CNN's Camerota: 'Embarrassed' Trump Trying to 'Wag the Dog' With Iran

On Monday’s edition of New Day, co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, along with their guests, conducted a segment on President Trump’s late night tweet promising “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” to Iran if they threaten the United States. During the segment, Camerota prefaced her analysis by saying “I don’t want to go full wag the dog.” She then proceeded to provide a full wag-the-dog explanation of Trump’s tweet:

 

 

When he’s embarrassed as he was last week he always looks for a distraction. And couple that with the idea that he also may be embarrassed by North Korea because it's not going the way that he promised. And they’re now reneging on things that he thought he had gotten.

Berman later went on to give credence to Democrat’s fears about Trump saying:

If you listen to liberal critics of the president, this is their worst nightmare. They’ve always worried that his words are going to start a war here. We're worried about what he might do to save himself politically. That is a genuine fear here.

This was then countered by CNN’s own reporting in his next sentence when he said “Barbara Starr is reporting there is no movement from the Iranian military. As far as we know this is just hot words from the President.”

This discussion echoed a common theme on New Day. The segment starts out with basic reporting of the facts. While the reporting of the news should be just that, the hosts then go on to act not as reporters but as political commentators and psychoanalysts of Trump’s thoughts and actions. If they want to act in that way, they should admit that openly instead applying a facade of being objective news reporters.

A transcript of the relevant segment is below.

New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman

7/23/18

6:12:25 – 6:14:47

ALISYN CAMOEROTA: John, I don’t want to go full wag the dog, but We know the president's strategy--

JOHN BERMAN: It’s a half wag. It’s a half wag, It goes to here not to there.

CAMEROTA: The president's strategy, he’s employed it over and over. We would be foolish not to absorb it and recognize it. When he’s embarrassed as he was last week he always looks for a distraction. And couple that with the idea that he also may be embarrassed by North Korea because it's not going the way that he promised. And they’re now reneging on things that he thought he had gotten. So is -- how are we to interpret what’s happening with Iran?

JOHN AVLON: Look, they escalated very quickly late on a Sunday on top of a speech by Mike Pompeo at the Reagan library. Very tough on Iran, explosive accusations including Rohani running a 95-billion-dollar hedge fund allegedly. But it’s that escalation of words in all caps from the President late at night that is really about war. Look, you used the tweets earlier. We know he’s talked about presidents using war as a political distraction. There’s no question that his rhetoric in North Korea does not mean reality. There is not any evidence of denuclearization. In fact, the opposite, that must be embarrassing to him. But setting up another fight with Iran, escalating very quickly, isn’t only politically dangerous. Obviously its geopolitically destabilizing, and there’s a contradiction here. Because while he’s is trying to cozy up to Russia, Russia is backing Iran in Syria. So these coalitions don’t make any sense. We know the animus there. We know this is only second to Hillary Clinton in terms of uniting elements of Donald Trump’s base. But this is a threat of war folks, make no mistake.

BERMAN: Yeah his good friend Vladimir Putin is exactly the guy who could lean on Iran. If he wanted to get something done on Iran or put pressure on them, ask the guy that he had a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with that supposedly went well. The one thing Putin said about Iran in the news conference after was actually talking about how he wished the United States hadn’t pulled out of the nuclear deal. So it’s not clear that the President got what he wanted out of that. Max look, this is, if you listen to liberal critics of the president, this is their worst nightmare. They’ve always worried that his words are going to start a war here. We're worried about what he might do to save himself politically. That is a genuine fear here. However, look, Barbara Starr is reporting there is no movement from the Iranian military. As far as we know this is just hot words from the President and in his head it is a rehashing of the greatest hits with North Korea saying hey, that worked great.


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NBDaily Iran CNN New Day Alisyn Camerota John Berman