MSNBC Fears Pompeo’s ‘Anti-Iran Position,’ Trump’s ‘Outrageous’ Agenda

Reacting to President Trump’s decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, on Monday afternoon, MSNBC anchors Chris Matthews and Katy Tur went into full meltdown mode over the cabinet reshuffling. Both hosts feared that Pompeo’s “hawkish position on Iran” would provoke a “stupid war” with the authoritarian regime.

“What’s the alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal? What’s the alternative? They continue making the nuclear weapons, they go back on what they were doing? And then we go war with them?,” Matthews ranted. The Hardball host hysterically proclaimed: “I mean that really is the dangerous part of this. If he goes with [Mike] Pompeo to a hawkish position on Iran, what’s that gonna look like? That looks to me like a stupid war in the works.”

 

 

Tur joined in the hand-wringing over Pompeo’s promotion:

Well, this was what people were worried about when the administration was coming in....there was real concern that Iran was going to be in the crosshairs. All of these Iran hawks who agreed with Donald Trump about ripping up that deal, who did not trust Iran. There was concern that the first headline they’d see out of this administration would be “Donald Trump confronts Iran And Starts Something.”

She further worried: “So can we take this as Pompeo – as Donald Trump now deciding that he doesn’t care what his diplomats say, he doesn’t care what lawmakers say, he doesn’t care what we may have said in the past? That this is a pretty clear indication that that Iran deal is going to get ripped up?”

Matthews continued to see nuclear war on the horizon: “And if he pulls out...they’ll start building rockets again, they’ll start putting their nuclear program on track. And then what do we do? What Netanyahu wants us to do? Go to war? He said no stupid wars, and this one looks like a stupid war.”

An exasperated Tur couldn’t imagine why any U.S. official would take such a hard line against one of America’s fiercest enemies: “Chris, where does this position come from, this anti-Iran position? Is this just because this was a deal – a landmark deal that President Obama signed and negotiated in his administration?”

Matthews blathered: “I don’t know whether it’s his contributors, supporters, why do we move the embassy? This hawkish neocon position is what he ran against....We’re not going around, sporting around the Middle East talking a freedom agenda, looking to engage in regime change. We’re not going to do that anymore....And here he is! Basically restarting the fight with Iran...”

Continuing to freak out over the move, Tur warned that the President was actually implementing his “outrageous” agenda:

And we’re seeing, you know, there’s no TPP, he pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords, he’s getting his wall built, he’s visiting it today when he’s in California. Everything he said on the campaign trail, which seemed outrageous at the time and impossible at the time, he seems to be getting, or on his way to getting in this administration.

Apparently it’s now “outrageous” for Americans to be “anti-Iran” and support a “freedom agenda.” MSNBC prefers administrations that are pro-Iran and anti-freedom.

Here is a transcript of unhinged March 13 exchange:

2:02 PM ET

(...)

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The scary thing about this, of course, is he did campaign on a couple of things, and one of them was no stupid wars. What’s the alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal? What’s the alternative? They continue making the nuclear weapons, they go back on what they were doing? And then we go war with them? I mean that really is the dangerous part of this. If he goes with [Mike] Pompeo to a hawkish position on Iran, what’s that gonna look like? That looks to me like a stupid war in the works.

KATY TUR: Well, this was what people were worried about when the administration was coming in. Right before the Inauguration, when they were figuring out who was going to be in which cabinet position and while Mike Flynn was still the NSA, there was real concern that Iran was going to be in the crosshairs. All of these Iran hawks who agreed with Donald Trump about ripping up that deal, who did not trust Iran. There was concern that the first headline they’d see out of this administration would be “Donald Trump confronts Iran And Starts Something.”

So can we take this as Pompeo – as Donald Trump now deciding that he doesn’t care what his diplomats say, he doesn’t care what lawmakers say, he doesn’t care what we may have said in the past? That this is a pretty clear indication that that Iran deal is going to get ripped up?

MATTHEWS: Yeah, and you know, the Iran deal wasn’t like telling somebody at a counter what you want on your hamburger. It was the deal we could get with all of our partners in the world. It was a multilateral deal with the world, that’s the only way you could do sanctions. And it was the deal we could cut with all those people around the world, the Germans, everybody else, and it worked. And if he pulls out, there will still be some sort of sanction I suppose, but they’ll start building rockets again, they’ll start putting their nuclear program on track. And then what do we do? What Netanyahu wants us to do? Go to war? He said no stupid wars, and this one looks like a stupid war.

TUR: So we won’t just have – so we won’t just have North Korea with nuclear weapons, we could potentially have –  

MATTHEWS: The same thing. And by the way, what kind of deal is he going to cut with Kim Jong-un? Maybe it’s as good as the Iran deal. Who thinks it’s going to better? They already have nuclear weapons, unlike the Iranians. They already got them. So whatever we have will be in the face of the fact that they’ve got a nuclear program to start with. It can’t be better than the Iranian deal. They don’t have nuclear weapons. So I think he’s got a real problem here.

TUR: Chris, where does this position come from, this anti-Iran position? Is this just because this was a deal – a landmark deal that President Obama signed and negotiated in his administration?

MATTHEWS: I don’t know whether it’s his contributors, supporters, why do we move the embassy? This hawkish neocon position is what he ran against. He said we’re not going to be like [George] W. [Bush] was. We’re not going around, sporting around the Middle East talking a freedom agenda, looking to engage in regime change. We’re not going to do that anymore. That is not good for our country. And here he is! Basically restarting the fight with Iran, while he’s got a fight going with North Korea already.

TUR: Tillerson’s gonna come out in a moment. We’ve played a couple other moments from the campaign off the top of this show, other things that Donald Trump wanted. And we’re seeing, you know, there’s no TPP, he pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords, he’s getting his wall built, he’s visiting it today when he’s in California. Everything he said on the campaign trail, which seemed outrageous at the time and impossible at the time, he seems to be getting, or on his way to getting in this administration.

(...)


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Iran Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC Video Katy Tur Chris Matthews Mike Pompeo