NewsBusters

MSNBCs Ruhle Wonders Why Trump Suddenly Trusts Intel Agencies

Concerned that President Trump may not have fully thought through the possible ramifications of droning Qasem Soleimani, MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle wondered on Monday why Trump suddenly trusts the intelligence agencies. Ironically, the answer she got from the panel showed it was MSNBC that is the one that apparently has problems trusting the IC when it comes to matters of great importance.

After Philip Rucker of the Washington Post reported, “[Trump] may consider revealing more information about the intelligence” to back up his claim that Soleimani represented an active threat that had to go and that Democrats could be expected to challenge this, Ruhle asked former Obama State Department official Nayyera Haq about Trump’s history with the intel agencies.

 

 

Ruhle wondered, “Are we to believe, Nayyera that the president, the White House is suddenly reliant and trusting of the intelligence agencies as relates to Iran and Soleimani? But until this point the president has been trashing and dogging the intelligence agencies, specifically as it relates to Russia and the 2016 election. Does it surprise you that something as serious as this, he is now trusting his agencies?”

Missing the irony that if Trump is bad for trusting the intel agencies, that must mean that her question and Haq’s response are also bad, because Haq’s interpretation of last week’s events was that the “architects of the Iraq War” now want to take on Iran.

She declared that the strike is evidence that the Administration does “not run a proper national security process of talking to the generals and diplomats, the intel community, and frankly the fact that the most extreme option that was rejected by George Bush as president, rejected by President Obama, that was even put on a decision memo in front of the President of the United States to me seems a little odd.” Except, they did talk to the generals and it is now Haq that is questioning the intelligence.

She then said compared people who say Soleimani was a threat to the people who supported the Iraq War, “This president is more motivated by the idea of shock and awe, and looking strong, all narratives we’ve heard 20 years ago for the Iraq War, we’re hearing that there’s an imminent threat to the United States, but no evidence of that. It does seem that is more of an attempt to engage militarily with Iran, that the John Boltons and the other architects of the Iraq War have been advocating for quite some time and they will find whatever narrative they need to fit around that and the convenient one is saying its intelligence sources.”

Here is a transcript for the January 6 show:

MSNBC

MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle

9:20 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Mr. Rucker to you first, the president ultimately picked the most extreme option but he took some time to get there. Was this decision more of a process than we normally see from the president? 

PHILLIP RUCKER: Well, it’s a little bit unclear right now, Steph. We understand from what the president has said and reporting coming out of the Administration that they reviewed intelligence, that they waited until they had the general in a sort of target of opportunity, so to speak, then the president made that order to launch the attack. They wanted to make sure there were not allied Iraqis who were in that motorcade for example, with the general as he left the airport in Baghdad. But, what we don’t have clear visibility into is what exactly the intelligence was about Soleimani, what attacks he had been contemplating against American bases or American people or other American targets, and the president has indicated, including last night with reporters aboard Air Force One, he may consider revealing more information about the intelligence, but we don’t have that yet. I expect over the next few days there’s be pressure, especially from Democrats in Congress, to examine what the intelligence was, and whether the president had been making a sound decision last week when he authorized the attack. 

RUHLE: But are we to believe, Nayyera that the president, the White House is suddenly reliant and trusting of the intelligence agencies as relates to Iran and Soleimani? But until this point the president has been trashing and dogging the intelligence agencies, specifically as it relates to Russia and the 2016 election. Does it surprise you that something as serious as this, he is now trusting his agencies? 

NAYYERA HAQ: You’re absolutely right, Steph. This is all part of the Trump Administration trying to build a narrative for something that they have been contemplating for quite some time which is taking a very hard line stance against Iran. We know the Trump Administration does not run a proper national security process of talking to the generals and diplomats, the intel community, and frankly the fact that the most extreme option that was rejected by George Bush as president, rejected by President Obama, that was even put on a decision memo in front of the President of the United States to me seems a little odd. I don’t think that would have made it through a normal national security clearance process. This president is more motivated by the idea of shock and awe, and looking strong, all narratives we’ve heard 20 years ago for the Iraq War, we’re hearing that there’s an imminent threat to the United States, but no evidence of that. It does seem that is more of an attempt to engage militarily with Iran, that the John Boltons and the other architects of the Iraq War have been advocating for quite some time and they will find whatever narrative they need to fit around that and the convenient one is saying its intelligence sources, but it could very easily just be appealing to America’s interest of looking strong and being the policeman for the world.

 

 

Leave a Reply