Trump Threatens War with Iran on Saudi Arabia’s Behalf: A Closer Look


-After months of saying
he didn’t want a war with Iran, last night the president
threatened a war with Iran, in order to protect
Saudi Arabia. For more on this,
it’s time for A Closer Look. ♪♪ So you know how
every night on this show, we establish that
the Trump administration is full of corrupt,
self-dealing con artists who lie pathologically
about virtually everything, even the dumbest things —
you know, things like hurricane maps? Well, on Friday,
we got another example of the Trump administration’s
war on the truth, when the vice president
told a weird story about a Triple Crown winning
horse biting him. -Vice President
Mike Pence reveals Triple Crown winner
American Pharoah bit him on the arm. Pence told the story
during a policy retreat today for House Republicans
in Baltimore. He says he was helping campaign for Congressman Andy Barr
last year, when the two were invited
to see the prize-winning horse in Lexington. -Andy and I were standing there,
posing for all the cameras, and American Pharoah bit me
so hard on the arm, I almost collapsed. -That’s right. Mike Pence claims
American Pharoah bit him. This is the biggest political
scandal involving a horse since Secretariat took a dump
on Richard Nixon’s desk. [ Laughter ] And by the way,
when the news broke that American Pharoah bit Pence, he immediately rocketed
to the top of the polls in the Democratic primary. Now, for what it’s worth… [ Cheers and applause ] For what it’s worth,
I always assumed the politician to most likely
tell a crazy horse story was Joe Biden. “I met Seabiscuit in 1938. He looked that horse
right in the eyes. I shook his hoof, and I said,
‘Best of luck out there, fella.’ Then they opened the gates, and I beat that horse
in the Kentucky Derby.” [ Laughter ] I mean, it would
certainly be less crazy than this insane answer
Biden gave during the Democratic debate
on Thursday, when asked about the legacy
of slavery in America. First, he couldn’t even
get through the question without screwing up. -Mr. Vice President,
I want to come to you and talk to you about inequality
in schools and race. -[ Chuckles ]
-Alright, whoa. Right off the bat, I mean,
what’s with the scoff there? This is a debate. You have
to answer tough questions, you know?
It’s not the State of the Union where you get to just
sit in the background and do finger guns all night like a Hollywood agent
at an Oscar party. “Leo, you’re crushing it. Brad, I’m going to see you
at the Playboy Mansion later. Going to see you
in the grotto, Brad.” And then Biden’s answer
only got worse from there. -What responsibility
do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery
in our country? -Well, they have
to deal with the — Look, there’s institutional
segregation in this country. Look. Talk about education. I propose that what we take
is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount
of money we spend from $15 billion
to $45 billion a year. Number two, make sure
that we bring in to help the stu– the teachers deal with the problem
that come from home, we bring social workers
into homes with parents to help them deal with
how to raise their children. It’s not that
they don’t want to help. They don’t know
quite what to do. Play the radio.
Make sure the television — Excuse me. Make sure you have
the record player on at night, the phone —
Make sure the kids hear words. -What are you talking about?
What? [ Laughter ] Your solution to repair
the legacy of slavery is for parents to make sure they have the record player on
at night? “Hey, and I’ll tell you
another thing. I don’t like these new steam-powered
locomotives they got out there. Kids need exercise. Whatever happened to the good,
old-fashioned hand car?” Anyway, we’re off-track here, because, you know,
that’s how things are now. The important thing is,
a horse bit Mike Pence. Great! Or so he said. The story got laughs. That
should have been the end of it. Yet, as we have learned
with this administration over and over and over again,
nothing, not even the smallest, most inconsequential
equine details can be trusted, because now even the story
about getting bit by a horse is being questioned
by the horse’s manager, who said, “If he gave someone
a nasty bite, I’d know it,” adding that such behavior
would be unexpected from a sweet horse. Well? Who you going
to believe — The Vice President of the United
States or a horse manager? Seriously. I’m asking. I do not know who to believe
in this situation, but I’m definitely not inclined
to side with these guys, because they lie
about everything. And you have to ask yourself,
if they’re willing to lie about something as dumb
as a weather forecast or an interaction with a horse,
what else are they lying about? For example, over the weekend,
Trump lashed out at media reports that he was willing
to meet with Iran’s president after he ripped up the Obama-era
nuclear deal with Iran. -The president tweeting,
“The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet
with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement
(as usual!).” -Okay, first of all,
no one thought you’d meet with no conditions,
because for one thing, you definitely have several
diagnosable conditions. Even if it was a meeting
with the president of France, it would have conditions there, you know, like narcissistic
personality disorder. Second, why does
he always throw in some weird parenthetical
“as usual”? He talks about the media like a sitcom wife complaining
about her idiot husband. “Kevin’s watching the game
with his buddies, while I’m stuck
chasing the kids around and making dinner, as usual.” ♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] So, Trump says the fake news is responsible
for the incorrect statement that he was willing to meet with
Iran without any preconditions. Man, I wonder
where the fake news could have gotten
such a crazy idea. -Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is ready to talk
to Iran with no preconditions. -We’re prepared to engage
in a conversation with no preconditions. -Now, the president
has made clear, he’s happy to take a meeting
with no preconditions. -Secretary Pompeo,
for clarity on this, can you foresee a meeting
between President Trump and the Iranian leader
later this month surrounding the United Nations?
-Sure. -Would the president
support that, and do you support that
actively? -The president’s
made very clear, he’s prepared to meet
with no preconditions. -Oh, my God. The fake news is coming
from inside the house. [ Laughter ] As usual. ♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] -Who knows? Who knows? Guys, you guys, who knows? Maybe these Cabinet Secretaries
over here spreading fake news are just misinformed. I mean, it’s not like
the president himself has ever said on TV
multiple times that he would meet with Iran
with pre– You know what?
