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Rumsfeld Flummoxes Andrea Mitchell

Just thought you all might want to take a look at this interview of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by Andrea Mitchell. Rumsfeld is promoting his new book, Known and Unknown: A Memoir, a major portion of which deals with his time in the Bush administration.

I’ve rarely seen a political figure tie a top news personality up in such knots. And Andrea Mitchell is certainly smarter than average for the TV interviewer species. It’s 16 minutes of very compelling viewing.

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

H/T to The PJ Tatler.

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67 Responses to Rumsfeld Flummoxes Andrea Mitchell

  1. Her attempt to pin the DirtyRat badge on him went awry and her desperate looks to her producer didn’t help.
    Only time and history will tell if America did the right thing in Iraq. It’s too soon to point fingers at wrongdoing.

    • CORRECT.

      Right now, we don’t know. I was for the invasion but *not* for the nation building; we should have hauled ass the moment we toppled that Saddam statue – let the Iraqi’s fight it out. Instead Bush decided to nation-build (using our tax dollars).

      But SRDEM is right, only time will tell.

      • Someone wrote to the AZ Republic this AM and pointed out that he was roped into Vietnam and now people build factories and go on vacation there…so this stuff is slow breaking.

  2. Mitchell is too blond, she looks awful. Also, she should learn how to stop looking at guests she doesn’t like as though she believes she cleaned them off her shoe. So unprofessional. Also, maybe try to you know, not LEAD the witness, but let him testify?

  3. Rumsfeld has always been one of my favorite political personalities. He is absolutely unrivaled in his handling of the press, always was and as shown here, he still has it.

      • Seems a rather rash and, more importantly, unfounded criticism.

        He’s very tough, I think most people who’ve worked for him have said that. But when you’re SecDef, bad decisions get good and brave Americans killed. I too, and all Americans I venture, would want nothing but the best from the people I selected to work in those roles.

        • Fair enough. It’s speculative, I admit, just my feeling. Though I have seen specific accounts that he can cut you off at the shins and that at least some staff lived in terror. Question is whether one deserves it. Anyway, can’t help liking the guy, and probably won’t have to work for him.

      • I have worked for guys like that and enjoyed it immensely. You have to force yourself to be as thorough and as smart as him. For example, nothing that happened in this interview should have been a surprise to Andrea Mitchell. She was unprepared and had convinced herself that the “choir” information was unchallengeable. 9 minutes with Rummy has disabused her of that illusion! She could be a better reporter because of it…though I doubt it.

        • Good point. Meeting the challenge of working for him might be rewarding, as long as criticism isn’t doled out on a whim.

          And you’ve nailed it. The Washington press corps, and Washington elite opinion in general, is a body that operates under certain assumptions that only Neanderthals dare challenge. One of those assumptions is that the secret undisclosed location where Cheney hung out was in fact Hades, and he often had Rummy there for a scotch. Meanwhile, Colin Powell tried in vain to shine the forces of light into the Bush administration. She was indeed unprepared because she was repeating contentions she thought irrefutable, until he refuted them.

          • Good point.

            The hatred of conservatives by the Marxist-left MSM is evident in Mitchell’s inability to do her job – which means to be honest, opening and questioning of everything. The media is to be a watchdog, not a lapdog of the administration (courtesy Michael Savage).

            “Neanderthals” = oh my, I laughed my ass on that one, Keith! :-)

  4. Is it just me, or did it look like she actively abandoned a particular line of questioning at the end? It seems like she recognized she was failing and chose, instead, to discuss pleasant anecdotes mentioned in the book. I suppose it could have been planned that way all along, but it seemed like an abrupt reversal.

  5. I hate it when the reporter frames a question like this; ‘Some people have claimed ….’, or ‘According to some, ….’. She does this throughout the interview, and it is nothing but a trap. The listener, of course, has NO idea who these ‘Some people’ are! It is a cheap trick to lure the audience into believing something that may have no truth.

    On the other hand, Mr. Rumsfeld maintains perfect composure and does not let this ‘journalist’ sully him. He shines. She &$&#@(&.

  6. “And Andrea Mitchell is certainly smarter than average for the TV interviewer species.”

    Now THAT’S damning with faint praise…a bag of cement is smarter than the average TV interviewer.

  7. Andrea is skillfull, but her prep seems to have consisted of reading everything she could get her hands on from DailyKos and the rest. You’re right, Rumsfeld just totally overmatches her.

