MSNBC Analyst On Morning Joe: Bibi 'Not a Good Actor,' Jake Sullivan 'My Good Friend'

June 20th, 2024 3:10 PM

Mika Brzezinski James Stavridis MSNBC Morning Joe 6-20-24 All you need to know about the objectivity of retired Admiral and MSNBC analyst James Stavridis is apparent from two statements he made on today's Morning Joe regarding a video Bibi Netanyahu put out calling on the US to stop holding up arms deliveries to Israel.

First, Mika Brezinski teed up Stavridis to attack Bibi, asking, "Is Benjamin Netanyahu a good partner in this?"

Stavridis answered: "Clearly he's not."

Then in the same breath, Stavridis added, "My good friend Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, his head must be exploding this morning."

So, Bibi's a bad partner, and Biden's security adviser is your "good friend." Gotcha, Admiral!

Stavridis was outraged that, by putting out the video in English, Netanyahu was, allegedly, "blatantly trying to insert himself into the U.S. election." Stavridis fumed that Bibi's action was "wildly inappropriate," and "shocks the conscience of diplomacy between the two nations."

So, it's "wildly inappropriate" for the leader of one country to get involved in an election in another country? And specifically regarding the US-Israel relationship, such involvement "shocks the conscience?"

Ya mean, like when Barack Obama's administration:

"paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in [2015's] Israeli parliamentary elections"?

That kind of involvement, Admiral? 

Anyone remember Stavridis/MSNBC condemning as "wildly inappropriate" and shocking to the conscience, Obama's attempt to bump off Bibi -- politically speaking? Neither do I. But then, Stavridis was vetted as a potential Hillary Clinton veep pick in 2016.

And as for Karine Jean-Pierre saying "we genuinely don't know what [Netanyahu's] talking about." Yeah, she and Biden have a lot of trouble comprehending what other people say.

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:12 am EDT

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There is also new tension between the U.S. and Israel this morning, after the Biden administration rejected claims that the White House has been withholding weapons. NBC News senior White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell reports.

KELLY O'DONNELL: A new and very public breach in a pivotal partnership over the flow of U.S. weapons to Israel, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leveled a stinging accusation, posting a video, notably spoken in English, for an American audience.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: It's inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel. Israel, America's closest ally.

O'DONNELL: Israel says it must defeat Hamas and secure the release of hostages.

NETANYAHU: During World War II, Churchill told the United States, give us the tools, we'll do the job. And I say, give us the tools and we'll finish the job a lot faster. 

O'DONNELL: But his charge has been met with surprise at the White House.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: We genuinely do not know what he's talking about.

O'DONNELL: The fall-out was swift. A meeting expected with Israeli officials in Washington is off, for now. That session, to discuss threats from Iran, is described as postponed. U.S. officials say they will not reward Israel with such a meeting in response to the Netanyahu video. In May, the Biden administration publicly acknowledged it paused delivery to Israel of a shipment with 2,000-pound bombs. 

Responding to Netanyahu's message, Secretary Blinken disputed the Prime Minister's complaint, and said that one arms shipment is being evaluated.

ANTONY BLINKEN: Because of our concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah. That remains under review, but everything else is moving as it normally would move.

MIKA: Ah, Admiral Stavridis, I'll start with you. "We genuinely don't know what they're talking about" is a pretty strong statement.


MIKA: Is Benjamin Netanyahu a good partner in this? What happened here?

JAMES STAVRIDIS: Clearly he's not. And I would really draw a line under him cutting that commentary in English -- really? It's blatantly trying to insert himself into the U.S. election cycle from all that I can see. It's wildly inappropriate to go over the head of the administration and try to speak directly to Americans. Not his role, not his place. He is a frustrating partner. My good friend Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser. His head must be exploding this morning. 

I think about what he and Tony Blinken and Lloyd Austin have tried to do for Israel. Indeed, what we have done for Israel for decades. And to be treated in that manner by a prime minister really shocks the conscience of diplomacy between the two nations.