March 1, 2017

We could spend all day wondering why MSNBC has Hugh Hewitt on their payroll. My theory is he makes the billionaire friends of Andy Lack and Phil Griffin think about their tax cuts some more.

After the so-called president read some words last night, Hugh Hewitt was given several minutes of air time to tell us what Trump really meant and how it was awesome and then he name-dropped a bunch of conservatives he's talked to and his upcoming book interview with George W Bush and Brian Williams said "oh Hugh, you are so wise and awesome" and the direct deposit from NBC went into their accounts, the end.

Except then Rachel Maddow said, "Can I intercede here?"

Because what Hugh Hewitt had just said, especially about the Yemen raid, was a buncha booshite. And she knew it and everyone on that panel knew it but they also knew to turn off that part of their brain because gotta get paaaaid by Andy Lack and that means Hugh Hewitt is oh Hugh you are so wise and awesome.

Except then Rachel Maddow said, "Can I intercede here?"

On topic, my better half has made the word "Hewitt" into a verb:

Ooh, let me try using it in a sentence: "Having raised three children myself, I hewitted to the new mother about organic baby food." Yep, it works.

Except then Rachel Maddow said, "Can I intercede here?"

Because the thing Trump said earlier this week that didn't get written into the speech that Trump read and Hugh Hewitt tried to hewitt, that the topic is now all about how presidential leader-y Trump is, was the very thing that Rachel Maddow had printed out to read, verbatim, on the show. Donald Trump was not being 'presidential,' was not being a leader, and was not at all honest about any of this and neither was Hugh Fking Hewitt.


MADDOW: Can I intercede here? You were mentioning that the president's remarks about the Yemen mission and how different those were from that moment that Hugh was describing the event with the navy SEALs widow who was there. I'm quoting this verbatim. "This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, just they wanted to do." He then said, "my generals are the most respected in decades" and they believe they lost Ryan. When he talked about the mission in Yemen, basically saying the problem was their problem. This wasn't me. I didn't make that decision. So to put on him that he's somehow taken responsibility for the death that occurred on that mission that he did order, that it is his responsibility for it because he's commander in chief, that's not supported by what the president said in that interview. It's light years away from him trying to say it's the generals, it wasn't me, this is Obama's fault which is how he has dealt with the death thus far.

CHRIS MATTHEWS [Broken Clock, Right This Time]: This really offends me, the fact that he said that. I agree with you completely. Because war is guys shooting at each other. You go into battle and firefight. Anything can happen. And casualties are part of war. The Europeans knew that way before we knew that. And to dick around about this thing, the President of the United States saying it wasn't my job, the buck does stop there and it is the commander in chief and I go back to the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy said, "It was me, I'm the officer in charge." You have to say that. You've got to write the letter. You can't write the letter to the widow and say it wasn't me. By the way, casualties come from war. Of course you have after-action reports. But it shouldn't be, "let's figure out what went wrong here." This, these are difficult, dangerous missions. People get killed and the idea that the president has to argue with somebody about "whose fault it is" is below the office.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: They have to change it to instead of "they lost Ryan, we lost Ryan."

[Now watch how Nicolle Wallace has trained herself never to use the word "lie." She avoids the word three separate times in seven sentences. It's remarkable.]

NICOLLE WALLACE. There are two different accounts now. He quoted General Mattis in his address to Congress tonight but that is a different fact than what John McCain believes about this mission.

MADDOW: And what NBC News reported last night.

WALLACE: And all of our reporting does not line up with what Donald Trump quoted his Secretary of Defense, very well-respected general. So I think he opened up the issue. It was already opened. The father has asked for an investigation. But he presented something that is not in the current fact pattern.

MADDOW: I just spoke to General Mattis who reconfirmed that and I quote, "Ryan was part of a raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies."

EUGENE ROBINSON: Some people who should know say that's not true. I would agree with Hugh Hewitt on one point, which is I think that moment in the speech will penetrate people's consciousness a lot more than the back and forth about the mission, whether it was worthwhile and what happened. So I do believe that will be --

MATTHEWS: You know why? Because the one pure -- just a minute, Hugh. The one poor communication tonight was that woman Karen Owens talking to her husband in heaven. This is a chance. I've got to talk to my husband right now. This was pure love communication. There's not a guy in the world who doesn't want to have a spouse like that. She is a lover of her lost husband. This is real. The rest of that is politics. That's real.

HEWITT: Chris, I agree with that 100%. That was so moving. What I have to respectfully disagree about, when the president said they lost Ryan, here's what I heard: "The SEALs didn't bring back one of their own", not that "I'm blaming my generals." How do you posture yourself listening to the commander in chief. I'm sitting down with W. on Thursday to talk about the wounded warriors he's been painting. They don't think about 'them and they', not any president that I've met. So I'd ask for a former SEAL to come up and talk about that.

MADDOW: When he said they lost Ryan -- Hugh, his quote was, this was a mission that was started before I got here. They just wanted to do it. My generals are the most respected and they lost Ryan. He was asked about his reaction to this loss and to the grief of this SEAL's father who didn't want to meet him on the tarmac at Dover. He said "this was started before I got here."

HEWITT: We can disagree, Rachel.

MADDOW: That's what he said. I'm not psychoanalyzing him. This is his...

HEWITT: It's not. It's interpretation. "My generals" mean I have confidence, they lost Ryan means the SEALs on the ground lost Ryan. You may want to attribute to him the distance but that's not what he's done. Gold Star fathers get to say whatever they want. I just admire Mrs. Owens for coming tonight and I admire the president for inviting her and saying we appreciate the sacrifice and we know you're out there tonight and this administration is going to be with you. We're going to give you what you need and my generals will follow up on it. I heard it completely differently. That's the divide in the country. People hear things differently. When they said they lost Ryan, I think that was a recognition that a band of brave warriors, the best that we've own and it's not something civilians can say we lost. We don't put it on the line the way they do.

MADDOW: We all hear you about the speech tonight but so far his comment about the raid is this wasn't me, this wasn't on me. And that -- you can't get around that by rounding up the emotional value of what you heard him say, not if we have quotations.

HEWITT: We disagree.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Reasonable people can disagree.

END Transcript.

"Reasonable people"? That's some top-notch hewitting there, Brian.

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