Mehdi Hasan Doesn’t Think Michael Flynn Is the Sharpest Tool


-This has been an issue based on
what happened this week — George H.W. Bush passed away. And you wrote an article for
“The Intercept,” basically a full accounting of
his record. And one of your criticisms was
when politicians pass away in the United States,
the coverage is sort of glowing. It’s all their best qualities and none of the things
they did wrong. Do you think that is
unique to Americans talking about politicians
or is it just the way Americans talk about anyone
who passes away? -I don’t think
it’s unique to Americans. I know when Margaret Thatcher
died in the U.K., the same thing happened —
a lot of hagiography. I do think you have
this deference to power. Your president, to be fair, is
not just a head of government, but a head of state,
so it’s kind of like the Queen and Prime Minister
rolled into one. I get it. And, you know, if somebody dies,
it’s sad. Watching George Bush Jr. today
cry as he gave that tribute. I’m no fan of George W. Bush, but to watch a son cry
for his father, that’s, of course, very touching
and heartbreaking. But he wasn’t just
a father to George Bush. He was also the most powerful
man in the world for four years. A lot of Iraqis
died on his watch. A lot of Panamanians
died on his watch. A lot of black people
saw the racist ad campaign, Willie Horton,
that he ran in 1988. A lot of people died
in the AIDS crisis that he didn’t really pay
much attention to, in the war on drugs
that he ramped up. And I think it’s worth
recounting all of their lives. Journalism is supposed to be
the first draft of history, where we need to give it to you
full, warts and all. You can’t just say
respect for the dead. Yes, we should respect the dead
and respect a dead president, but also we should respect
facts, history, what actually happened.
[ Cheers and applause ] Otherwise,
the country is screwed. -Obviously it seems like the
element that is really unique to this is how much
journalists are saying he was the opposite
of our current president. And they are talking about
how civil he was, and you know, you bring up and I recommend
people read the article, both the things he did
that he’s very good at and moments that people
would say were uncivil. Do you think people are actually
drawing a distinction between Donald Trump and
George H.W. Bush was like this or do you think they want George H.W. Bush
to have been that civil? Whether or not he was, they want to believe
in the idea that we had — -And in many ways he was,
and in many ways — I mean, look, if he had died
under Barack Obama, I think we’d be having
a different discussion. I think dying during
a Trump presidency means we all look at him and say, “Why can’t
George H.W. Bush be president?” He wasn’t nuts. He wasn’t a crazy racist
in the same way that Trump is. He’s not a narcissist.
He wasn’t a draft dodger. He served his country.
He didn’t have bone spurs. Fair enough.
[ Laughter ] So we do look at him
in that way. We want to believe he’s
something better than Trump. Trump makes
George Bush look good. Trump makes everyone look good,
right? [ Applause ] But we can’t lower — I don’t
think we should lower the bar. It’s the presidency of
the United States. We need to take it seriously. I don’t think we should lower
the bar so much that we say he’s not Trump,
therefore he’s great. Or today, Trump went to
a funeral and didn’t tweet or insult anyone or drool, therefore he’s acting
presidential. If that’s the criteria, I have
a 6-year-old daughter at home. She’s ready for the Oval Office. And she has
an American birth certificate. -Well, there you go.
Well, we would love to meet her. -We’ll bring her back.
-She sounds fantastic. Last thing — you talked to
General Michael Flynn. You interviewed him a few times.
-Yes. -What was your take on
interacting with him? Are you surprised
where we are now? -Not really.
General Michael Flynn — I interviewed a couple of times
during the campaign. Very nice guy. Very friendly.
We got along very well, which is weird because he thinks
Islam is evil and we should all
be afraid of Muslims. Minor issues,
but we got along well. [ Laughter ] And he — I didn’t think he was
the sharpest tool in the box. I didn’t think he would
last long in government, but 24 days
is a very short period. -Yeah.
-Still — -It’s a double Scaramucci,
though. -It’s a double Scaramucci
in measurement terms. What was interesting is
I interviewed him, and it was
a very tough interview, and I kind of pinned him down and I did
all these tough questions. And at the end, I said,
“General Flynn –” this was in
the summer of 2016 — “Will you take a job
from Donald Trump? Will you serve
as his defense secretary or national security adviser?” And he kind of
laughed uncomfortably. He said,
“Not after this conversation.” And I remember thinking
just the other day, I was like, “If only he had stuck to that, he wouldn’t be a criminal today
in massive debt.” But, you know,
we tried to help him out. -You did your best, yeah.

0 thoughts on “Mehdi Hasan Doesn’t Think Michael Flynn Is the Sharpest Tool

  • I kinda like this guy because he tries to be genuine – however for someone who rants about facts, he is somewhat know to twist the facts slightly, sorry did I say "slightly? I meant A LOT. This guy believes that Mohammed literally flew to heaven on a winged horse.

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