Joy Reid was apparently unaware of the old lawyers' rule: never ask a witness a question to which you don't know the answer! Because on her MSNBC show this morning, Reid asked NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel questions regarding the strike on Soleimani . . . and got answers that must have horrified her!
Reid first asked if there was any evidence that Soleimani was in Iraq to plan an attack. Engel responded that whereas there was no information concerning a specific attack, planning attacks is what Soleimani did. Moreover, the fact that he was meeting with Shiite militia leaders there buttresses the notion that he was up to no good.
It got even worse for poor Joy when she asked Engel if there was evidence that Soleimani was behind the recent attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. Engel was even more emphatic in saying "that is probably more causal, more cause-and-direct," adding that he didn't question the claim of US officials that Soleimani was indeed behind the attack.
0-for-2, Joy: whoopsie!
Perhaps Reid was banking on the fact that Engel, a self-described "pacifist" who thinks "war should be illegal," would stick to the liberal script. But though he is decidedly no fan of President Trump, Engel does have a tendency to call it as he sees it.
Better luck next time, Joy! Maybe you should stick to regular guests like Malcolm Nance and others who can be counted on to reliably condemn President Trump at all turns!
PS: at the end of the interview, Reid was obliged to say "thank you" to Engel. She managed to avoid adding, "for nothing!"
Here's the transcript.
10:02 am ET
JOY REID: I’m sure Trump is hoping that we will all line up behind him, throwing a flag pin, and send his approval rating soaring. Mr. President: don’t hold your breath. I want to first go to Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent. He's in Irbil, Iraq. And Richard, I want to start by asking you, is there any evidence presented by the administration or that you’ve seen in your reporting on the ground that there was some imminent threat that Qasem Soleimani presented to the United States?
RICHARD ENGEL: There has been no direct evidence presented by the administration and nothing that we’ve seen. But frankly speaking, the — that is what Qasem Soleimani did. We don’t know if he was organizing what kind of attack, we don’t know if he was organizing something imminent in the future, where, when or how. But the fact that Qasem Soleimani would have been meeting with Shiite militia leaders, and he was meeting with Shiite militia leaders because they were in the same convoy that was killed for him, that’s not that unusual and the things that they would meet to do would be to carry out attacks against the US . . . No, we don’t have any specific information, but you can draw a logical conclusion that that’s the kind of thing they would be talking about.
. . .
REID: Is there any — can you explain to us what relationship there is, if any, between the late Qasem Soleimani and this attack on the US embassy recently in Iraq?
ENGEL: So that is probably more, more causal, more cause and direct . . Was he involved in directing an allied militia to attack the US embassy? The US officials say that he was, and there’s — that I have — I don’t, I don't question their claim of that.