On MSNBC’s Wednesday edition of “Morning Joe,” co-host Mika Brzezinski went on a long monologue urging President Trump’s cabinet members to consider taking action —including potentially invoking the 25thAmendment —to remove him from office after he called Stormy Daniels “Horseface” on Twitter. Brzezinski saw the comment as clear evidence that Trump is “not fit to lead” and too mentally ill to be president. The MSNBC personality even vaguely suggested that Trump’s cabinet should look beyond the 25th Amendment for “something else” to remove him from power.
Brzezinski also saw Trump’s refusal to immediately condemn Saudi leadership for its role in the alleged murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as further evidence of Trump’s purported lack of psychological fitness and lamented that Trump is turning America into “an international joke” [video; emphasis mine]:
Look, women and men should not behave this way, and we should call it out. And actually, I just -- for me, this is one of the many, many, many ways this president has shown us that he is not fit, possibly not even well.And I don’t understand the people in this administration taking matters into their own hands and trying to sort of stick it out because they can keep things together.
On the foreign policy front, he is cratering our reputation.He is making us an international joke. We are losing our influence because this is the type of man who calls a woman a “horseface,”by the way, a woman he choose to have sex with, so I don’t even know where that begins and ends, and I wouldn’t want to pick that apart.
But, if you look at how he is speaking on the international stage about the murder of a Washington Postreporter. That itself should be deeply disturbing to anybody who works inside the White House, works on the national security team, works in the State Department. At some point, you are working for a president who is not fit to lead, who’s gonna do something crazy in five minutes, one hour, tonight or tomorrow.
Like, what more do you need to hear from him to start thinking 25thAmendment or something else?
This is not okay. This is not normal, and this is where we are.
Even without consulting the APA’s official diagnostic manual for mental disorders, I’m willing to bet that no entry can be found that describes insulting a woman’s appearance as an actual criterion for any mental illness (especially a woman who has repeatedly gone on national television to describe Trump’s privates as “tiny” and mushroom-shaped).
On a more serious note, Brzezinski’s argument that Trump’s cabinet should depose him over his remarkably tempered reaction to the disappearance of Khashoggi is particularly deranged, especially given that, for the moment, there is still no concrete evidence of Khashoggi’s death, let alone that he was murdered on the express orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Most American media organizations circulating reports to that effect are, by their own admission, relying almost entirely on reporting from pro-Erdogan Turkish outlets, which are themselves depending on purported leaks by high-level Turkish government officials:
NY Times on Jamal Khashoggi audio:— Alex VanNess (@thealexvanness) October 17, 2018
“A senior Turkish official confirmed the details that were published in the pro-gov daily newspaper Yeni Safak.”
“Has obtained information indicating...” & “sources indicate“
This is a game of telephone with hearsay information. pic.twitter.com/027pe6q9sO
Turkey, which sees Saudi Arabia as a rival for political dominance of the Sunni Muslim world (previously enjoyed for several centuries by the Turks’ own Ottoman Empire), should never be a sole source for stories that are clearly designed to harm the Saudis’ international interests in favor of its own ambitions.
To the extent that other sources are being used to support the U.S. mainstream media’s current narrative about Khashoggi, many of them are also Islamist or Islamist-friendly media outlets sponsored by or otherwise related to the Qatari or Iranian governments, which both count themselves as Saudi rivals as well, albeit for different reasons than Turkey.
Amazingly, some American reports have even relied on a man as a source who was a close working partner of a financier currently sitting in an American jail for his role in the attempted Al-Qaeda/Libyan-led assassination of then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullahback in the early 2000s. According to PJ Media [emphasis mine]:
But in the past 24 hours we now have a glimpse of exactly who is feeding the establishment media reporting on the Khashoggi matter -- including at least one source who was tied to a joint Libyan intelligence and al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the Saudi crown prince.
Earlier today, Yahoo News published an article quoting an associate close to Khashoggi. The source conveniently said that President Trump's criticism of the media is directly tied to the alleged decision by the Saudi Crown Prince to have Khashoggi murdered.
The source for this article and the allegation is Khaled Saffuri […]
Saffuri also appears as a named source in a Daily Beast article from earlier this week on Khashoggi's alleged pro-democracy efforts.
It would be helpful to explain to our readers just who Mr. Saffuri is.
Khaled Saffuri is the protege ofal-Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is currently serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison for his role as bagman for the Libyan/Al-Qaeda assassination plot.
Remarkably, Saffuri's ties to terror financing were reported on shortly after the 9/11 attacks by none other than Michael Isikoff -- one of the authors of today's Yahoo News article. Yet Saffuri's background is never mentioned.
Saffuri got his start in Washington, D.C. as Alamoudi's deputy and chief lobbyist of the American Muslim Council.
Even when the American media has relied on its own reporting in the Khashoggi case, the information that they do have seems to be in tension (if not in outright contradiction) with the notion that Khashoggi’s presumed death was a deliberate assassination ordered by the Saudi crown prince. According to the Washington Post [emphasis mine]:
A week ago, The Post reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had intercepted communications among members of the Saudi government indicating that Khashoggi was being targeted. The aim, the paper reported, was to lure Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime and the crown prince, back to Saudi Arabia, where he would be arrested. It was Mohammed himself who ordered the operation, according to The Post’s reporting.
Assuming that the Post’s sources and interpretation of them here are correct, why would the Saudis plot to abduct Khashoggi so that he could be arrested if they really wanted to assassinate him all along? This would seem to be an important point for reporters with access (as the Post does) to proper intelligence officials to figure out as this story continues to develop.
Suffice it to say that regardless of the ultimate truth value of the charges of murder against the Saudi government and crown prince , the overwhelmingly obvious coordination of the international media’s narrative about Khashoggi and that narrative’s almost exclusive basis on the claims of Saudi rivals should give any reasonable person pause to wonder what is really going on here.
Far from the hysterical reaction of Brzezinski calling for Trump to be overthrown in a legalistic coup-d’état, Trump’s sober reaction to this controversy has thus far been exactly what Americans should expect from an independent and thoughtful leader, not a reason to declare him mentally unfit to lead the country. Before calling for Trump to be deposed again, perhaps Brzezinski should put aside her personal feelings about having her own appearance mocked by the president and actually consider the facts as they exist in reality.