Former Secretary of State James Baker reminded MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell about some key historical facts during a Wednesday interview about Trump’s foreign policy.
Mitchell consistently tried to bait Baker into attacking Trump, suggesting that Trump was too hasty in agreeing to meet with North Korea and was wrong to congratulate Russian president Vladimir Putin on his recent electoral victory.
“The president on one hand, a week ago, congratulates Vladimir Putin on a sham election in contradiction to his own advice being written in big, bold, capital letters,” Mitchell said. “And doesn’t bring up the fact that the Kremlin tried to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter on English soil.”
“Then, a week later, we’re expelling more spies than at any time since the Cold War,” she concluded.
Baker, who served as secretary of state under George HW Bush and chief of staff for Ronald Reagan, opted not to bash Trump for his decision to congratulate Putin.
“I think there could be an improvement in this White House with message discipline, needless to say,” he started, before reminding Andrea Mitchell that Ronald Reagan’s aides did not want him to say “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall” during the Cold War.
“He said, ‘look, I’m president and this is what I’m going to say,’ and he wrote it back in the speech,” Baker recalled. “So that turned out alright.”