tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 7, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
the whole point of walling it off, whether literally or just mentally walling it off, is so that you can buy time to remake the inside of it. >> the book is "mind eff." it's out tomorrow. christopher wily, thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. all you weeft viewers, i personally invite you to join me and adam mckay for a special stop on our why is this happening world tour in los angeles october 21st. going to be a blast. go to our website and get tickets now. that is "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow starts now. thank you at home for joining us this hour. it's become a regular thing where i start the show by saying, boy, wow, there's a lot of news. but honestly, come on. on a day like today, we could all admit that's where we are, right? it does feel like we're in just this kind of cycle right now.
there's so much happening so fast, basically every day now. the news cycle didn't slow down at all over this weekend that we just went through. today has been just remarkable. we have a ton of really big developments either directly related to the impeachment of president trump or sort of adjunct to that story. one of the things we'll be talking about a little later on in the show is this sort of stunning ruling from a federal judge today in which the judge said the president does, in fact, have to hand over his tax returns in response to a subpoena. and i know this sounds like groundhog day a bit. there have been a bunch of legal fights on this issue of the president's tax returns and financial records. what's notable and important about this one is, well, first, that this one is being handled really fast. the other ones have been tied up in court and seems like it's going to be indefinitely. today this federal judge's ruling didn't result in trump's tax returns being handed over
today. the judge's ruling was immediately appealed to a federal appeals court. but even that federal appeals court appears to be ready to move fast. they already demanded a very demanding schedule on this. they want their first briefs on this by the end of this week. they expect to be holding their hearing on this within a couple of weeks. the judge's ruling against trump was not only scathing against the president and his lawyers for trying to argue that he is not subject to any aspect of the criminal law, that he has immunity to break any law he wants and presidential immunity not only from prosecution but investigation, no matter his crime. but this judge today went further and argued that the justice department policies, chbz that, in fact, a president cannot be indicted, the judge today said those justice department policies themselves are kind of whack, and those
policies themselves should maybe be revisited. at one level, we got this stark ruling against the president today, which is about his tax returns. but at another level, this is an important step, i think, in what has become this president's effort to try to evade all legal scrutiny, not just the prospect of being indicted, but approximate prospect of being investigated. so that ruling today from a federal judge on one of the trump tax cases, that landed like a thunderbolt today. it's going to play out quickly over the course of what's left of this month. that's a big deal. i would stack that up in terms of its importance alongside the news that we got over the past couple of days that there is another whistle-blower from within the intelligence community who has come forward and who has become a client of the same lawyers who are representing the initial whistle-blower whose claims
about president trump led to these impeachment proceedings we're now going through. the second whistle-blower is also reported to be an official within the intelligence community. he reportedly is somebody who has even closer first-hand knowledge and experience of the president's behavior. that, again, has already led to this impeachment. we've already talked a bit on this show and it's become a matter of sort of building urgency, increasingly urgent concern. there's a lot of speculation, i think, for good reason around the country right now as to how president trump might react to being really cornered by this impeachment proceedings. he's never really gotten in trouble for anything in his life. all accounts seem to indicate that the president takes the prospect of being impeached very seriously and very negatively. what that means in terms of what we should inspect from hexpect terms of his behavior, it's an uncertain science.
but as this impeachment proceeding goes forward and does not slow down and continues to turn up more negative information about the president and his behavior, we are seeing some even weirder than usual behavior by the president. i don't like to focus on the president's statements too much, especially his online statements. i think he uses twitter basically to outrage people and get people talking about things on his terms rather than what otherwise might be driven by the news. so i try to sort of steer clear. that said, i do watch what he says, even if i don't talk about it a lot. the president today online opining apparently in all seriousness about what he calls, quote, my great and unmatched wisdom. as i have stated strongly before, just to reiterate, if turkey does anything that i comma, in my great and unmatched wisdom, comma, consider to be off limits. that just feels a little weirder than usual from the president.
