October 7, 2019


Fox News in Disarray as Hosts Struggle to Digest Trump's Betrayal of the Syrian Kurds (Robert Mackey, October 7 2019, The Intercept)

"What a disaster, I mean, the president's statement through Stephanie Grisham is, you know, 'We defeated the caliphate, the caliphate's destroyed.' We would not have done that without the Kurds, who did all of our fighting," Kilmeade said to his stunned co-hosts on the morning show. "Now we're saying, 'Okay Turks, go wipe them out, or force them out.' What kind of message is that to the next ally that wants to side with us?" he asked.

When another of the show's hosts, Steve Doocy, tried to defend Trump, saying, "I think the president is doing exactly what he wants to, because he has made from the get-go very clear, campaign promises-" Kilmeade interrupted to ask sarcastically, "to release ISIS fighters?"

Later in the morning, the show's hosts looked deeply uncomfortable as Sen. Lindsey Graham, another regular Trump supporter, lambasted Trump's decision as "impulsive."

"I hope I'm making myself clear, how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view," Graham added. "This to me is just unnerving to its core. To say to the American people ISIS has been destroyed is not true."

Doocy once agains tried, without much force, to argue Trump's corner, telling Graham, "Senator, there are a lot of military families who would like to see our personnel come home."

Later Monday morning, the hosts of "America's Newsroom," Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, looked taken aback when Fox Middle East correspondent Trey Yingst offered a clear and unstinting description of Trump's about-face as a broken promise.

"Bill, the Kurds had an agreement with the Americans: help the West battle ISIS in exchange for protection of their people. This was a promise made by President Trump, and a promise that today, according to the White House, will not be kept." Yingst reported live from Jerusalem.

The Humiliation of Lindsey Graham (CHARLES SYKES October 07, 2019, Politico)

[T]his was at the heart of Graham's Bargain.

Graham told himself: by staying close to Trump, he could influence him and prevent horribly bad decisions. Others made the same calculation, but Graham made the uber-tradeoff, because the stakes were so high. What did it matter if he had to endure temporary embarrassments, abase himself on cable television, or even become a political punchline, if he could stop Trump from impulsive decisions regarding Russia or North Korea? Or Syria?

The world saw Graham as a craven, cringing Uriah Heep. Graham saw himself as someone who could save the world, or at least the Kurds.

Graham calculated: If he didn't play golf with Trump and indulge his penchant for pillow talk, Trump would be putting and chatting with Rand Paul, listening to the counsels of isolationism, appeasement and international amorality. He was not simply the adult in the room; he was the adult BFF in the room, who would temper Trump's worst instincts.

And then came Trump's decision.

Despite Graham's compulsive turd-polishing of the last few years, Trump didn't even consult him before making the decision to abandon the Kurds. Graham, who had given up so much self-respect to prevent just this outcome, was not even in the room. He didn't even get a text.

Posted by at October 7, 2019 9:40 PM