MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had a fiery exchange Wednesday with former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod over the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, accusing Axelrod of peddling a “bogus argument” and misstating Scarborough’s past remarks.
Axelrod said he recalled speaking with the “Morning Joe” co-host last summer, when Scarborough asked when Obama was going to take a strong stance against leakers.
“No, no, no, no,” Scarborough cut in. “I’ve heard the president’s defenders try to say this, and I congratulate you guys for going off into a room and calling each other and coming up with this bogus argument — but never did I suggest that 100 AP reporters have all of their phone records seized, their private cell phone records seized, their home phone numbers seized. So please, save that for somebody else that’s going to buy into that. Don’t shift this to me!”
Scarborough continued, “Answer my question. Will sources, confidential sources inside the federal government, be intimidated because of what this administration, according to The New York Times, has been doing from the very beginning?”
Axelrod acknowledged that it could have an impact on whistleblowers, after which Scarborough said the administration can investigate leaks without going overboard.
“This was so overly broad, it violated all of the Justice Department’s guidelines,” Scarborough said. “There is a middle ground here, you don’t have to give a sledgehammer to the First Amendment.”
Watch the full exchange below, via MSNBC: