Rachel Maddow immediately discussed the damage that Trump is doing to the credibility of the US by exploring the perception that Trump launched the Syria military strikes to distract from the Russia scandal.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 14, 2018
As we follow the news in these incredible days that we have been having recently in our country. It is worth considering on a night like tonight that there are — there are national security consequences to having a presidency that is as chaotic as Mr. Trump’s presidency, a presidency that is as consumed by scandal and criminal intrigue as his presidency is. It has national security consequences when the president orders missile strikes on Syria on a night like tonight. The strategic effect of that strike will be assessed by both our allies and our enemies. Other countries and entities involved in the fight in Syria are considering their role in Syria are going to try to figure out how they’re going to react to this U.S. Strike. It will affect those other countries’ view of this strike. It will affect their reaction to it will, therefore, affect the utility of this military strike if the president of the United States is believed to have issued the order to launch this strike tonight even in part because people think he wanted to distract from a catastrophic domestic scandal that is blowing up at home at the same time.
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.
Rachel Maddow nailed the perception
It is impossible to avoid the perception that these strikes are taking place to distract from the Russia scandal. Trump loudly telegraphed that strikes were coming on Twitter, but the launch of these strikes on the same week that the Russia scandal has mushroomed and consumed the White House looks like a blatant attempt to change the subject and rally the country behind Trump.
Trump is so corrupt and not credible that people assume the worst in his motives because that is usually the truth.
Trump can’t distract from Russia with some illegal air strikes. The Russia scandal will continue to roll on, and Trump can’t wrap himself around the flag to save his presidency.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association