Brian Williams Gripes About Cost of Launching Missiles Into Syria; It ‘Endangered’ Americans!

Leave it to MSNBC anchor and serial liar Brian Williams to step in it on night of breaking news. On Thursday night after the U.S. military fired over 50 missiles at a Syrian military base, Williams whined about the cost of the missiles and complained that it endangered Americans. 

Williams was speaking to NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel when he suggested they “look at it in brass tax terms” because “we just spent $30 million tonight.” 

Additionally, he complained that the operation “endangered in launching these things, as you know, every time one of these clears the tube on a Navy vessel, everyone breathes a sigh of relief all the young sailors on these vessels that launch these things tonight.”

The man who his a job for lying continued to do what he does best, which is speculate: “We killed some Syrians, I'm guessing. We may have killed some Russians as kind of collateral damage. I'm guessing there's fuel on fire. There's cratered runways. There's destroyed aircraft. Is that the extent of what we get?”

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Less than an hour later, Williams changed his mind, suggesting that by launching cruise missiles, “not one young American aviator was in jeopardy in the skies over Syria.”

Moments beforehand, Engel also took the time to credit President Donald Trump for “show[ing] that he’s different than President Obama” on Syria, but brushed the strikes aside as “a slap on the wrist.”

“It is not going to get him into any real trouble. It was not a decisive action. It was more symbolic. It was a slap on the wrist, actually, and it's the kind of thing you can do so it has a complete narrative....But it doesn't fundamentally change Assad's capabilities. It doesn't fundamentally change his grip on power. It doesn't change the dynamic of the civil war in that country,” Engel added.

Engel later clarified that he didn’t mean to state that Trump was responding to “some political stunt” but instead a “horrific” Sarin gas attack.

Earlier in the 9:00 p.m. Eastern hour, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow twice wondered to Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif.) if the strikes were legal. In the second attempt to express her fear of Trump having illegally done this, she fretted: 

If the administration sees this as a standalone, one-off strike, that this isn't the first in an escalating military campaign as you seem to indicate that was — that was the gist of the message tonight that you got from the Director of National Intelligence. Does that effect whether or not it's legal? Does a one-off strike require a different amount of authorization from the Congress legally speaking than an escalating campaign?

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from the MSNBC Special on April 6:

MSNBC Special
April 6, 2017
9:48 p.m. Eastern

RICHARD ENGEL: I think it was just enough for President Trump to show that he's different than President Obama — that he acted when his predecessor did not, but it is not going to get him into any real trouble. It was not a decisive action. It was more symbolic. It was a slap on the wrist, actually, and it's the kind of thing you can do so it has a complete narrative. The U.S. military said earlier today that it has radar footage showing the aircraft taking off from this now presumably destroyed air base and flying about 70 miles — 67 miles is the distance to the town that was hit. I wouldn't be surprised if at some stage, we get to see that radar footage and now that air base has been obliterated and there's ISR — there's drones up in the air probably taking pictures of all of this. So it creates a full narrative of a horrific event then how it unfolded and then the air base destroyed but it doesn't fundamentally change Assad's capabilities. It doesn't fundamentally change his grip on power. It doesn't change the dynamic of the civil war in that country. It is a response that I think the President Trump can go to the American people and say he did something and here's the evidence. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: So, Richard, this is — if you want to look at it in brass tax terms, we just spent $30 million tonight. We endangered in launching these things, as you know, every time one of these clears the tube on a Navy vessel, everyone breathes a sigh of relief all the young sailors on these vessels that launch these things tonight. We killed some Syrians, I'm guessing. We may have killed some Russians as kind of collateral damage. I'm guessing there's fuel on fire. There's cratered runways. There's destroyed aircraft. Is that the extent of what we get? 

ENGEL: Well, I'm not saying that this was some political stunt. There was a horrific attack, and there was a response on that location. I'm saying that this was the minimum that could have been done in order to send that message. 

WILLIAMS: Alright.

ENGEL: The U.S. does have its hands tied in Syria to a degree because of the Russian presence. 

NB Daily Foreign Policy Syria Military War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Other MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show Video Government & Press Rachel Maddow Brian Williams Richard Engel Donald Trump Bashar al-Assad
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