In an exclusive interview aired on Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports with Vice President Mike Pence during his overseas trip to Israel, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell was aghast at him accurately holding Democrats accountable for shutting down the government. She proceeded to lecture Pence on his decision to publicly criticize liberal lawmakers while on foreign soil.
“On this trip, you, in front of Israeli television and standing next to a foreign leader, slammed Senator Schumer by name for the shutdown. Was that appropriate?,” Mitchell fretted. The Vice President stood by his statement: “Well, the reality is that this was an unnecessary government shutdown and the American people know it....it was important for us to set the record straight. The Schumer shutdown failed, the American people know it, and I thought it was the right time for me to make that clear.”
The NBC News Foreign Affairs Correspondent insisted:
You don’t think you’re being too political? Also, when you broke precedent, and on a military base overseas, forward base, you told the troops that it was the Democratic minority responsible for the shutdown....It was a political statement. You’ve been criticized for that.
It’s not as if Mike Pence was the first American political leader to be critical of his political opponents while overseas. President Obama got in the habit of doing it frequently as his presidency drew to a close, often bashing Republican candidates running to succeed him.
In another portion of the exchange aired later on the January 23 program, Mitchell feared Pence’s address to the Israeli parliament was too pro-Israel:
In your Knesset speech, the Israeli parliament, you gave unconditional support to Israel, and the Palestinians feel that this is adding insult to injury. They now say that the U.S. is no longer an honest broker to negotiate a peace deal.
The Vice President assured her: “The United States has played a leading role in seeking peace here in the Middle East, now for decades.” She interrupted: “But you have changed that with your speech yesterday, have you not?” He responded: “I don’t believe so. What I said yesterday is long-standing American policy.”
Continuing to hyperventilate, Mitchell declared:
Sir, you’re a man of such deep faith, which is so apparent, especially here in the Holy City, and even the Coptic Christians whom you wanted to meet with, say that that decision about the embassy in Jerusalem has undercut the chances for peace, not improved the chances for peace. They wouldn’t even meet with you.
The liberal host simply could not conceal her disdain for the Trump administration’s foreign or domestic policy.
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