After Trump's speech about the standdown with Iraq, Andrea Mitchell and Matthews cannot let Trump's lies and misplaced blame go by undisputed.
January 8, 2020

As Donald Trump sniffed and tongue-thrusted his way through the mercifully short speech (probably written by Baby Goebbels Stephen Miller,) he attempted to reassure us he has it all under control. Yes, kids, for now, both countries have thrown their punches, shot their wad, emptied their clips, however you wanna say it. Both sides will stand down in the great Iran-America stand-off of January 2020.

The icing on the cake? In addition to his pathetic attempt to make an extra-judicial, overt assassination of a foreign state official appear legal, necessary, and NOT-AT-ALL a diversion from impeachment, Trump blamed President Barack Obama for Iran's nuclear capability, AND the missiles they used in the attack last night. This was too much for MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews to allow to go unchecked.

Mitchell explained just exactly where Iran's money came from, and Matthews rightly categorized Trump's compulsive need to blame Obama for every damn thing as something straight out of the DSM-5.

MITCHELL: First to you, Chris. The attack on the Obama-Iran deal with misstated facts in a speech of this nature, this was the president's opportunity to explain what was the justification for taking out Soleimani, what was the imminent threat as much as he could say in a declassified setting. Why was that necessary? What about our allies in Iraq? And to go after Obama and claim incorrectly that the Obama administration had paid for the missile strike. The facts are that $150 billion that went back to Iran after the nuclear deal was unfreezing Iranian assets that had been frozen since 1979 when they took our embassy and our hostages. Plus there was an extra amount of money that we OWED them for military equipment that they had paid for and we had never given them, plus interest. So, THAT was the money that they got. It was not any kind of a bonus.

MATTHEWS: Right. In the midst of this very critical moment where they're playing this poker game, if you will, of who's going to out-raise the other guy and, are they gonna eliminate the table stakes, and say, "Okay, this is enough." And I thought he did, in terms of saying, "No more actions against the Iranians," that this is going to be a slowdown, a response with restraint. In the midst of this international conversation, he throws in this almost clinical need to attack Obama. It's almost like Tourette's. Can he not get through a conversation without -- but in this case, it was so scurrilous. He's basically saying, as you pointed out, "You see those bombs hitting our American base in Iraq last night? Oh, they were paid for by Barack Obama." Like he's back there, he's the bursar, he's the financial guy behind these bombs. It's an outrageous stretch. An outrageous connection. They had the missile capability. They had the ballistic missiles. They weren't connected. They weren't dedicated funding from the proceeds of the Iranian nuclear deal. It's an absurd connection, but it's feeding his red-hot base, the president's.

They both do a solid job, here. My constant quibble with journalists, though, is their apparent allergy to calling things what they are. Mitchell does that here, twice, and it makes me want to smack anyone who says media has a liberal bias. I appreciate her fact-checks, but Trump didn't "misstate facts" about the Obama-Iran deal. He didn't "claim incorrectly" that Obama "paid" for the missiles. Trump. Fuck*ng. LIED.

Say it with me, Mitchell. He L-I-E-D. He knew it was not true, and he said it anyway, with the intention of misleading anyone who heard him. This is LYING.

Another advantage of calling what he said "lies" instead of "misstated facts" or "incorrect claims" is that it is only one syllable. And if there is anything I appreciate in journalism as much as accuracy, it's brevity.

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