Speed Reads

ulterior motives?

Joe Scarborough suggests Trump's presidential run was really just a 'money-making scam'

Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday offered up an explanation for why on Earth President Trump's attorney would email Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson during the presidential election about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. Scarborough put it simply: "Donald Trump never thought he was going to win the presidency."

"This was all a money-making scam. He thought Jeb Bush was going to beat him," Scarborough said. "He was going to take the money and run. 'So let me use the position I'm in right now and try to get that tower in Moscow.'"

Senior contributor Mike Barnicle agreed that Trump's presidential bid, at least at first, seemed to be "a branding exercise." "They did not think that they were going to win the presidency because he was more interested in his business assets, and promoting them in Russia," Barnicle said.

Even so, political analyst Mark Halperin pointed out that this sort of communication with the Kremlin doesn't seem "that common." "I don't know a lot about international real estate deals, but I don't think too many Americans email Vladimir Putin's spokesperson to try to get help with deals," Halperin said.

Watch the discussion below. Becca Stanek