what that statement from the president was about is something weirder than usual too. apparently on impulse or at least on zero notice after he completed a phone call with the president of turkey last night, the president got off that call and basically immediately announced a radical change in u.s. policy in syria, including what amounts to basically a complete abandonment of our allies in the country who we have been supporting financially and militarily to the point where we have sent lots of u.s. military advisers to serve alongside them. the president last night declared that as far as he's concerned, those allies that we have been working with, that u.s. service members have been serving alongside and propping up and supplying and -- the president considers them to no longer be our problem. if turkey wants to off all of them, who are we to say no? he said this immediately after getting off a phone call with the president of turkey
apparently with zero consultation with the u.s. state department, the u.s. military or anybody else in his government. he only consulted with the president of turkey, who got president trump to do exactly what he wants and to take a we got a in u.s. policy without talking to anybody in the u.s. government about it. and while i wouldn't put that past this president at any of the time that he has been in office, it happening now alongside some of the president's more unhinged public behavior and statements sort of feels like a coherent thing. we'll talk more about this suddenral change in u.s. policy, apparently dictated to the president without consulting anybody in the u.s. military, without even consulting any of his republican allies who have sometimes been able to tell him what to do on foreign policy. this one he apparently just rid of on his own in the middle of the night at the direction of some other country's president. so we will have some expert help on that coming up in the show. but i also think it's worth watching in the very short term,
like, as of tonight, whether that might get undone. part of the reason we'll talk about this big change in syria is i think it's worth watching whether or not the administration is right now in the process of trying to undo what the president announced last night. i think that's likely. i shouldn't say likely. i think that's possible, maybe even likely, because what the president announced with regard to syria has brought out even republicans like mitch mcconnell in the u.s. senate, brought them out of the wood work to stand up alongside the democrats and on this one say, no, mr. president, this is terrible. you are condemning our very dear allies to certain death. there are few things on which republicans stand up against president trump. this appears to be one of those rare instances. what we've seen over and over again is whenever republicans push back on president trump at all, the president does tend to cave and quickly.
so i think this is worth watching tonight because this was a new policy announced by the president in the middle of the night last night. there is a possibility that new policy will not make it till tomorrow morning. we shall see. i expect this to tcontinue to develop. when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. the going has definitely gotten weird over the last couple of weeks and over this weekend and into today. stuff is happening very quickly. part of the reason things might feel hard to follow right now is because of a little trick that is happening once again when it comes to the basic language that we're using to talk about the impeachment proceedings against president trump, and the core of this scandal that is not going away, that is continuing to develop in ways that aren't good for the president, that aren't good for the white house. these developments, as i said, i mean, armchair psychological is always dangerous, but he appears to be slightly driven up the wall as this scenario gets worse and worse for him.
back in 2014, a website called the verge ran this story about the ebola crisis. this was at a time when the ebola crisis in africa and the international worries about the spread of ebola, some real panic about the ability of modern medicine to responsibly handle active cases of ebola, it was really at its height. what the verge reported on was a number of stories that were suddenly appearing on social media, mostly on facebook, that were stories about the ebola crisis, but they weren't real stories. here's how the verge put it back in 2014. quote, there's a scary story bouncing around facebook accruing hundreds of thousands of likes. the story says that the small town of purdon, texas, has been quarantined after a family of five there was diagnosed with ebola.
now, at the time the verge reported on this in october 2014, fiver years ago, that story was shared 340,000 times on facebook. i mean, the ebola crisis was a real thing, purdon, texas, is a real town. there was no family of five that had come down with ebola. somebody just wholesale made this thing up to freak people out and to get clicks, which the origin -- so the verge ran this piece five years ago. fake news sites are using facebook to spread ebola panic. the verge covered this as essentially a scary offshoot of the ebola crisis itself, both in terms of the legitimate concern about ebola and there's the hysteria around the ebola
