They Want Him to Fail: Deranged MSNBC Panel Suggests Trump Cares About Midterms, Not Hostages

Here’s some unsolicited advice for right-of-center Trump critics or skeptics: Tune into MSNBC’s Deadline: White House for just a few minutes and it’ll turn you into the biggest Trump supporter on the planet. 

That was the case for anyone who tuned into Thursday’s show with host Nicolle Wallace leading a panel exhibiting why they want President Trump to fail and insinuated that he only cares about the midterm elections and not the safe return of three North Korean hostages.

 

 

Wallace played the role of a campaign aide crafting a negative ad, taking a few sentences from the President’s six-minute press availability early Thursday morning with the freed hostages to make a sinister point. 

The President jokingly predicted to the hostages that “[y]ou probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3:00 in the morning” and so Wallace proclaimed that “the President unprompted stepping all over his own great moment....but perhaps that offhand comment...wasn't so offhand at all” because it showed he’s not that genuinely interested in peace with North Korea, but instead having something to flaunt for the midterms.

“It may be an indication that the President is actively trying to read the political benefits of diplomacy with North Korea,” she argued before reading a supporting piece from panelist and Washington Post White House bureau chief Philip Rucker.

Wallace turned to her fellow failed McCain/Palin campaign aide Steve Schmidt, whose deranged MSNBC rants are so painfully unhinged: “What do you make of this ratings talk at 3:00 a.m., stating, you know, we have three detainees, you know, clear-cut victory for the President, these people finally reunited with their families and he's talking about 3:00 a.m. ratings?”

With a record of juvenile rants denouncing Trump’s own bad behavior, Schmdit stated that Trump “has a complete incapacity for human empathy” because, while three North Korean prisoners have returned home, the President showed it’s all about him and “ratings” even though “it’s not a game.” 

Wallace later teed up Schmidt to excoriate the push to award the President the Nobel Peace Prize. Naturally, Schmidt obliged (click “expand” to read Schmidt’s nonsense, emphasis mine):

We're talking about this meeting in North Korea like something has been achieved. Nothing has been achieved. It may be geopolitically and strategically a mistake to elevate Kim Jong-un to the world stage as a peer of the President of the United States, ending the international isolation. One thing’s clear. He has nuclear weapons. He has a ballistic missile program. He has threatened to aim and target and use those weapons against the United States. Seoul is ranged with 12,000 North Korean artillery pieces and the casualty estimates for war, should it break out on the Korean Peninsula are over a million dead in the first day. This is deadly serious business. This is not an episode of The Apprentice and what we know from history is that miscalculations by leaders, at dangerous places in the world can lead to epic human tragedy. So, everybody should breathe deeply, hope for the best. We want a more peaceful world, but the carnival antics that surround high-stakes diplomacy with this president should be alarming to people.

Wow, these people are insufferable. Wallace went next to Rucker, doubling down on the notion that the President only cares about elections, claiming that Trump sees North Korea “as a political opportunity in the mid-terms.”

Rucker fit in with the MSNBC Republicans, agreeing with Wallace and showing that it’s the media who are obsessed with the midterms (mostly because of predictions that Democrats could take Congress).

As he weren’t around from 2009 to 2017 when Barack Obama politicized issues for his benefit (under the guise of being non-partisan), Rucker continued (click “expand”):

[B]ut he also sees it as a way to remind his base that there’s something to fight for in protecting his presidency, that this threat of Mueller, this threat of Russia, this threat of the Cohen investigation, that his people need to stand up and protect him because he puts this forward to show that it's not just about him, Donald Trump, being President, but it's about getting a deal in North Korea, it’s keeping the economy going and so forth and so, that's why Trump is trying to politicize these moments like we saw overnight at the homecoming ceremony.

Just as CNN did hours earlier, Wallace opined that the President has been perusing North Korea to stave off impeachment but, in the end, he could fail because he’s lost all “leverage” with Kim Jong-un by leaving the Iran deal.

Rucker cited “pretty much every foreign policy expert” arguing that leaving the Iran deal has decimated Trump’s chances of success with North Korea because he’s “not a foreign policy and diplomatic expert.” How smug of a comment is that?

To show how bonkers the previous guests were, it was former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards (Md.) who sounded most sane, reminding her fellow panelists that “right now we should be celebrating the release of these three Americans last night and nobody can take that away” before expressing boilerplate skepticism with future North Korea talks.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on May 10, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
May 10, 2018
4:21 p.m. Eastern

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So, I want to thank you all. It's very early in the morning. I think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3:00 in the morning. That I would say. 

NICOLLE WALLACE: Cause that's what everyone thinks of when three men detained in North Korea come home. Once again, the President unprompted stepping all over his own great moment early this morning, but perhaps that offhand comment, if you can even call it that, wasn't so offhand at all. It may be an indication that the President is actively trying to read the political benefits of diplomacy with North Korea. Earlier today, the President announced the summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un would happen on June 12 in that is a potentially historic foreign policy achievement. But it may also be his midterm message. Phil Rucker writes in The Washington Post: “By making brash and risky moves on the world stage - from shredding the Iran nuclear deal to negotiating nuclear armaments with the North Koreans to imposing tarrifs on Chinese imports - he has a chance for voters to weigh his presidency. Trump is trying to convince Americans that they good reasons - not only foreign policy advances, but also a growing economy - to protect his presidency from the threats posed by the Russia investigation, not to mention impeachment charges that Democrats might file next year should they retake control of the House in the midterm election.” Steve Schmidt joins us in the flesh today. We came to you. See, that's how big you are now. What do you make of this ratings talk at 3:00 a.m., stating, you know, we have three detainees, you know, clear-cut victory for the President, these people finally reunited with their families and he's talking about 3:00 a.m. ratings? 

