MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle suggested on Thursday that President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal to "please" wealthy Republican donor and avid Israel supporter Sheldon Adelson.
"He only blew up the Iran deal because that came from Obama," Sirius radio host Mark Thompson said.
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"I don't know, he only blew up the Iran deal, maybe to please Sheldon Adelson," Ruhle suggested.
Ruhle's comments came during a MSNBC panel that was often critical of the president and his administration. Throughout the discussion, members of the panel claimed Trump treats matters of national security as a "reality show," he nominated a "torturer-in-chief" to be the CIA director, and he instigated military action between Iran and Israel.
Foreign affairs analyst Bobby Gosh said not to understate the significance of two meetings that have occurred between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, especially after the release of three Americans help captive in North Korea.
"The way I see it, he released these people after the meetings. Two meetings with Pompeo. This has never happened before. Let's not understate the importance of the two visits Pompeo made," Gosh said. "He, as serving director of the CIA and the serving secretary of state of the United States, has gone to Pyongyang and shaken hands with Kim Jong-Un. Never happened before."
Madeline Albright, secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, did meet with Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, back in 2000. However, discussions deteriorated in the subsequent years.
Ruhle called the Trump administration's actions a "huge win" for the North Korean leader but acknowledged the Americans would not have been released without Pompeo's meetings.
"This is a huge win for Kim Jong-Un to say ‘here I am on the world stage mano a mano with the United States,'" Ruhle said. "If Pompeo had not had those meetings, we wouldn't have these three Americans home."
Thompson called Trump and Kim "two crazy leaders" who are using each other.
"These are two crazy leaders using each other for legitimacy. Kim Jong Un is seeing his own legitimacy. Trump is also trying to cover up from all of his other scandals," Thompson said. "There is no good faith in us thinking Trump is some peacemaker."
Thompson added that Trump was "instigating" military conflict between Israel and Iran, and he claimed the president nominated a "torturer-in-chief" to be the director of the CIA.
"You can't say you want peace while you're instigating a conflict between Israel and Iran, which we just saw," Thompson said in reference to recent military strikes. "And there's also — very questionable because what hurts our credibility with all of these countries and, you know, Kim Jong Un might want to consider this, you just put forward, nominated, a torturer-in-chief to be ahead of the CIA and that affects us all over the world."
MSNBC analyst Ned Price, a CIA spokesman during the Obama administration, further analyzed Trump's actions by criticizing remarks he made while welcoming home the Americans who had just been released from North Korea.
"So I want to thank you all. It's very early in the morning. I think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3 o'clock in the morning, that I would say," Trump said.
Ruhle couldn't believe the president made a joke.
"Why would he say that?" Ruhle asked.
"Stephanie, he would say that because all of this, including matters of national security, it is a reality TV show to him," Price said. "Look, you look at what he said on Twitter several days ago–certainly well before the release of these hostages of these detainees was guaranteed–he said there could well be ‘good news coming out of North Korea. Stay tuned.'"
Price added that the Trump administration cares about "cliffhangers" and "suspense."
"That is incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly reckless. If the North Koreans tho spiking the football, if we thought that this was guaranteed, they could have pulled this back. But this is a president and this is an administration – they care about cliffhangers. They care about suspense. They want to turn this into a game," Price said. "That is precisely what we saw again last night."
Ruhle ended the segment by addressing the president directly.
"Mr. President, ratings work for TV networks. I'm not sure they work for an administration. Especially when we're talking about countries with nuclear power," Ruhle concluded.