crisis. they were basically covering this as another thing to be worried about, made-up news stories being used to capitalize on those legitimate concerns and the panic. but those illegitimate stories were designed not to convey any real information, but instead to feek people out and divide people, to make people believe the worst about their fellow human beings. we started to see made-up news stories, not just about particular heat crises like that, but made-up news stories about supposedly horrific things done around the country, around the world that people were getting away with, things that would make you feel particularly badly about the state of humanity, particularly about specific human beings who you might already be predisposed to think the worst about. those made-up stories, that phenomenon of made-up stories, tailor made for getting lots of clicks on social media, that
spread from the money-making fringe of social media many 2014 and 2015 into ultimately a big part of the the foreign operation to influence our presidential election in 2016. craig silverman and lawrence alexander at buzzfeed had a landmark story on that phenomenon in the 2016 election. they published less than a week before voters went to the polls to cast their vote for hillary clinton or donald trump. this was the headline. how teens in the balkans are duping trump supporters with fake news. that story, that landmark story described purely made-up out of whole cloth stories on topics designed to generate likes and clicks, and yes, ad revenue. but also a tailoring of further online information with made-up stuff about how hillary clinton had secretly been indicted already and if she was elected, that indictment would be unsealed after the election. also the pope had endorsed donald trump for president. or a different fake story built
around a fake quote from hillary clinton in which she supposedly praised donald trump as honest and as a man who can't be bought. the story was that clinton in 2013 had said she would like to see a man like donald trump run for president because he's such an upstanding young man. that is not something that hillary clinton ever said. both the quote was fake and the story was fake, but, boy, did that circulate in the lead-up to the 2016 election. as did so many other of these false stories that were designed to freak people out and/or drive people toward one of two candidates in the general election. during our 2016 election there were a lot of foreign entities. there were russian government propaganda entities but also hidden authorship entities like bots and patrols that literally created untrue news stories out of thin air, stories that were designed to exploit and exacerbate existing divisions in the united states to turn americans against each other, to turn people generally toward the trump worldview, especially
enhance divisions among democrats or make democrats feel like it wasn't worth it to vote. these made-up stories were also just sort of brutalizing made-up outraged stories about terrible bar barrism to make you feel like we were at the end of the line in terms of human beings being able to live alongside one another. when we came to understand what russia did in the 2016 election, those made-up false stories designed to have a politically useful effect on audiences, we realized that was part of what russia did in their attack on us. it wasn't the biggest part of what they did, but it was alarming that they radically upscaled over the course of 2015 and 2016 this sort of counterfeiting of the news process. so that became part of our national discussion about what russia had done, what russia harnessed to try to interfere in our election in order to benefit donald trump. and the term that was most easily and specifically and conveniently applied to that phenomenon, the phrase fake
news, because these were, in fact, fake news stories generated for political purposes, that phrase was soon adopted by president trump and his campaign. and then ultimately by all republicans basically so that that phrase became theirs. and the way they used it, the phrase "fake news" no longer described the thing for which that phrase had been coined. it no longer described this specific aspect of the foreign interference in our election. the trump campaign and ultimately republicans converted that phrase so it would be used as an epithet against all journalists. any real journalism, particularly journalism critical of president trump, would be fake news. it was also just an easy undermining epithet for all types of reality-based journalism, all real media is fake news, all journalism is fake news, all reporters do fake news. and that had two effects. number one, it undermined journalism and the whole idea of objective facts being the basis
for political discussion and policy-making. but it also took away that phrase for a specific and legitimate use. i mean, them taking that phrase, fake news, and using it this new way sort of rendered mute, rendered linguistically impossible any analysis of that very real, very specific initial problem for which that phrase was coined. that's what they did with fake news. that is what they're doing now with the word corruption. >> everything to me is about corruption. >> i do care about corruption. >> corruption. >> corruption. we are looking for corruption. >> tremendous corruption. >> beyond corruption. >> we are looking at corruption. >> so, again, this doesn't pertain to anything but corruption, and that has to do with me. i don't care about politics, i don't care about anything. but i do care about corruption. >> you know, corruption is actually a real thing.
