Last night the MSNBC show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell broke the news that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had written a letter to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats. In the letter Schumer asked DNI Coats to immediately take steps to educate the president:
“Sen. Schumer, in a letter to DNI Coats: “I believe it is incumbent on you, Director Wray and Director Haspel to insist on an immediate meeting with the President to educate him about the facts…underlying the Intelligence Community assessments.”
Sen. Schumer, in a letter to DNI Coats: "I believe it is incumbent on you, Director Wray and Director Haspel to insist on an immediate meeting with the President to educate him about the facts…underlying the Intelligence Community assessments." https://t.co/XpB9oBeK0z
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 31, 2019
In this segment of the show O’Donnell warned of the dangers inherent in Donald Trump’s escalating battle with United States intelligence agencies. He also accused The New York Times of being brainwashed because of their reporting which appears to normalize Trump‘s extreme behavior in attacking U.S. intelligence agencies.
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.
The Times had written this: “It is unusual for the president to pick a fight with his intelligence chiefs.”
O’Donnell then declared:
“That kind of reporting is total victory for Donald Trump. 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. To be unusual it has to have happened before, but not very often.”
“Unusual is not the word for what happened today.”
O’Donnell 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.
CLICK HERE to watch the video from MSNBC.