Brian Williams: ‘Our Job’ ‘Is to Scare People to Death’ With Trump and N.K.

In a rare moment of truth from MSNBC’s serial liar late Tuesday night, Brian Williams admitted on his show The 11th Hour that “our job tonight actually is to scare people to death on this subject.” The subject Williams was referring to was the confrontation between President Trump and North Korea. That comment came during a roughly 16-minute segment where he and the stacked panel talked about the threat of North Korea and smeared President Trump for his recent comment to the radical regime.

With U.S. intel saying the North can now outfit a missile with nukes and the President seems to use the same overheated language as the North, as he deals with a genuine overseas threat,” Williams chided during the show’s opening tease.

Williams went on to bemoaned Trump’s threat to North Korea from earlier in the day; when the President said: “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Williams was also fearful for the almost 200,000 U.S. citizens living on the island of Guam as the North Koreans threatened an attack there.

This genuine overseas threat comes at a low point in terms of public trust in this president,” Williams poked, alluding to a recent CBS poll claiming people didn’t trust Trump to handle North Korea effectively:

And just today, there were new poll numbers from CBS News on this very issue. Just 35 percent of Americans say they are confident in Trump’s ability to handle the situation with North Korea's nuclear program. 61 percent, 6 in 10 say they are uneasy about it.

The disgraced MSNBC host then touted a clip of a “nuclear expert” slamming the President, with Williams calling it “the most sobering quote of the evening.”

The nuclear expert was Joe Cirincione, a former official for the left wing Center for American Progress and a backer of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. According to him, the most concerning part of the situation with North Korea wasn’t their potential attacks against U.S. cities, it was Trump.

No, what you’re worried about is you have two insecure, inexperienced, impulsive leaders in control of a vast amount of destructive force, squaring off in the most heavily militarized area on Earth,” Cirincione spat. “That got out attention for good reason,” Williams added.

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Even former General Barry McCaffrey made an appearance to attack the President. “But they are dealing with a president with an incoherent world view,” he said, trying to sound sympathetic to the current generals. “And Brian, I would just assert, never in my experience has any president made this kind of a blustering statement, never mind implying the use of nuclear weapons.” But that’s not entirely accurate.

He may not have experienced a president make that kind of statement, but it has happened before. President Harry Truman said something eerily similar to the Japanese during WWII:

If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this Earth. Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen.

All of their hyperbolic analysis of the North Korea situation took on a new meaning when Williams let it slip that their job was to “scare people to death on this subject.” It made it clear that their goal was to drive down the public’s trust in the President to handle this threat.

Transcript below:

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MSNBC
The 11th Hour
August 8, 2017
11:00:02 PM Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Tonight, Donald Trump tells North Korea to stop their threats or face “fire and fury. With U.S. intel saying the North can now outfit a missile with nukes and the President seems to use the same overheated language as the North, as he deals with a genuine overseas threat.

WILLIAMS: Hours after that, the North Koreans threatened a missile attack on Guam. For those not familiar with Guam, it's a U.S. territory, population 168,000 U.S. citizens. There are roughly 12,000 U.S. Military and their dependents, family members. Roughly a third of the island is a U.S. military base. This genuine overseas threat comes at a low point in terms of public trust in this president.

And just today, there were new poll numbers from CBS News on this very issue. Just 35 percent of Americans say they are confident in Trump’s ability to handle the situation with North Korea's nuclear program. 61 percent, 6 in 10 say they are uneasy about it.

WILLIAMS: Then there is this: Perhaps the most sobering quote of the evening came during an interview with a nuclear expert, the head of a global security foundation. He was interviewed on the Rachel Maddow program earlier tonight.

[Cuts to video]

JOE CIRINCIONE: The seriousness of this situation cannot be overestimated. Not because North Korea could hit us in a bolt out of the blue attack that could take out Los Angeles or Seattle. No, what you’re worried about is you have two insecure, inexperienced, impulsive leaders in control of a vast amount of destructive force, squaring off in the most heavily militarized area on Earth. … They are blowing through this President’s red lines like tissue paper. What is trump going to do now?

[Cuts back to live]

WILLIAMS: That got out attention for good reason.

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY: But they are dealing with a president with an incoherent world view. And Brian, I would just assert, never in my experience has any president made this kind of a blustering statement, never mind implying the use of nuclear weapons. You don't threaten people in public. You threaten them in private, and then you have to be prepared to follow through with what the threat was. So, this was a real blunder on the part of Mr. Trump.

ANDREA MITCHELL: You have reactions tonight from John McCain and from Dianne Feinstein. Dianne Feinstein saying that this is so ill-considered that it's bombastic, that it is not helpful, that the only short path is a diplomatic path, and I know she has been by the intelligence committee, and I know personally there have been briefings there.

And from John McCain saying that no other American president he has ever known would have used this language. Not Eisenhower, not Reagan not any other president.

WILLIAMS: Malcolm, our job tonight actually is to scare people to death on this subject, so the talk isn’t as free as it is.

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy North Korea Military MSNBC The 11th Hour with Brian Williams Video Brian Williams Donald Trump Barry McCaffrey