Anderson Cooper started his show on Wednesday evening by talking about the fact that Rex Tillerson had been sworn in as secretary of state. He noted that there was a brutal confirmation battle and that many thought Tillerson lacked government experience. He then turned to a video of Donald Trump, who congratulated Tillerson on “this incredible honor.”
“You bring the unique skills and deep deep insight — and I’ve gotten to see it firsthand,” Trump said to Tillerson, adding that it was time to take a fresh look into foreign affairs while taking a look around us and seeking new solutions grounded in very ancient truths.
The show then moved to a video that summarized how Trump’s foreign policy actions so far have alienated a lot of foreign leaders. Elise Labott, a global affairs correspondent, then spoke to Anderson Cooper about Tillerson. She said that there is a lot of controversy in the State Department because there wasn’t a lot of communication on Tillerson’s nomination.
The show then moved on to a video with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who noted that agreements between Iran and the Obama administration were not kept. He said that instead of feeling thankful for the agreements with the United States, Iran instead feels emboldened. He ended the speech by telling Iran they are officially on notice.
“This administration is saying that it is dedicated to holding Iran responsible after their latest ballistic missile launch. It’s considering a whole range of options,” Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Michelle Kosinski told Anderson, adding that military use against Iran is a possibility.
Anderson then had different right-wing and left-wing guests on to talk about the situation in Iran. Lt. General Mark Hertling didn’t like Flynn’s language of “putting people on notice.”
“It’s troubling, first of all. It’s really just bluster. And to have a former military guy standing in a national security advisor’s role, saying this in the open…it wasn’t delivered to the ambassador of Iran, our allies weren’t informed, and most importantly, our military wasn’t informed,” Hertling said with anger and sadness.
Michael Flynn isn’t only under fire for his comments on Iran. According to Business Insider, Democrats just sent a letter urging an investigation into Michael Flynn’s ties with Russia.
“Top Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Defense Department to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, ran afoul of the US Constitution by being paid to speak at a gala in Moscow celebrating the 10th anniversary of state-sponsored news agency Russia Today.”
The letter notes that since his retirement in 2014, General Flynn has made regular appearances on Russia Today (RT), which is widely considered that country’s state-sponsored propaganda outlet.
Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter and former member of the Ronald Reagan administration, won’t be joining the list of Flynn’s detractors. He told Anderson Cooper that Flynn putting Iran on notice isn’t much different than Reagan’s words to Russia during the early 1980s.
“There is a reason to do these things and General Flynn sees it and did it,” Lord continued, even though Lt. General Mark Hertling didn’t understand the comparison.
Democratic Strategist Paul Begala thought it was hypocritical that we aren’t saying anything about Russia’s attack’s on Ukraine but going full force against Iraq. Begala noted that Donald Trump is actually “friends” with Putin.
Kayleigh McEnany, a contributor to the Hill, said that the backlash against Flynn’s language to Iran is hypocritical because, during Obama’s administration, many Democrats said that the language used toward Iran wasn’t harsh enough.
Which of Anderson Cooper’s guests do you agree with the most? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]