corruption has a specific meaning in english usage. i mean, if a u.s. president intervenes in the u.s. government selection process for the next venue from the g-7 conference and insists the best skrun in america is his own property, which, of course, would result in him being paid by all those foreign policy governments and the u.s. government for him hosting the g-7 conference at his place, i mean, that is corruption. if, for example, the president intervened in the decision-making process around whether the fbi headquarters would be rebuilt on site in washington or moved into the suburbs, if he changed the u.s. government's decision-making process on that subject in such a way that would result in a better business environment and less competition for his own trump hotel across the street from that construction site, i mean, that would be corruption. corruption is an actual thing. we don't even need to make up fake examples to show the most
blatant corruption you can imagine. diverting the vice president's trip to ireland so he had to stay on the other side of the freaking island from where his meetings were so u.s. taxpayers would have to put up the vice president and his entourage and the secret service and all the rest at the president's west cost of ireland resort while vice president pence took his east coast of ireland meetings, plus paying all the money to shuttle him back and forth across the entire country simply so the money paid for that trip from the u.s. taxpayers would find its way into the president's pocket. i mean, that is corruption. corruption is a real thing. that's word that has a real and specific useful meaning. similarly, the corruption of american foreign policy, so that instead of stevds national interest, u.s. foreign policy is diverted to serve the president's personal political ambitions, that is a form of corruption. and the reason we're having these impeachment proceedings is
because the president has now been caught for that. now that there's no question by the president's own admission, by the evidence provided by the white house, by one, looks like two whistle-blowers who appear to have nailed him for doing that, now that the president is being impeached for doing that, the president's response is just to say the word corruption over and over again. corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption, all i care about is corruption. i'm here to talk about corruption. i'm not corrupt, you're corrupt. impeach me? impeach adam schiff. he's the corrupt one. all i care about is corruption. all these people coming after me, they are corruption. when it comes to the accusation he has been flinging against vice president joe biden, the broader circumstance there is that joe biden as vice president was the american government's point person working with the government of ukraine to try to combat actual corruption in that country. and so, therefore, you have now
the president and had i see allies pointing at him and yelling corruption. he's the corrupt one, can't you tell? it's the same dynamic that we went through around this phrase, the fake news, right? the media tries to expose and fact check these fake stories that are being circulated to try to benefit trump. well, that effort itself, that fact checking effort, that's fake news. you're the fake news. everything insurgency fake news. the whole news media is fake news. what they're trying to do is take this word away from their accusers to try to make any reference to the president's corruption seem like this sort of muddy cross fair where there's allegations of corruption on all sides and who can say. as with their adoption and perversion of that phrase, fake news, they're trying to make us basically linguistically incapable of characterizing the very thing for which the president is being impeached. the president saying corruption
as as if he's a force for anti-corruption, given what he's being impeached for right now, i believe we're on a short time frame, before which we won't be able to use the word anymore to talk about this scandal for which the president is being impeached because by his sheer repetition of it and the adoption of it by his supporters and by the conservative media for it to mean the opposite of what the real english use of that word, the word will become meaningless. it will become something that is no longer available to us. it means both its real meaning and its opposite. an unusable part of this political drama. i am in los angeles tonight because i'm in the middle of the book tour for my new book, "blowout." and i feel oddly like writing parts of this book prepared me for more than i might have expected for this moment in the news for trying to understand
what's going on because one of the things i wrote about in the book is that one of the real benefits for russia being an oil and gas power is that vladimir putin has very much enjoyed using oil and gas as a weapon against other countries. he has used oil and gas to directly threaten and coerce other countries into doing what he wants. if he can shut the lights off in neighboring countries if they're dependent on russian gas. that's true in the immediately neighboring countries of the former soviet sphere. it's also true of big parts of western europe, including the nato powerhouse of germany. russia is not that strong a country. they don't have a strong academacademeconomy or military. but if they can turn off your source of heat in january, you might nevertheless have to do what they want. the other way russia has used oil and gas, particularly in the nation of ukraine, which putin would really like to have become
part of russia again, i don't know if he wants to rebuild the soviet union on a smaller scale minus soviet, but he's been taking parts of ukraine for himself. what has been handy about russia's oil and gas power in ukraine as putin tries to dominate it for his own purposes is that he's used his huge influence over the energy sector in ukraine to corrupt ukraine, to keep ukraine corrupt, to keep it corrupt on purpose so that ukraine's government stays weak so that russia can manipulate public institutions and politicians who it has corrupted by cutting them in on oil and gas deals. i mean, well before this current scandal, i was writing this freaking book in part how russia created a lay bray i can't tar pit of ukraine in a way that's handy to them. any politician that brushes up against that mess they have deliberately created there, even if that politician has brushed
