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Morning Joe Rips Rudy, Bolton for SecState, Calls Corker ‘No-Brainer’ for Job

Morning Joe Rips Rudy, Bolton for SecState, Calls Corker ‘No-Brainer’ for Job

Rudy Accused of Profiteering from 9/11, Bolton Called a ‘Neo-con on Steroids’

Morning Joe spent its opening segment scalding the notion of either Rudy Giuliani or John Bolton as Secretary of State in the Trump administration. Giuliani was described as completely unqualified for the job, and someone who has personally profited off national security matters, a la the Clintons. Bolton was blasted as a “neo-con on steroids” whose views are out of sync with Trump’s, and is “donor-driven,” with Sheldon Adelson’s name being dropped.

So who’s Scarborough and company’s pick for SecState? Joe and Mike Barnicle called the selection of Tennessee Senator Bob Corker a “no-brainer.” Maybe so, but not necessarily in the way they meant it. Corker is infamously the man who facilitated President Obama’s disastrous Iran deal. Corker has been castigated across the conservative spectrum, as here, here, here and here.

Note: among the linked articles blasting Corker for facilitating Obama’s Iran deal is one from Breitbart. You’d guess that Trump’s senior adviser Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart, is no Corker fan.

Note segundo: Elise Jordan is a former adviser to the relatively isolationist Rand Paul, so no surprise she’d be opposed to any neo-con.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And now [Rudy’s] now he’s running around saying I will not be Attorney General, which he said to him, I’m not going to be Attorney General but I will be Secretary of State, something that he’s temperamentally not qualified to be, and he’s not qualified to be it based on any experience or training or any contacts. Donald Trump, as Michael [Steele] said, owes nobody nothing.

. . .

ELISE JORDAN: I felt like the John Bolton speculation

JOE: Oh my God!

JORDAN: — is also very donor-driven

JOE: It is donor-driven.

JORDAN: — and it’s because John Bolton is so popular with the AEI crowd, with the big with the donor crowd, and that’s someone I feel who made edgeways by saying, oh, Trump’s not that bad, Trump could be tolerable, and now is really trying to go in for the big win.

. . .

JOE: Sheldon Adelson, for instance. We are talking with John Bolton, there’s another great example, John Bolton is a bigger neocon than Dick Cheney, but the donor class is pushing Bolton on the Trump campaign, on the Trump team and he just doesn’t need him. Could you explain what a wreck, Elise, as somebody that knows, that for foreign policy what a massive neocon on steroids John Bolton is?

. . .

JORDAN: It’s just incredibly disappointing that one of the things I think Trump can do really effectively is curb corruption, curb the pay-to-play in Washington that’s so rampant, and then Rudy Guiliani who has benefited and profiteered so much from the national security state, is in line to be the next Secretary of State.

JOE: We always do that “Drunk Rudy Giuliani,” he’s drunk with his own power . . . Everything that Donald Trump campaigned against, John Bolton is for. For the invasion of Iraq in 1998, he still thinks invading Iraq was the right thing to do, he wants to invade Iraq now, he wanted to go harder into Syria: everything.

JORDAN: We didn’t go hard enough into Libya. That’s his critique of Obama: not that we went in, that we didn’t go hard enough.
. . .

JOE: And again, you have Rudy Giuliani, who’s gotten rich off of national security interest, just like Hillary.

JORDAN: That’s his huge business right now. And I think Qatar is a huge client, and he talks frequently about the men that he lost on 9/11 in that horrible tragedy and then he’s had some pretty shady ties with a lot of the regimes who were involved in 9/11.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI Still ahead on Morning Joe . . . the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee joins us.

JOE: By the way, a guy that has not been out promoting himself, which is exactly the sort of temperament you would want as your Secretary of State.

MIKE BARNICLE: That’s a no-brainer.

JOE: That’s a no-brainer!


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I would not hesitate to appoint Bolton. But, that does not mean President Trump and I see eye to eye on this. He is the President and pick anyone he likes.

