Andrea Mitchell‘s interview with Donald Rumsfeld was blowing up on Twitter earlier — a first for Mitchell as far as I can recall.
Mitchell was fairly unrelenting in the first half of the interview though it’s hard not to get the sense that the media has been waiting so long to get their hands on Rumsfeld that are not entirely sure where to begin now that he’s arrived (arrived at MSNBC, no less). A sampling.
Rumsfeld: You used the word, trumped up. There was nothing trumped up. Colin Powell believed every word he said. the president believed every word he said. other governments. Those in congress who looked at the intelligence believed it and democrats and republicans alike. You’ve read their statements.
Mitchell: One of the key factors was this source curveball.
Rumsfeld: How do you know?
Mitchell: From all the reports from the writing, the point was without curveball, Colin Powell said without being told this man — single source, that he would not have made the speech he made to the united nations.
Mitchell: And all the eem in the pentagon in your Office of Special Plans.
Rumsfeld: They had nothing to do with it. They were not intelligence gathers. They did not have anything to do with curveball at all. It would be a mistake to connect them. The people, the intelligence community gathered information from all kind of people. one of hundreds I’m sure.
Mitchell: You actually created for the first time a special unit, this office of special plans. It has been described —
Rumsfeld: Policy office created it.
Mitchell: On your order.
Rumsfeld: Not on my orders at all. I advised they did that and there was nothing wrong with that. There were a handful of people in there interpreting intelligence. They weren’t creating it, gathering it. The implication of your question I think isn’t consistent with what I understand to be the facts.
It goes on. What is clear though is that Rumsfeld is entirely willing to defend everything. And it may take a more subtle interviewer than Mitchell to get beyond that.
The second half of the interview, meanwhile, was far more relaxed. Near the end Rumsfeld notes that he supports the repeal of DADT “it’s an idea whose time has passed.” Video below.
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