Just roll the clips. -Do you have preconditions
for that meeting? -No preconditions, no. They want to meet, I’ll meet.
Anytime they want. Anytime they want.
It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us,
and good for the world. No preconditions. You want to talk good. Otherwise
you can have a bad economy for the next four years.
-No preconditions? -Not as far as I’m concerned,
no preconditions. -Chuck Todd goes out of his way to lock Trump into his comment
of no preconditions. It’s as if he knows Trump is
a week away from him denying it. “And you’re not going
to leave this interview and immediately say
this is fake news?” [ As Trump ] Absolutely not. [ Normal voice ]
“Because I see you have
Twitter open on your phone. You’re not tweeting that right
now, are you? [ As Trump ] Absolutely not.
How many K’s in the word “fake”? [ Normal voice ]
The reason Trump keeps waffling
between confrontation with Iran and deal-making with Iran
is pretty simple. He doesn’t know anything
about any of this. He has no actual world view, and
he doesn’t know what he wants. Sometimes, he claims to be
against Middle East wars. Other times, he takes orders from the dictators he’s friendly
with, like in this case, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince
Mohammad Bin Salman. Trump is so close to MBS and so proud of our arms sales
to Saudi Arabia that when they met last year
in the Oval Office, Trump literally showed off
giant posters of the weapons
he was selling to the Kingdom. -We’ve become very good friends over a fairly short
period of time. I was in Saudi Arabia in May,
and we are bringing back hundreds of billions of dollars
into the United States. If you look,
in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million. $525 million. $6 billion, that’s for frigates. $889 million, $63 million. THAAD system, $13 billion. The C-130 heli– airplanes, the Hercules, great plane, $3.8 billion. The Bradley Vehicles, that’s the tanks, $1.2 billion. -He’s selling billions
of dollars in weapons to a tyrannical regime,
and he’s acting like he’s showing him the menu
at a restaurant. [ As Trump ]
And if you look over here, you’ll see tonight’s special. We got the Bradley tanks.
Those are fresh. They just came in. The Hercules
airplanes, two for one. And of course,
our house specialty, the pommes frigates. Do you want some pommes frigates
for the table? To share while you wait? [ Applause ] [ Normal voice ] Now, the reason
Trump is suddenly backpedaling on his outreach to Iran is that Saudi Arabia
and Iran are rivals who are engaged
in a bunch of proxy wars, and Saudi Arabia wants America’s
help in that conflict. So last night, Trump threatened an illegal and unconstitutional
war with Iran on, where else, Twitter. -“Saudi Arabia oil supply
was attacked. There is reason to believe
that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded
depending on verification, but are waiting to hear
from the Kingdom as to who they believe
was the cause of this attack, and under what terms
we would proceed!” -Think about how insane this is. The President
of the United States, the guy who spent
the entire campaign falsely claiming he wanted
to stay out of the Middle East and would put America first just threatened a war with Iran
on Twitter and said he was waiting for Saudi Arabia
to tell him what to do. I never thought I’d say this,
but someone needs to let American Pharoah loose
in the Oval Office. He doesn’t even need
to bite Trump. Just chase him around
for a while. Keep him distracted. [ As Trump ] Mike Pence. Mike Pence is the one you want. Pence ratted you out! [ Normal voice ]
And let’s not forget. Let’s not forget,
we also have no idea what Trump’s personal
financial motivations are here when it comes to Saudi Arabia. So far, all we do know is that
Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia
during the 2016 campaign. Saudi lobbyists spent $270,000
at Trump’s hotel in December 2016. A visit from Saudi officials
to Trump’s international hotel in New York City helped boost
the hotel’s quarterly revenue by 13% in 2018’s first quarter. And on top of all that,
he and the King of Saudi Arabia touched that weird, glowing orb
during a trip to Riyadh in 2017, where it’s possible
they Freaky-Friday’d. Now, look. look. It is always hard, almost impossible
to prove body-swapping, but think of how well Donald
Trump has treated Saudi Arabia post-orb. Of course, if the King
is in Trump’s body, then that means Trump
is inside the King’s body. Has anyone checked in
on the King? [Bleep] [ Laughter ] And now that Democrats
in Congress are investigating
Trump’s financial conflicts, Trump is lashing out
and calling on Congress to investigate former President
Obama for a deal Obama made to produce content for Netflix
after his presidency was over, although, again, Trump’s Twitter
syntax was hard to follow. Trump wrote, “They failed
on the Mueller Report, they failed on
Robert Mueller’s testimony, they failed on everything else, so now the Democrats
are trying to build a case that I enrich myself
by being President. These Radical Left Democrats
are CRAZY! Obama Netflix?” [ Laughter ] [ Laughing ]
Why does he say it like — Like, even he isn’t sure
what he’s saying makes sense. It’s like if you get super high
with your buddies and try to decide
what to put on TV but you can’t really get
the words out of your mouth? “Dude, what should we watch?” [ Imitating bong bubbling ] “Obama Netflix? Is that it? Is that it?”
[ Cheers and applause ] If anything, it sounds like
a new slang term for when you want to invite
a date over to your place but only to talk about
detailed policy proposals. “Hey, I got some ideas
for solving climate change. You want to come over
and Obama Netflix and chill?” [ Laughter ] This is why we can’t take
anything Trump and his aides say at face value. They lie
about the smallest things, like horses,
to the biggest things, like war. They constantly contradict
themselves and each other, and we have no idea what their
hidden financial interests are. They lie and enrich themselves
while the rest of us run around and try to hold them
accountable. As usual. ♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] This has been “A Closer Look.”

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