Is there no end to the sour grapes coming from the media, or are we just reveling in their discomfiture? Hillary wasn’t qualified to be SoS, and she pretty well mucked it up. I don’t see Rudy in that role, but the fact that he made money on his security business is a false equivalent to Hillary selling out the country, using her vaunted perch to do it, to make her millions. And the fact that they point out that appointments are donor driven is really hypocritical when all of Hillary’s actions were donor driven, even the ones that compromised national security. So weary of the clueless and tone deaf media.

    MattMusson in reply to phdwyphe. | November 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

    The Media was so horrendously wrong about the election last week. This week they are back to knowing everything about everything.

Slow Joe must like Kerry or the wonderful lady before him. Yawn. Last time I checked, his job was to report the news and keep his opinions to himself.

Bolton would be my first pick, hands down. I’ve never seen Rudy (another NE Progressive GOPe guy) as Sec. Of State.

Corker is a dead letter.

I would think there’s a fairly deep bench of career diplomats at State who we’ve never heard of before who could do the job very well.

    Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | November 16, 2016 at 12:24 am

    The last people you want to put in charge of the State Dept. are career diplomats. I was a Naval intel officer for twenty years. It is the consensus within the intel community (outside of DoS’s own Bureau of Intelligence and Research; INR is a member of the IC, and frankly they may secretly agree with the consensus but I never asked anyone in INR for their opinion on it) that the DoS is more of a threat to national security than anything else. And it isn’t just because they never could be trusted to protect classified information (in 2011 Clinton sent out a memo warning Dept. personnel to protect classified; her husband Billy Jeff’s secretary of State had to give a speech to issue the same warning, nothing ever changes there).

    It’s also because the senior career personnel at DoS are a font of dangerous ideas and harmful and weird obsessions.

    Cozying up to Iran as our regional security partner wasn’t Barack Obama’s own original idea. And I’m just saying that because his Rasputin, Valerie Jarrett, put that idea into his head. No, that had been the firm conviction of the professionals at State years before Obama was elected. The professionals at State have a religious faith in the magic of the “Mideast Peace Process.” The professionals are convinced that if they can twist Israel’s arm and force it to accept a two state solution and recognize a Palestinian state regardless of conditions on the ground, such as the Palestinians continued refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist and their continued support of terrorism, then we’ll have peace with the Islamic world. Yes, the Muslims will stop fighting India over Kashmir, Thai Muslims will stop blowing up Thai Buddhists, and Indonesian Muslims will stop killing Christian schoolgirls and Australian tourists if only the Palestinians could get their own state.

    I’m not making any of this up and I’m not exaggerating. These ideas aren’t even sane. Trump says he wants to drain the swamp. DoS is part of the swamp. Only someone like Bolton can drain it. He has held positions at Dos (as well as other departments and agencies) in several Republican administration but he is no career diplomat. I’m sure he is aware, more aware than I, of the same dysfunction I’m describing.

Thanks MSM, but we decline to take advice from the people who got everything wrong about this election. Quite frankly, we don’t understand why you still have jobs.

“In certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords” – Firefly

After cleaning up the puke from keyboard post looking at these mugshots, I had to ask myself “And these guys represent “draining the swamp?” HAHAHAHAHAH

Anyone paying any attention to the previous months really believe that Rudy could be the chief diplomat for the US.
Loudmouthed bloviator is more like it.
Lest anyone forget
War is the failure of diplomacy.
Rudy is not the person to represent our country, but then neither is the one who will be making the selections.

    Lee: “Anyone paying any attention to the previous months really believe that Rudy could be the chief diplomat for the US.”

    Gosh golly, do you think just maybe his demeanor would be a tad different if he was representing the United States?

    “War is the failure of diplomacy.”

    Weak diplomacy is the major cause of war, Neville. For example, greenlighting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for “good will” is very likely going to result in millions of people incinerated.

    “Rudy is not the person to represent our country, but then neither is the one who will be making the selections.”

    Still throwing a temper tantrum, I see.

      Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 15, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Fen, just the other day….

      “And I say “your” side because all your tactics here are those of the Left – the constant ad hom, personalizing the political, distorting what the Republican candidate said, the bullying and then running to the blog admins when you get punched back…”

      See? Master Projectionist, natural bully.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | November 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

        Don’t know who “Fen” is but I don’t see the equivalence

        There’s certainly a tone in his post but it is not ad hominem such as “you’re a lying liar who lies” and “you’re collectivist scum” that we see from your posts.