up against it because they're trying to clean it up, those politicians can be called corrupt. they can be prosecuted because look at their proximity. before paul manafort it became donald trump's campaign chairman in 2016, running those kinds of operations against politicians in ukraine was kind of one of his political specialties. he was a real political guy in campaign who would run these ops. he would accuse them of corruption, even if their only proximity to real corruption was the fact that they were the ones cleaning it up. that was a manafort special in ukraine. back before he became trump's campaign chairman. it's what they're trying to do to zblooind ukraine today. we have since learned in this current scandal that his lawyer, rudy giuliani, has been regularly consulting with paul
manafort from prison on how best to make this this accusation against joe biden and how best to the leverage ukrainian government into helping trump slime joe biden with it. they've been consult winning manafort on that from manafort's prison cell. we learned in addition to trying to get together these words have no meaning accusations against joe biden to try to turn his anti-corruption efforts in ukraine into some sort of evidence of his corruption, we've since learned in the last few days that the other thing giuliani and his guys on the ground in ukraine have been working for is that they've been trying to do their own little deals. they've been trying to cash in on ukrainian natural gas opportunities. the a.p. telling this lured story about giuliani's guys on the ground in ukraine making an offer that nobody should refuse, touting their advanced knowledge that the u.s. ambassador to
ukraine was about to be fired and replaced, which, in fact, was true, and they did have advanced knowledge of it, touting their inside track on fourth coming u.s. government policy about ukraine, hiding their doeksz both giuliani and trump. with those connections, saying to an executive, hey, wouldn't you, my friend, like to find yourself becoming the new ceo with the biggest national gas company in this country? we can make that happen. all you got to do is hook us up thereafter with the contracts that will make us not just henchmen but oligarch henchmen. did i mention we're working with giuliani on this? watch, we'll make it happen. they're fighting corruption, remember? the a.p. has incredible reporting on this today. politico has incredible reporting on this turnover week. rudy told politico, and i quote, i may or may not know anything about it.
you got to give it to mayor giuliani, that is undoubtedly true. he may or may not know anything about it. zero pinocchios for that. but as the president is getting impeached for this scandal for trying to get help against the democrats and against his potential 2020 to presentoppone seeing an effort -- i'm rubber, you're glue, his way out of this. not just into some amorphous and unnecessarily kmiktd thing that doesn't have meaning, but to try to make his sins our sins. to try to absolve himself of his own crimes by putting what he did and what he and his henchmen in ukraine have been doing to put those crimes on everybody
else's rap sheet. and i know it is hard to follow the twists and turns of this story as it tons develop right now, but heads up on this part of it. we are in the middle of them trying to redefine this whole thing, to try to make this simple case as messy as possible, and to try to make it seem like whatever the president did must have been done by his accusers first, and worse. we've seen them do this before with language and with the no puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet argument. if it works against this impeachment thing, there's no grounds on which factually-based accusations can ever be brought against this president. if it doesn't work in this impeachment thing, we will have taken giant steps toward not being manipulated this way again like we have been so badly for the last three years. we have a person who i have somewhat wanted desperately to get on this show, tonight is the first time we have been able to
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the state department before serving in the obama administration first at deputy assistant secretary of defense, and then in the white house as a foreign policy adviser to vice president joe biden, and on obama's national security council as the director for russia. his op-ed in "the washington post" today is titled "only in trump's world, can what joe biden did in ukraine be considered corrupt." joining us is michael carpenter, center for diplomacy and global engagement. it's a pleasure to have you here. i've been looking forward to talk to you. >> thanks, good to be here. >> the reason i've wanted to talk to you since this scandal first broke open is because of your subject matter expertise here. there are very few people who have recently served in government at the kind of levels that you have focusing on that part of the world, knowing all the players involved, knowing all the dynamics almost in real time in terms of the recent nature of your government schlts can i just ask you your reaction
generally to the prospect that the president is going to be impeached based on how we know he has behaved toward ukraine. what's your attitude toward that seeming eventuality itself? >> of course that's a political call. i'm less well placed to speak about the politics of the impeachment vote in the house and the senate, but, of course, it is a gross abuse of power by the president to withhold security assistance to a partner that is engaged right now, in fact, in an ongoing war of attrition with russia in order to pressure that country's leadership to concoct false evidence to smear his political opponent. i mean, that is the definition of abuse of power. so the predicate certainly seems to be there, but the politics, i don't know how it will play out, frankly. >> in terms of how this is being fought over on the political battlefield, what you're seeing
