On her MSNBC show Thursday afternoon, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace used an appearance by a former Bush-era national security expert to ask why President Donald Trump’s inner circle continue to let him tweet out “bleeping bonkers’ statements on Twitter when his words could plunge the U.S. into a shooting war with North Korea.
Speaking with analyst Juan Zarate, who served as a Deputy National Security Advisor for President George W. Bush, the Deadline: White House host challenged Zarate when he said administration officials like Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly have a duty to “speak truth to power” while they serve the president.
“They give the information that the president needs to hear,” Zarate explained about duties of Trump’s closest advisors. “They are truthful with their views, they don’t mince words, and I think they have to continue to do that.”
“They also have to serve the president, he’s the commander in chief, so they have to figure out ways of channeling the ideas and the policies he has in mind and to channel them in ways that are productive,” he continued before being cut off by Wallace.
“I have to stop you, I have to stop you. They have to ‘speak truth to power?’ ” Wallace skeptically asked. “Do you think any of them call him and say ‘that tweet you just sent out is totally bleeping bonkers. You’re marching us to war, you idiot.’? Do any of them say that? Yes or no.”
“It’s a great question and point. It goes to the article in the New York Times,” Zarate parried. “Which is, I think there’s a distinction between the hard policy issues that they are deal with and the day-to-day kind of political nonsense and theater that the tweets represent.”
“I not going to let you off the hook,” Wallace interjected. “They’re terrified about North Korea, Donald Trump tweets about North Korea. Do they confront him about his tweets about North Korea?”
“They certainly talk about the communication strategy,” Zarate offered causing the MSNBC host to laugh.
“The point here, Nicolle,” Zarate said as he soldiered on despite the laughter. “As you’ve looked at the policy roll-out on issues like Iran, like Afghanistan, the decision in Syria to intervene more wider rules of engagement in Syria and Iraq to go after ISIS, all of those have been much more methodical. they’ve been tempered and leavened by the advice he’s been given.”
You can watch the video below via MSNBC: