MSNBC Host: 'I'm Cheered' if Military Doesn't Listen to Trump

December 19, 2018

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said Wednesday she is "cheered" if the military does not listen to President Donald Trump.

Wallace, who hosts "Deadline: White House" and is a fierce critic of the Trump administration, made the comments during a segment about the president's announcement of a troop withdrawal from Syria.

"Is he someone—is the Pentagon—you're basically describing a U.S. military that does not listen to the commander in chief. Is that what's going on?" Wallace asked.

"Well, no, I don't think that they don't listen to him. I think that they try to prepare for the unexpected," said Wallace's guest, Defense One executive editor Kevin Baron.

"The transgender ban," said Wallace. "He ordered a transgender ban—listen. To their credit, I'm cheered if you're telling me that the military doesn't listen to him, but I read a lot of quotes of a lot senior Pentagon officials who were alarmed by the news, who had the rug pulled—who were testified or communicated as recently as yesterday that our commitment was solid."

"The president seems to have his foreign policy run through Moscow or Turkey or other countries. I mean, are they happy just ignoring him?" Wallace continued.

The president announced earlier Wednesday that the U.S. would withdraw troops from Syria, where they have been engaged in a campaign against the Islamic State terrorist organization. The planned withdrawal has caused concern among State Department and Pentagon officials, according to the Wall Street Journal. The administration is split between those favoring continued military engagement in Syria and Trump's desire to withdraw, according to officials who spoke to the Journal.

During the segment, Baron pointed out that the president instructed the military to begin planning a withdrawal from Syria in the spring, despite military leaders' continued concerns about Islamic State, also known as ISIS, prompting Wallace's question about whether the Pentagon is listening to Trump.