from the president's allies is they are using the word corruption as both a shield and a sword, denying that it applies to the president's behavior, saying he's within his rights in accusing everybody from vice president biden to his accusers in the congress, to the media who's talking about it, calling everybody else corrupt trying to take the meaning out of that word so it no longer lands with such a sting when applied to him. i have to ask how you feel about the accusation of vice president biden having been sort of spotted alongside the notoriously corrupt ukrainian oil and gas industry and that that being a reason to call him -- to say he's the one that has corruption problem here. >> well, you've hit the nail on the head. this is really a sort of or we willian inversion of reality where black is white and white is black. in fact, vice president biden in 2014, 2015 after the revolution of dignity in ukraine was
pushing for ukrainian reformers to be able to fight corruption and to take on those entrenched interests that dogged the country since its independence and pushing for a prosecutor who was accused of shielding corrupt scandals and corrupt players, but also of being part of one with reference to subordinates engaged in a shakedown scheme that was investigated by two of his deputies, one of whom was fired, the other resigned in disgust, just shows you how the narrative has been completely inverted. i mean, this is a guy who everybody in the international community the imf, the eu, our own government have been related to calling in the fall of 2015 for this prosecutor's removal. and then vice president biden, when he traveled to ukraine in 2015 amplified those calls and demanded the prosecutor
general's office be thoroughly reformed. if that's corruption, then we're living in a parallel universe. that is called fighting corruption and standing up for reformers who want to do the right thing. >> michael, if you wouldn't mind holding with us, there's a new twist in this story that's been developed by politico turnover the past couple days, which is an allegation that while cooking up these allegations that the president's allies in ukraine may have themselves been trying to do some natural gas deals, i'd like to talk to you about that because of your subject matter expertise if you don't mind we'll be right back? >> sure. >> we'll be right back with michael carpenter right after this. stay with us.
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. as the president is going through impeachment proceedings over his efforts to get a foreign country to help him concoct accusations against former vice president joe biden that he can use in his 2020 re-election campaign, the associated press has broken this sort of as the worm turns story about the president's efforts to concoct these accusations in ukraine. can we put up that a.p. story? thank you. profit, not politics, trump allies so you go to ukraine gas deal. why not seek your own ukraine gas deal while you're trying to get ukraine to cook up accusations against joe biden related to gas deals? joining us once again is michael carpenter, who is currently the
senior director of the biden center for global engagement, former assistant secretary of defense. thank you for sticking with us. >> sure. >> as this story does sort of take these twists and turns, we've now got this associated press reporting that centers on how the president's lawyer, mr. giuliani and his accomplices on the ground in ukraine in addition to trying to come up with some negative story about joe biden, they were simultaneously also trying to make money by getting their own political allies onto the board of ukraine's biggest natural gas company and then trying to get gas contracts for themselves. the characters here are mysteries to me, but this dynamic i find somewhere between very funny and very tragic. i wondered if you can shed like on it for us. >> this is a truly remarkable story of how political corruption and economic corruption intersect. you have these two operatives
who reportedly work for mr. giuliani who troofld ukraine in the spring of this year in order to try to pressure ukrainian prosecutors to launch some sort of an investigation of vice president biden to smear him in the upcoming presidential campaign. then these very same operatives are trying to lobby for a change, a stacking of the board of directors of ukraine's largest natural gas company. if that weren't bad enough, then we find that the u.s. ambassador to the eu, gornld gordon sondland, the u.s. representative to ukraine, ambassador kurt volker, and the energy secretary, rick perry, all travel to the inauguration of the new ukrainian president, president volodymyr zelensky, in may and literally right after he is inaugurated and worn in, they are pressing him to change the board so that they can inplace
more friendly people onto what has hitherer to been an independent supervisory board. one of the folks was a campaign donor to mr. perry's presidential campaign. the other is a man who worked directly for the former energy administrator, the kelp coaccurate i can government of the former president for whom paul manafort worked and who likely has ties to manafort himself. these are the people they wanted on the board of this ukrainian gas company, and they wanted to remove the your opinioeuropeans americans who sit on the board today. >> to think they are there to clean up corruption and anyone who thinks this is untoward has a partisan ax to grind. michael carpenter, foreign policy adviser to joe biden,
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get started for free at ancestry.com . the last time president trump got off the phone with the president of turkey and immediately announced i am pulling all american troops out of syria, the last time he did that, he lost both hez defense secretary, james mattis, and soon thereafter his administration's point person on the fight against isis, brett mcgurk. they both basically resigned in protest against the president's decision. now, trump eventually walked back that decision. but now less than a year later, the president has done it again. again after a phone call with the president of turkey. although former defense secretary james mattis refuses to say anything about president trump at all, mr. mcgurk had choice words with the president today. he served add senior director for iraq and afghanistan in the george bush white house.