STEVE SCHMIDT: He has a complete incapacity for human empathy. You have three prisoners of the North Korean slave state, one who had been kept underground or in a cell absent any sunlight who asked to step off the plane in Alaska so he can see the sun and it's about Donald Trump. It's about the ratings. It's not a game. When he took his oath of office, he swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He works for the American people. So, it's a great day because three of our country men are back home in this country where they belong, not in the North Korean slave state, but it's not about Donald Trump. It's about those men. It's about their families. It's about all of us and he just doesn't seem capable intellectually or emotionally of understanding any of that. 

WALLACE: I want to show you what he thinks about his chances of winning a prize. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you deserve the Nobel Prize, do you think? 

TRUMP: Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it 

WALLACE: Just another exhibit of [INAUDIBLE]

SCHMIDT: It reminds me, there was somewhere I was traveling when I was a kid. We wanted to stop at McDonald’s. It was MacDonald's. I said like, that’s not McDonald’s. There’s a — there’s an “A” in there. Maybe it’s like a different type of Nobel Prize because there’s no accomplishment that happened. We're talking about this meeting in North Korea like something has been achieved. Nothing has been achieved. It may be geopolitically and strategically a mistake to elevate Kim Jong-un to the world stage as a peer of the President of the United States, ending the international isolation. One thing’s clear. He has nuclear weapons. He has a ballistic missile program. He has threatened to aim and target and use those weapons against the United States. Seoul is ranged with 12,000 North Korean artillery pieces and the casualty estimates for war, should it break out on the Korean Peninsula are over a million dead in the first day. This is deadly serious business. This is not an episode of The Apprentice and what we know from history is that miscalculations by leaders, at dangerous places in the world can lead to epic human tragedy. So, everybody should breathe deeply, hope for the best. We want a more peaceful world, but the carnival antics that surround high-stakes diplomacy with this president should be alarming to people. 

WALLACE: Phil, what you reported out is — is really the juxtaposition of what Steve describes, which is really the most dire kind of foreign policy. I mean, I know from a lot of former and current members of his national security team that they spend the vast majority of their time down in the Sit Room becoming more and more alarmed by what's going on in North Korea. This is a real national security threat. But they see it — the President sees it as a political opportunity in the mid-terms. This is what he plans to run on. 

PHIL RUCKER: He does it and he sees it not just as a political opportunity for his party he's going to be leading to potential defeat if the forecasts today are correct, but he also sees it as a way to remind his base that there’s something to fight for in protecting his presidency, that this threat of Mueller, this threat of Russia, this threat of the Cohen investigation, that his people need to stand up and protect him because he puts this forward to show that it's not just about him, Donald Trump, being President, but it's about getting a deal in North Korea, it’s keeping the economy going and so forth and so, that's why Trump is trying to politicize these moments like we saw overnight at the homecoming ceremony. 

WALLACE: And how about, you know, his central indictment of the Iran deal was Trump and Kerry wanted it too much. Doesn't this take away all the leverage in dealing with North Korea when the North Koreans know this is all he has to avoid impeachment? 

RUCKER: That’s exactly what pretty much every foreign policy expert has to say. Pulling out of the Iran deal as did earlier this could could be potentially so detrimental to the North Korean hopes because how can they think that the U.S. is going to honor its word in North Korea if they didn't honor its word in Iran? The President sees it differently, but he's also not a foreign policy and diplomatic expert. 

WALLACE: No, he's not. Donna, tell me how Democrats root for what Steve articulated, peace in a region where lots of lives are at stake, but go toe to toe with a President who plans to take these foreign policy messages to the country as his midterm strategy? 

DONNA EDWARDS: I think the question is what kind of message. I mean, right now we should be celebrating the release of these three Americans last night and nobody can take that away, but the question is what the President has at the negotiating table, and I'm not really clear what's going to happen on June 12th and whether that will be something he can carry into the midterms and I think it is important still for Democrats and individual, you know, House districts to carry a message about what they will do for the country, but at the same time, you know, the President can't get out of the Mueller investigation because he has a win on foreign policy. It just doesn't work like that. First of all, most Americans don't care about wins on foreign policy. 

WALLACE: Alright. That's true. Do you want to weigh in on that? 

SCHMIDT: Well, we can go back to George Herbert Walker Bush. We can look at the first gulf war, which was a — an enormous success. You saw half a million American forces take down Saddam Hussein's army, liberate Kuwait in a couple weeks. The President had a 91 percent approval rating and he was defeated by Bill Clinton a little bit over a year later. Now, the Chinese have retaliated for the trade war instigated and started by Donald Trump, and they canceled billions of dollars of soybean orders. And so, I was in Iowa last week talking to farmers and they couldn't careless about Stormy Daniels and it sounded like they were parroting the talking points off of Sean Hannity Show. But you — when I asked them, are you concerned about the soybean cancellation, they said absolutely and they immediately became sophisticated agri-businessman — businessmen and they said, when you lose a market and it goes to Brazil, supply chain, shipping routes, it doesn't come back. And I said, well, who will you blame for that? They go, Donald Trump and I said, well, you blame Donald Trump for that? They said, yeah, he started the trade war. Alright, so they're aware of it. So, it's always the economy. What remains true is you have 44 percent of people in this country who don't have $400 of cash available for an emergency. We're not seeing real wage increases, we’re not seeing real wage growth, you look at TPP in the Pacific that sent the signal we're withdrawing. 

WALLACE: Right.

SCHMIDT: We're retreating, we're in decline and all of these things are inter-linked. 


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