—has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint," Schiff told CBS News on Sunday.