So Mick Mulvaney tried to blow off the meaning of Brett McGurk's protest resignation when he made the rounds of the yak shows yesterday.
HOST: "His title is the special presidential envoy to the global coalition to counter ISIS. How is it that the president doesn't know his -- the point person in the battle against ISIS?"
MULVANEY: "You know the answer to that, the administration is thousand -- the executive branch of government is millions of people. I have no idea who that person is."
HOST: "You don't know Brett McGurk."
MULVANEY: "Never heard of him until yesterday. There is an Obama appointee who saw an opportunity."
HOST: "He was a Rehnquist clerk, he served throughout the Bush administration, he was a lifelong Republican, he is not an Obama appointee."
MULVANEY: "Did he take that position under the Obama administration?"
HOST: "He was held over from the Bush administration. This is not a Democrat, sir."
MULVANEY: "I'm certain he is well known in the folks who follow this topic. The fact that the president of the United States doesn't know him I don't think should cause anybody any concern."
"Wow. I don't know what to say. Forget about the death of expertise and the death of experts, that's just contempt," Scarborough said. "For basic competence, the state of the White House, now that we're down to the D team, not very good, David Ignatius, and seeming -- David, the fact that neither the acting chief of staff or the president knew who that was is not short of extraordinary. Talk about the president who claims to know more about ISIS than all of the generals, being as ignorant of what has made our fight successful, and also you write today about the state of this abandonment, this cowardly betrayal of the Kurds by Donald Trump. Where does this leave the Kurds?"
"In a mess," the columnist said.
"Joe, first, about Brett McGurk, it is shocking. Brett McGurk is this president's point man against ISIS. He doesn't seem to realize it, but he is the person who leads our global coalition to fight this deadly adversary in the battle that Trump just claimed spuriously that he had won, that he didn't even know who his principal diplomatic adviser was tells you everything.
"So I wanted badly because, as you know, I've had the good luck to be able to travel in Syria a number of times, to talk with the person who is most affected by Trump's decision and that is the commander of the Syrian-led, Kurdish-led Syria democratic forces militia that's been doing the fighting against ISIS. So I arranged through our special forces to call him last night at his headquarters inside Syria, we talked on an encrypted line for about an hour, and, Joe, even in this period where just so many things that we see break our heart, I found that listening to this man talk in this quiet, careful, dignified way about a betrayal by the United States, which had promised a week before, they had sent an ambassador to see him who said, we won't be leaving until we have enduring victory against ISIS, until all Iranian troops are out, until we have a stable political settlement for Syria, a week later Trump on a whim, it seems, after a phone call from President Erdogan in Turkey pulls the plug, leaving this guy holding the bag.
"His troops are on the front lines against what's left of ISIS in the far eastern part of Syria and what blew my mind, I'll end it with this, Joe, after expressing shock at at what America had done, I said, 'So what are you going to do tomorrow morning?" And the answer is he's going to the front lines where he's still got 10,000 troops who are fighting as hard as ever in the mission that they used to fight jointly with us, now they're fighting it alone. They suffered 29 dead since President Trump announced that he was bailing out. Twenty-nine dead in this fight, and they're going to continue it because they know it's the right thing to do.
"I close my piece saying in this holiday season when we think about keeping the faith, here is a reminder of the kind of ally we are betraying."