        The closest thing you have is the “throwing a temper tantrum” remark, but is it really far off base? Contrast your comment above on Bolton as a moving on comment with Lee Jan’s sulking comment. There’s a pretty clear difference there.

burn it down.
gingrich as sos
watch heads that had exploded prior to this reconstitute and re-explode.

Very often when we get a new President we also get an essentially unknown éminence grise. Woodrow Wilson had the mysterious Colonel House; FDR, Harry Hopkins; Nixon, Henry Kissinger. Bill Clinton, who never managed to move into the big time, had some kid, Stephanopoulos, and his own malignant wife. And Obama, Valerie Jarrett. In all cases their job descriptions remain vague. And the public is invariably mystified: Who? I don’t remember voting for any such person. Apparently, these people usually mystify Congress, too.

We haven’t seen this phenomenon yet with Trump … and I suspect we won’t. He seems confident of his ability to dominate old Washington hands and so has no reason to keep them out of his cabinet.

Which is fine with me.

I agree that Corker is a “no-brainer”, in that only someone without a brain would propose him for any position after his abysmal performance.

When I am presented with what Morning Joe or some other cable TV news/entertainment show thinks, if a reason for me to care what they think isn’t included, I pass. Seriously… who cares what anyone on Morning Joe thinks, why they think it, and why this unending train of articles on what the folks on Morning Joe think? What is learned by reviewing what these clowns in particular think?

I’m not snarking. I’d honestly like to know.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    The author explained in another article that he covered this show for another blog before and came over to LI to do it here.

    I don’t really get the rationale either, but it isn’t worthless. It’s the closest thing to a conservative viewpoint on a liberal black hole of a network and that’s informative, even if often wrong.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 15, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Worth is decided by the eye of the beholder, not declaration. I don’t care what the two have to say. One can predict with high accuracy what they are going to say on any given topic. There is zero intellectual profit for me. Mr. Finkelstein is not the only LI contributor enamored with Morning Joe. To each his own and all, but I fail to see the why of it.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Henry, I think you raise a very fair question.

    I came to LI from NewsBusters, where the stated mission is to expose and combat liberal media bias. I am continuing that mission here. Morning Joe is unquestionably the most-watched morning show by the political elites, and thus is influential.

    So I see my job as ‘going behind enemy lines’ and reporting back on what those elites are thinking.

    Also, I do usually find it entertaining. Given its 3-hour length, guests and panelists have time to get deep into their views, etc.

    I don’t know if you’re a Trump fan, but before a falling-out with Joe and Mika, he was a frequent telephone guest and got a lot of good exposure via the show.

    Hope that’s responsive to your question.

      I get it Mark. Appreciate the coverage of the sewer so the rest of us don’t have to wade in.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Mark Finkelstein. | November 15, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for responding. Like I said, give me the topic coming tomorrow to Morning Joe and I’ll tell you what they’ll say in advance with…. 90-95% accuracy? You could as well, I’m sure. Half the LI readers could.

      I’m thinking it isn’t all that difficult to determine what political elitists are thinking and saying, and I’m not sure how representative Morning Joe is. Joe SCarborough is the show’s ‘conservative’ in the same way that David Brooks is the ‘conservative’ at the NYT. Stagecraft, Kabuki, a scripted sitcom pitting goofball liberal against rock-ribbed conservative. Per the script, not reality, of course.

      Love your work, Mark, and I’ve been negligent in saying so. Thanks for responding.

      Um, I’ve been asking for free doughnuts in the LI lobby, with no luck x five years. I don’t suppose….?

Something to think about: The position of SecState normally does *not* involve much diplomacy. State visits only happen after all of the diplomacy is over and done. They direct the department, and influence how the US is seen outside our borders, but strategic decisions are passed down from the presidency, and advice on what these decisions should be are passed *up* from the diplomatic staff. SecState is a conduit for the advice and direction, as well as a ‘face’ for the US, but never fall prey to thinking the SecState *is* the department.

With that in mind, I’m leaning to Bolton. Corker’s going to be tainted by the Iran deal until his grandchildren go to the Senate, Newt can be amazingly abrasive and has a bad tendency to tell you just exactly what he thinks of other’s stupidity, and Rudy I think would be more suited to something in the Justice dept. AG perhaps?

