MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell dissected President Donald Trump’s escalating battle with United States intelligence agencies during “The Last Word” on Wednesday.
The host came to two major conclusions: that even The New York Times has failed in covering Trump and that directors of the CIA, FBI and NSA are only remaining in their jobs because they believe they have a duty to protect the American people from the commander-in-chief.
O’Donnell read Trump’s latest broadsides against the intelligence community on Twitter, in which he said, “the Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive” and “perhaps Intelligence should go back to school.”
“No previous president has ever publicly attacked all of the heads of America’s intelligence-gathering agencies and all of the people working in those agencies,” O’Donnell reported. “That is what Donald Trump did today.”
“The New York Times initial reporting of what the president said today made no attempt at all to convey the profound presidential perversity of Donald Trump issuing a tweet this morning in which he screamed, ‘they are wrong’ at what he called ‘the intelligence people,'” O’Donnell explained.
“It is unusual for the president to pick a fight with his intelligence chiefs,” The New York Times published.
“That kind of reporting is total victory for Donald Trump,” O’Donnell declared. “The brainwashing is working. The outrage fatigue is working.”
“The New York Times is completely wrong. It is not unusual. What the president did today was not ‘unusual’ — it has never happened,” he continued. “To be unusual it has to have happened before, but not very often.”
“Unusual is not the word for what happened today,” he added.
The host also offered an alarming theory on why America’s intelligence leaders have not resigned.
“Donald Trump is now telling us that the people he appointed — he appointed — he put in charge of intelligence gathering for the defense of the United States of America should go back to school,” O’Donnell explained. “He’s telling us his choices for those jobs are incompetent.”
“Donald Trump is telling his followers that after two full years of the Trump presidency, the intelligence community as run by Donald Trump’s appointees is a complete failure,” he noted. “It is Donald Trump’s latest insult to the intelligence of his followers and his latest insult to the people he has appointed.”
“The only reason for the director of National Intelligence or the director of the CIA or the director of the FBI or the director of the National Security Agency to stay in their jobs after being publicly insulted by the president of the United States today is that they all recognize that the unstated threat to this country that did not appear in their written report is actually the president of the United States himself,” O’Donnell argued.
“And they are staying in those jobs to defend this country against the threat of the Donald Trump presidency,” he concluded.