he was the special envoy for the campaign against isis under president obama. that's a role he continued under president trump until he resigned in protest at the end of last year. mr. mcgurk writes today, quote, course after one foreign leader call and two after consulting his military advisors. if anyone cares about trump and syria, he doesn't and his erratic swings heighten risk on the ground. it includes 80 countries to the military or stabilization mission in syria. leading a coalition happens before it is taken. the consequences from the oval value beyond the oval. trump said today we could crush isis again it regenerated.
with whom? who would sign up? who would fight on his assurea e assuranc assurances. they deserve deliberations. erratic swings favor far more adversaries in moscow, beijing and tehran. thank you for making time. >> thank you for having me. >> so you wrote today pointedly that a move like this one, in his process, you said you favored adversarieadversaries. why did you single out russia and china in iran and why does it benefit them.
>> the presidents do a lot of things. this is the most important thing they do. make decisions about their military personnel. we know from history that if those decisions are not made with deliberations with thought, with analysis, with facts, we can get ourselves into some trouble. we face competitors and adversaries. they have very long time horizons. they're implementing a long term plan. we have president trump whose wild swings in policy is increasing the risk to people on the ground but more importantly devaluating our ability to exercise leadership and power in the world. when i say devaluing the value in american handshake, american diplomats are on the front lines of the world.
and the value of an american handshake used to really mean something, i was part of the process. we were there from the united states and we needed your support and your troops and your forces and your money. and countries signed up because they trusted us. diplomats are not speaking for the country because nobody knows what donald trump will do from time to time. anyone that can influence him should get back to a deliberative process before the decisions are made. the con squepss can be quite far reaching. >> the prospect of a deliberate process on national secure matters feels more and more remote each day.
the policy process, as recognized in any other administration does not seem to exist in this administration, especially in matters that have the president directly involved. i'm struck by the fact that in light of that when you resigned from the last rash and erratic decision with syria, that was right after he got off of the phone with turkish leader er erdowan. the president just got rolled that he was pushed into making this rash decision. is there something about the president and one on one leaders that he is particularly susceptible to. >> the president had a lot of
bluster. the plans just totally back down. he is implementing a maximalist policy on iran. when it comes to turkey two calls in a row the president just completely backed down. i have been on two foreign leader calls and these calls are usually -- i was in the bush administrati administration, they are very well prepared. here is how we think he should answer this. they say they will consult and advise. i think is historically unprecedented. there is no precedent with the
national security team and the commanders to think through the consequences for different courses of action. this is the worst place to be. the president is making very clear to the world that he wants out of syria. and they're trying to find a way to stay in syria and they just buy enough time until they have another crisis with trump. it is a dangerous situation. i hope americans in their thoughts. i spent a lot of time in syria in this war against isis. i used to go in there every couple months. we have people on the ground tonight who are there under president trump's orders and they have no idea what they're supposed to do and it is just unacceptable if you're commander in chief. what he did through the entire policy process and left our people out there totally
exposed. >> brett mcgerk. you have a point whether or not you want to speak about these, i think it is a real service to the public that you can do interviews like this and talk about what you know. this and ta about what you know. ♪ (dramatic orchestra) performance comes in lots of flavors. there's the amped-up, over-tuned, feeding-frenzy-of sheet-metal-kind. and then there's performance that just leaves you feeling better as a result. that's the kind lincoln's about. ♪ steven could only imaginem 24hr to trenjoying a spicy taco.burn, now, his world explodes with flavor.
a state department counsellor who is ul rich brechbuhl is due tomorrow. he wase icalnlymistakenlingly i being on the call. turns out he wasn't on that call but mike pompeo was. we don't know whether or not he will show up for that deposition tomorrow but he is scheduled. also gordon sondland is expected to show up. he is the trump donor and novice state department official that appears to have been directly involved in the scheme to pressure the ukrainian government into helping the government with date of birth for the democrats for 2020. in advance of that they are reporting that a dozen house democrats are calling for the resignation for the state