MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski accused President Donald Trump Wednesday of withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal only “to deflect from” the various scandals plaguing him and his administration.
Trump frustrated Democrats and mainstream media members Tuesday when he announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated.
Trump, who repeatedly promised during the 2016 presidential campaign to pull the U.S. out of the accord, told the world Tuesday, “When I make promises, I keep them.” The president also reimposed sanctions on Iran Tuesday.
But the intensely anti-Trump Brzezinski bemoaned Trump’s decision while speculating that the president only withdrew to distract the nation and the world from other controversies.
“Our allies are upset, for sure, at a time when I think the president’s sanity is being questioned globally,” Brzezinski said. “It was a campaign promise, it does appeal possibly to his base. But the totality of this president’s behavior and decisions does lead me to question why he does anything, and whether or not it’s to deflect from something else.”
“I don’t think [Trump] has the moral compass to make a decision based on our own national security even, at this point,” Brzezinski added.
Brzezinski seemed unable to comprehend why the president possibly could want to withdraw from a deal that he described Tuesday as “a great embarrassment to me as a citizen.” Trump said in a speech in March 2016 on the campaign trail that one of his top priorities as president would be to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”
This is the same deal that national security adviser John Bolton told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an exclusive interview Tuesday “has been flawed from the beginning.” Bolton said that “it’s in our security interests to get out of this flawed deal,” noting that Trump “clearly advertised he was going to do [this] as far back as the 2016 campaign.”
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Even the anti-Trump retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who used to oppose the Iran deal, lamented that Trump followed through on fulfilling his campaign promise Tuesday when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump “did campaign on this, and he is following through on it.”
“I just don’t think that it’s a wise move,” Flake said. “Oftentimes, when you get into office, you realize that, ‘Hey, that may have worked in the campaign,’ or that was a good line or whatnot, but you realize it’s not good for the country at this point.”
But Brzezinski insisted that Trump only withdrew from the deal because the move would dominate a news cycle that had been focused previously on plumbing the depths of the ongoing Stormy Daniels saga. The porn star alleged that she had an affair with Trump more than 10 years ago.
Trump ultimately reimbursed Michael Cohen, one of his personal attorneys at the time, for the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet about allegations Trump has denied as part of a nondisclosure agreement.
Although Trump claimed in early April that he had no knowledge of the payment, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani clarified Thursday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that Trump “didn’t know the details” of the agreement until “a couple of weeks ago.”
Giuliani, now a member of Trump’s legal team, told Fox Business Network the same day that “the president reimbursed [Cohen] out of noncampaign contribution money, private money, his money, and he did it over the course of 2017.”
Mainstream media outlets and pundits devoured the controversy and feverishly reported and discussed it. And Brzezinski seemed to resent the fact that Trump’s Tuesday Iran deal announcement distracted outlets from controversies like the Daniels payment.
But Brzezinski need not fear. Although Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal significantly dominated Wednesday’s news cycle, the mainstream media networks were obsessed with negatively covering Trump’s withdrawal. Reporters and guests on CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CBS alike bemoaned that a now “isolated” U.S. cannot be “trusted” because Trump succeeded in undermining its “commitments.”
But Bolton responded to critics Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” saying that the U.S. still is committed to working “with the Europeans and others not only on the nuclear issue, but on Iran’s ballistic missile development, its continuing support for terrorism, and … military activities that jeopardize our friends, like Israel and the Arab States in the region.”
But Bolton warned that any actions the U.S. takes must “do something effective about Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East and not paper it over and pretend that we’ve actually stopped them.”