MSNBC Smears America for Using ‘Mafia’ Style Tactics at the U.N.

As a sign of friendship, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley invited those members of the United Nations that didn’t vote against the United States on Thursday to a special reception at the start of the new year. On Friday, MSNBC found it comical that the U.S. would thank those who respected its sovereignty and right to choose where to place its embassy and ridiculed the Ambassador and the Trump administration.

’Exercise our right as a sovereign nation,’ used by Nikki Haley and used against, I guess, the United States. What do you make of all this,” host Chris Jansing asked former Obama State Department Under Secretary turned MSNBC Analyst Richard Stengel.

The Obama administration flack chided Ambassador Haley for attending what he called “the Tony Soprano School of Diplomacy.” “You extort people to get them to go along with your point of view,” he mocked.

Both Jansing and Stengel found the list of countries that supported the U.S. hysterical as they put the graphic on the screen. “That party she’s having, if you look at the nations that actually voted with us, I don’t know if folks have looked at that… Micronesia, Marshall Islands, most people have never heard of them. You can have the party in this room,” he joked as he motioned to their tiny set.

 

 

Stengel did admit that the U.N. does target Israel far more than other countries, but didn’t seem to have a problem with their systemic anti-Semitism. “I mean, the U.N. votes non-binding resolutions against Israel like three times a week, that happens all the time,” he quipped.

He also claimed that the U.S. was isolating itself within the elitist body and it could hurt us during critical votes against North Korea:

But what is also bad strategy is next week when Ambassador Haley has to go to the U.N. for support from North Korea, what are they going to do? “Hey, you took our name last week, why should I vote against North Korea?” When she goes to the U.N. in two weeks about, you know, we want to change policy about Iran.

And by the way, this idea that we give the most money to the U.N., which, of course, we do, that will never stop that will never change that doesn’t change people's behavior,” Stengel sneered. And he wrote off the Trump administration’s threat of withholding foreign aid and some of the over $3 billion the U.S. pays in U.N. funding: “And this, kind of, mafia-esque way of saying we might withhold that money as a threat, people realize is an empty threat.

Relevant portions of the transcript below:

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MSNBC
Andrea Mitchell Report
December 22, 2017
12:32:14 PM Eastern

(…)

CHRIS JANSING: After that stinging rebuke from the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley is throwing a thank you party for those countries that did not condemn the Trump administration for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. NBC News has learned that the eight countries that voted no, the 35 that abstained and the 21 more that didn't show up for Thursday's vote have all gotten this invitation. You see it here, from Ambassador Haley, to a January 3 reception to express gratitude for their friendship.

(…)

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeting: “A resounding global no to Trump regime’s thuggish intimidation at UN.”

(…)

Exercise our right as a sovereign nation, used by Nikki Haley and used against, I guess, the United States. What do you make of all this?

RICHARD STENGEL: Well, it's all kind of the Tony Soprano school of diplomacy, right? You extort people to get them to go along with your point of view. That party she’s having, if you look at the nations that actually voted with us, I don’t know if folks have looked at that—

JANSING: We have a list! Can we show the list?

STENGEL: Micronesia, Marshall Islands, most people have never heard of them. You can have the party in this room—

JANSING: Canada abstained, so -- they got invited, too.

STENGEL: Well, abstentions—It’s pretty desperate to have a party-- But of course, France, the U.K., Germany, our greatest allies, all voted against us.

(…)

JANSING: This doesn't have any policy implications, really, but is it really a big embarrassment? Does it mean anything?

STENGEL: No, I think we're making a lot more out of it. I mean, there is a lot of hypocrisy to go around here. I mean, the U.N. votes non-binding resolutions against Israel like three times a week, that happens all the time. But what is silly about it from our perspective is the Trump administration acted like this is something new. Like we're going to take names and give you detention after school. The United Nations has been voting against Israel for 40 years and we have been sticking up for it.

But what is also bad strategy is next week when Ambassador Haley has to go to the U.N. for support from North Korea, what are they going to do? “Hey, you took our name last week, why should I vote against North Korea?” When she goes to the U.N. in two weeks about, you know, we want to change policy about Iran.

(…)

STENGEL: And by the way, this idea that we give the most money to the U.N., which, of course, we do, that will never stop that will never change that doesn’t change people's behavior. And this, kind of, mafia-esque way of saying we might withhold that money as a threat, people realize is an empty threat.

(…)


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