November 3, 2017

Diplomats? We don't need no stinkin' diplomats! This reminded me of good old King Louis XIV of France, whose famous words 'L'etat c'est moi' ('I am the state') sound relevant again.

Willie Geist introduced the segment by pointing out that Secretary Rex Tillerson has come into conflict with the State Department, especially over staffing senior positions.

Just watch as the terse wing-nutter Laura Ingraham hangs on Trump's every word, as if he actually knows what he's talking about.

"Your state department still has some unfilled positions," she said. "Are you worried that the State Department doesn't have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through? Other state departments, including Reagan's, undermined his agenda."

"We don't need all the people that they want -- don't forget. I'm a business person," Trump bragged. "I tell my people when you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them. we have some people that I'm not happy with there."

"Assistant secretary of state, you're not getting rid of that position?" Ingraham said.

"Let me tell you, the one that matters, I'm the only one that matters. When it comes to it, that's what the policy is going to be. In addition to that, we don't need all the people -- it's called cost saving."

(You know, like when you use inferior materials in a glitzy hotel room?)

"You want your vision pushed," she said.

"But my vision is my vision," Trump said.

"Heidi, that is so instructive, isn't it?" Geist said.

"He's talking about the United States government like he's the Trump Organization. You don't have to fill spots that don't need to be filled. Career diplomats would beg to differ when you're talking about seats in places like South Korea, for example, which is at the border of the bubbling crisis in North Korea."

"We've seen this attitude with the undercutting of his own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. We see it with the befuddlement of our allies who don't know who they're supposed to be negotiating with. We see that in the charts have shown what the hit it has been to our image across the globe since Trump took over the United States standing," Heidi Przybyla said.

"I want to share an anecdote. The other day when I was taking a train up to join you all on set, I met up with a couple of French journalists from this group called Reporters Without Borders, there to protect journalists, trying to expose corruption in government in other emerging countries. They told me they're having a heck of a time in the past several months with instances such as trying to get imprisoned journalists out of jail. Why? Because the State Department used to play -- the U.S. State Department used to play a big role in that in pushing on these governments. And it's not happening," she said.

"I think the full extent of our state department being understaffed and the new position of our state department is yet to be really understood in terms of the impact on this and other parts of the world that is struggling to become democracies like us."

"Donald Trump at the Republican convention last year, 'I alone can fix it,' " John Heilemann said. "Donald Trump as the president of the United States, I am the only one who matters. New boss, same as the old boss."

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