MSNBC’s Maddow: Perception Is Trump Launched Strikes on Syria to Distract from His Scandals

‘Even if the tail is not wagging the dog; even if you give the president every benefit of the doubt ...’
By Grabien Staff


MADDOW: "The perception that the president may have ordered these strikes in part because of scandal will affect the impact and the effectiveness of these military strikes. Unavoidably. Even if the tail is not wagging the dog. Even if you give the president every benefit of the doubt. Even if his calculations about whether to launch this action against Syria tonight was taken with absolutely no regard for what else is going on in the president’s life right now, what else is going on in the president’s life right now unavoidably creates a real perception around the globe that that may have been part of the motivation both for what he did and particularly for when he did it. And it is a sad thing and it is an upsetting thing in terms of American influence in the world and the risks we take when we use American military power anywhere. But that perception, that this president under this much siege may have made this decision that was in any way inflected by the scandals surrounding him, that by necessity has shaped America’s national security options for who we are in the world tonight and it will unavoidably shape the impact of this military action. We were on watch today for the U.S. Military to potentially launch some sort of strike versus Syria in reaction to the chemical attack that Assad launched on his own people last weekend. Tonight the “Wall Street journal” reported that the president was prodding his military advisers to agree to a large strike, a more sweeping strike in Syria, “Than they consider prudent.” The president wanting a bigger strike reportedly this evening according to the “Wall Street journal” than what his advisers thought was wise. Defense secretary James Mattis was said to be “Resisting.” The journal reporting tonight that over the past two days defense secretary James Mattis twice said no to strike opportunities in Syria but the journal further reported that James Mattis stood alone in that opposition. According to the journal’s reporting tonight, trump’s brand new national security adviser John Bolton “Favored an attack that would be ruinous.” Well, now the strike has been announced, although with no actual details from the president. This of course is life and death news that we have been waiting for and now we are watching very closely tonight. Now that the strikes have been announced by the president from the White House, we’ve now got to figure out the scale of the strike and its targets and its likely effects in every way.

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