    Newt can be amazingly abrasive and has a bad tendency to tell you just exactly what he thinks of other’s stupidity, …

    That’s exactly the POINT of putting Speaker Gingrich in that position. I’m ALL in favor of a “force-projection” cabinet. A group that will (in private) tell you to your face that you’re being a moron, get with the program and start making progress on fixing the issues.

    Clinton was a failure as Sec. State because she was too buried in her own graft and too afraid to piss anybody off. Somebody in the position really needs to be ready, willing and able to say “take it or leave it, but THIS is the way things are going to be if you want US involvement.”

    LEVERAGE is going to be the name of the game.

Whoever is appointed Secretary of State needs to do massive amounts of cleaning house/firings or their term will be a failure.

During the Bush administration, the State Department was in open revolt which didn’t help things with relations with other countries. While Hillary was in charge, the Department had a too cozy relationship with the Clinton foundation.

    Yep. The “career civil servant” needs to be brought in, sat down and told “there’s a new sheriff in town. Toe the line, you’ll be fine. Oppose a direct command, or attempt in any way to divert, delay or otherwise damage directed foreign policy and you’re fired immediately.”

    ALL of the political appointees from the Obama administration have got to go, and likely all of their immediate subordinates. Then take on the line-workers on an ad-hoc basis.

GINGRICH!!!! Gingrich, Gingrich, Gingrich Gingrich, GINGRICH!!!!

(jumping up-and-down, shouting).

He’s got the background, he has the historical perspective, he’s got the leadership experience, he’s got the demeanor, and he’s got the chops to be willing and able to go toe-to-toe with the “intelligentsia” in Europe and remind they why we had to save their asses from speaking German twice in the last century.

In other news, Michael Gerson of the Washington Post advises Trump to betray his friends, especially Steve Bannon, because Bannon “ran” Breitbart News. Like the rest of the MSM articles about Bannon, he just cannot quite bring himself to admit that Bannon had professional titles, namely among other things, co-founder and former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. Breitbart’s circulation is now greater than that of the Washington Post.

Gerson’s description of Breitbart News is not recognizable to me, and I am a regular.

He seems to think that the publication of actual news stories that the Washington Post tried to spike in this election, namely the use of the State Department by John Kerry and Hillary Clinton as a means of emolument for their children, the questionable relationship between State Department decisions and very large donations to the Clinton foundation, and of course emails disclosing the avid co-operation of the Washington Post and the New York Times with the Clinton Foundation, are all “conspiracy theories.”

And, he blamed the corrosive atmosphere created by the collusion between the Clintons and the news media to focus on character assassination instead of the issues

reprints a laundry list of lies perpetuated by his media, and claims this is going to smash the unity of the country.

At least, he hopes so.

Shame on you, Michael Gerson. Once upon a time, I thought you were a decent human being. You have just given me reason to doubt that evaluation.

Corker did not facilitate the deal. Stop perpetuating that lie. He did everything possible to stop it, but everything possible proved not to be enough. What he did squeeze out of 0bama was a waiting period, an agreement that he would not implement any deal before giving Congress time to try to put together the 2/3 vote in each house needed to forbid him from doing so. When the deal was signed 0bama did give them that time, but the numbers just weren’t there. The alternative to the Corker bill was not no deal, it was 0bama implementing the deal as soon as it was signed. Whoever tells you otherwise is lying to your face.

Corker agreed to abrogate the treaties clause and allow the Iran deal to go forward on a simple majority. Very stupid. He should not be given a high position. He is a squish and holds WTP in disdain.

    Milhouse in reply to lawdoc. | November 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    You are either too ignorant to comment on constitutional matters, or a damned liar.

    Corker did not “abrogate” anything, or “allow” anything. The Iran deal did not need anyone’s approval. 0bama had the authority to implement it without even informing Congress, let alone consulting it. He had no need to have it ratified as a treaty, and therefore no intention of doing so. The only way to stop him was for Congress to pass a law forbidding it, and then to override his veto. Corker managed to squeeze out of him a promise not to implement it before giving Congress time to pass such a law. 0bama didn’t have to agree to even that.