On MSNBC, Fournier Sees Trump with 'Blood on His Hands' Over Syria

On Tuesday's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, recurring MSNBC guest Ron Fournier -- formerly of AP -- provocatively claimed that President Donald Trump "has blood on his hands" over Syria during a discussion of President Trump's history of criticizing President Barack Obama's reaction to the Syrian civil war.

Here's Fournier: "And it's not good enough to talk about the red line that Barack Obama drew and then walked away from. Donald Trump is the one who's now walking away from this crisis. He's now the one who has blood on his hands. He's the one who's got to step up and lead the world."

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. ET, host Williams brought up some of Trump's tweets from the past hitting Obama on Syria. Williams turned to right-leaning MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes and posed:

I want to throw up on the screen why it's tough for Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, and anyone speaking in their name to respond to. This is his Twitter history on "do not attack Syria -- Syria is not our problem." As a friend of mine always says, "I don't mean to be disrespectful -- sure looks different from the cheap seats."

After Sykes complained that both parties have mishandled Syria, he took aim at President Trump as he concluded: "But the real question is: What are they going to do about it now? And is Donald Trump going to think about this in any other terms other than re-litigating his grudge match with Barack Obama?"

Williams then claimed that social media is "consuming almost half of the presidency thus far" as he turned to Fournier and posed:

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And Ron Fournier, to you, exactly what we've been talking about prior to coming to you in the hour, and that is this kind of unforced error that has caused so much time, attention, and distraction, and, granted, misdirection because of social media consuming almost half of the presidency thus far, this is where reality kicks in.

Fourner began:

Yeah, and I hate the term "unforced errors" actually, as if he did something by accident. This was a purposeful misdirection to distract us from a real issue and a real controversy over ties with Russia which -- as Charlie mentions -- is a country that our country has handed Syria over to. And he's got to -- as you say -- he's got to get out of the cheap seats and realize he's the one now who is sitting in the Oval Office.

He then added:

And it's not good enough to talk about the red line that Barack Obama drew and then walked away from. Donald Trump is the one who's now walking away from this crisis. He's now the one who has blood on his hands. He's the one who's got to step up and lead the world. This can't go on anymore, and, as we heard from the ambassador, we do have options. None of them are easy. But that's why he was elected, was to make these tough decisions.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, April 4, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC:

11:34 p.m. ET
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Charlie, proximity tonight wins. You go first, and that is the political reaction to Syria today, and I want to throw up on the screen why it's tough for Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, and anyone speaking in their name to respond to. This is his Twitter history on "do not attack Syria -- Syria is not our problem." As a friend of mine always says, "I don't mean to be disrespectful -- sure looks different from the cheap seats."

CHARLIE SYKES: Well, it sure does. And, you know, once again, how many times have we lived through this? The "never again." After the Holocaust, after Rwanda, we always said, "Never again." And yet, here we are. This is our generation's moral challenge. You know, sure, there were definite foreign policy failures by the Obama administration, but now the question is: What is Donald Trump -- what is the Trump administration going to do? A lot of rhetoric about how this unacceptable, but the reality is that the world right now is accepting this. 

Nothing that's happening in Syria was unpredictable. Nothing that has happened in Syria, you know, should shock the world, given the fact that the world has turned a blind eye, that we have empowered President Assad, that we have given, you know, his, you know, one of his puppet masters -- Vladimir Putin -- you know, free reign all of this. So, yes, we do have failures -- a bipartisan failure -- but the real question is: What are they going to do about it now? And is Donald Trump going to think about this in any other terms other than re-litigating his grudge match with Barack Obama?

WILLIAMS: And Ron Fournier, to you, exactly what we've been talking about prior to coming to you in the hour, and that is this kind of unforced error that has caused so much time, attention, and distraction, and, granted, misdirection because of social media consuming almost half of the presidency thus far, this is where reality kicks in.

RON FOURNIER: Yeah, and I hate the term "unforced errors" actually, as if he did something by accident. This was a purposeful misdirection to distract us from a real issue and a real controversy over ties with Russia which -- as Charlie mentions -- is a country that our country has handed Syria over to. And he's got to -- as you say -- he's got to get out of the cheap seats and realize he's the one now who is sitting in the Oval Office. 

And it's not good enough to talk about the red line that Barack Obama drew and then walked away from. Donald Trump is the one who's now walking away from this crisis. He's now the one who has blood on his hands. He's the one who's got to step up and lead the world. This can't go on anymore, and, as we heard from the ambassador, we do have options. None of them are easy. But that's why he was elected, was to make these tough decisions.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters