MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is behaving like French “Sun King” Louis XIV by commuting the sentence of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Louis XIV was the 18th century monarch whose opulent lifestyle and lavish spending on buildings, like the palace at Versailles, brought France to the brink of bankruptcy. His reign precipitated the French Revolution of 1789.
“Instead of draining the swamp, Trump has decided to pardon it,” co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed.
Trump announced Tuesday that he had commuted Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence. The former governor expressed his gratitude and jokingly proclaimed himself to be a “Trumpocrat.” In June 2011, a jury convicted him of trying to sell or trade then-President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois. (RELATED: Trump Pardons Former 49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo)
But Scarborough said the joking is all in the past.
“Yeah, we joked about Blago … We joked about Donald Trump back in 2010, 2011. We called him America’s Abraham Lincoln, and we’d all have a big laugh about it … because of course he was the antithesis of America’s Abraham Lincoln even then,” he said. “And here we have now … this president who thinks … he is the state, and the state is him. It’s straight out of Louis XIV and it’s — it’s disturbing.”
Referring to a clip where Trump quips, “When I took over our military, we didn’t have ammunition,” Scarborough said: “When I took over — when I took over America, we didn’t have bullets. It’s kind of like a new commissioner of Major League Baseball coming in and saying, ‘When I took over baseball, you know we didn’t have any baseballs.’” (RELATED: Rod Blagojevich’s Daughter To Obama: Thanks For Nothing Jerk)
Panelist Willie Geist lamented how “a running gag” about Trump ever becoming president had “come true” and suggested that Blagojevich began a friendship with Trump when he was a contestant on “The Apprentice,” building “a relationship that paid off for him as he arrived back home in Chicago just a few hours ago this morning. Blago … in fact, is free.”