(CNSNews.com) - A recent poll shows grassroots Republicans approve of Presient Donald Trump's performance in Helsinki, despite the best efforts of liberal Democrats and media pundits to trash the president for absolutely everything he did/does and said/says.
The Axios/SurveyMonkey poll asked,"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Trump handled his press conference with Putin?" Seventy-nine percent of Republicans approved.
"Who the hell are these people?" an incredulous Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," asked on Friday's show. He and his ilk are stunned that President Trump would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the United States, when Trump's recent meeting in Helsinki was "called treasonous" by the elites.
"Who are these people and what have they done to my party?" asked Scarborough, who has left the Republican Party and is about to marry his very liberal "Morning Joe" co-host.
"It was just really shocking that the president of the United States -- after being called treasonous by quite a few people in the foreign policy/defense community-- still trying to clean up...the mess that he created when he went to Helsinki and kowtowed to an ex-KGB agent, that he rushes to announce that now Vladimir Putin is coming to Washington, before cleaning up the last mess on aisle 7."
Scarborough gave his own spin to the poll showing that 80 percent of Americans "think it's okay to cower before before an ex-KGB agent, to insult allies. You do wonder, is it just a Donald Trump problem now? This is a problem with the party cast wide."
Scarborough warned that support for Trump will ultimately "destroy" the Republican Party.
Joining the chorus, contributor John Heilemann said: "I think the corruption and bankruptcy of the Republican Party has been a long time in the making, but there is no Republican Party any more in any sense that you would have defined the Republican Party ten years ago, and the way that you would have, what the Republican Party stood for, at least in the post-World War II era.
"It has become the party of Donald Trump,"Heileman said. "And so in a thorough way, we've seen this, not just in the polling -- the startling polling in relation to how Republicans now have seen the performance of Donald Trump in Helsinki, presumably how they will see his invitation now of Vladimir Putin to come to Washington to give him the ultimate kind of -- ah, rather than to chastise him, rather than to criticize him for Russia's role in meddling in an American election, he's giving him the ultimate kind of cherry-on-top of a sundae. This is a thing that a Russian president would want most of all to get.""
"But, John," Scarborough said, "it goes to Republicans, though. Rank-and-file Republicans -- 75 percent, 80 percent saying they liked what he did in Helsinki when even, again, his closest allies in the media said he was either treasonous or a complete dupe.
"Who are these people that I grew up with that were the most -- the toughest on Russia, that fought the cold war alongside with NATO? When the Soviets' goal during the Cold War is the same goal that Vladimir Putin has now, which is to disrupt Western democracies and break up NATO? The goal is identical to what Republicans always supported. And you talk about trade. 73 percent of Republicans now are telling pollsters that they think tariffs are good for America?
"This -- again, who are these people? It's like -- like political body snatchers," Scarborough lamented.
Heilemann again: "Joe, these are the people who now call themselves -- now are the Republican Party. The people who you think of as having constituted the Republican Party in your life growing up in the party -- they are now either no longer in the party, or they are, in a kind of weak and craven way, sitting on the sidelines and wringing their hands over what Donald Trump has done to the party, but not really doing much about it. Some of them are speaking out, some of them are not...
"But the rank and file of the party now, the -- the grass roots of the Republican party are people who believe what Donald Trump believes, and not what you believe, and not what Republicans believed in the post-world war II era; they don't believe in free trade, they don't believe in immigration, they don't believe in standing up to Russian, previously Soviet, expansionism, they don't believe in NATO -- they don't believe those things. That's not what the Republican Party is anymore. So to answer your question, I don't know what happens."
Scarborough said for the past two decades, he could go to any Lincoln-Reagan dinner across America, "and you could say the same thing wherever you went, and you'd get the applause. Now -- according to these polls it's not a split. Now 80 percent of Americans are fine with Donald Trump's kowtowing to an ex-KGB agent who wants to destroy our allies, and wants to disrupt our elections. And they -- now, you look at this poll, they support tariffs.
"What the hell -- what the hell -- who the hell are these people?! What is wrong with these Republicans?! Where has the party, not of my youth, but of my early 50s gone?!" Scarborough asked.
"It's gone, Joe," guest Susan del Percio said.
And the funeral went on from there.