NBC’s Chuck Todd spoke out this morning in an appearance on The Today Show about what he feels are the implications of the president-elect’s stance on Russia.
As Todd and Today Show host Willie Geist discussed, and as is well known, Trump just won’t give up being obsessively soft on Russia. For example, as Geist himself cited, Trump tweeted the following on Saturday, “Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”
Trump’s attitude comes even though Russia is a brutally totalitarian nation that waged a largely successful propaganda campaign in the U.S. throughout 2016 in an effort to influence the election.
And that’s another thing with Trump and Russia, too. Not only is Trump making grandiose proclamations on Twitter about the supposed goodness of being cozy with the Russians, he has also repeatedly taken to bashing the intelligence community over their evidence incriminating Russia in the just mentioned propaganda campaign.
Thus, Today Show host Willie Geist asked Todd on Sunday morning:
‘What is the implication going forward now, less than two weeks to Donald Trump being president of the United States, to have an incoming president completely at odds, and very publicly, with his own intel community?’
And Todd did not spare any words in his response, detailing how Trump’s self-inflicted perilous relationship with the U.S. intelligence community seriously undercuts the very legitimacy and credibility of the office of the presidency.
‘It is not something that a president wants to have for him to be constantly at war with his own intelligence agencies because going forward, when you make proclamations against other countries… and it’s based on intelligence, and you yourself have questioned the intelligence… that hurts your credibility around the world.’
The NBC host went on to add how Trump’s war with the intelligence community also undercuts his standing at home, saying, “And this week, it’s a short term political issue. The more he doesn’t embrace the findings on Russia, the more likely he’s going to lose Republican support for Rex Tillerson in particular.”
Tillerson is Trump’s nominee for secretary of state. He’s come under bipartisan scrutiny for his close ties to Russia. If Trump continues to refuse to take concerns over Russia seriously, then it’s unlikely that support for Tillerson will take off. After all, how can anyone be sure that the Trump administration will effectively deal with the serious potential conflicts of interest that Tillerson’s relationship with Russia could spark?
Todd went on to add that he thinks that, among the some nine Trump Cabinet nominees facing confirmation hearings this week, Tillerson will likely have the hardest time making it out alive in terms of actually being confirmed.
Watch Todd’s appearance on The Today Show below.
(Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.)