    • Daily Kos, Huffington Post, FireDogLake are the main talking points of the left (including some POLITICO and TPM stories) which *scream* corrupt, machine-style politics. Mitchell is but a fool among the rest of the beltway borrachone’s.

  8. Excellent videos.

    It’s a shame the interviewer can’t be quiet long enough to let him finish one thought before jumping to the next setup for the “gotcha” moment that never comes.

  9. Rumsfeild does define unflappable. I miss the days when the administration had competent members of staff available for interviews. The press is still backseat driving the previous administration while their approach to this one brings to mind an old ZZ top song. If you haven’t guessed, it goes,

    “How could anyone be so unkind To arrest a man for drivin’ while blind.”

  10. Just brilliant. She can’t trip him up because he’s so smart and has a good memory. He’s very precise. She ends up looking like an idiot. He turns the table completely so that he is challenging almost everything SHE says. She can’t keep her statements straight.

  11. You have to wonder if these “so called” news professionals ever view their recorded interviews. If Ms. Mitchell reviews this one she would have to notice the bias exuding from her with every question. Rumsfeld is pimping a book, not running for President.

    This is one of the most unprofessional interviews I have ever seen. I am no big fan of Rumsfeld but this would barely pass for an acceptable interview on a high school cable access channel – it might get a C if the teacher liked blonds.

    MSNBC, there is a reason FOX is cleaning your clock with ratings. Watch this video again and honestly ask yourself how this helps the credibility of your network. What are the chances that Andrea Mitchell will interview the President before next year’s Super Bowl?

    Zero.

    • That part where she tries to nail him on Shinsieki..his replacement, his successor, etc….reminded me of going to the PO in DC one say and giving the guy a $20…He said, “Do you have anything smaller?” I said sorry, I didn’t. “A ten, a five?” I said, “I know what smaller is, I just don’t have it.”

    • “You have to wonder if these “so called” news professionals ever view their recorded interviews.”
      I’m pretty sure that after her shift was over she went and got a stiff drink, and the staff were informed to never bring this event up again. Ever.

  12. These two are just not in the same “mental league” with regard to international policy. Mitchell looks like a high-school student trying to attack Donald Trump for his development practices – very difficult work for someone who is yet to build their first building.

    Rumsfeld is treated like the caricature of Mitchell’s political assumptions. She appears completely startled after she discovers he is really a brilliant man. That is why she changed the subject and tried to be pleasant at the end of the interview. She hopes that is what the public remembers.

    Earth to Andrea – you’re disagreeing with someone does not make them stupid or wrong. It only makes you look like a very old high school student.

  13. I’ve met Andrea Mitchell. She really is as dumb as she comes across in this clip. It probably took her staff weeks to school her up enough to look even this good.

  14. He’s a seasoned liar and she hardly has a history of asking ‘tough’ questions of BushCo employees. Hardly a match. Both he and Douglas Feith should be rotting in Gitmo by now, yet they walk among us.

    • Hey Stevie! Have another KoolAid. Drink up. When you wake up, look into how all of your interests have been hijacked by unfriendlies. Learn to do your homework.

  15. Currently reading his book, its great and I can’t put it down. If anything, it appears that Rumsfeld was very much counter on many major decisions made by State and others after 9/11. He was definitely not a cheerleader, and he seems to have been very cautious on nearly every major decision he advised Bush to make.

    These media hacks hate him, because he is so precise in proving what happened or not.

  16. Mitchell is a stupid political hack, who I would argue is clearly NOT “certainly smarter than average for the TV interviewer species” (and if she is, that is a really low bar). I will always remember her telling Imus, that everyone knew that Plame was an operative – and then after letting that slip out retracted it, as if you can magma back in the magma chamber. She’s been a disgrace for years. “Ooh, Colin Powell said, Colin Powell said….” Just shut up.

  17. good stuff. it’s fascinating to watch this alternate reality liberals and liberal journos have constructed over the years being dismantled in front of their faces. all the suppositions, fantasies, conspiracy-nut theories, etc., that I’m sure they innocently/naively develop amongst themselves at cocktail parties, in the newsrooms of the country, etc.

    so while it’s disappointing seeing these supposed objective journos insisting the facts are what *they* say they are, it does make great entertainment when someone that was actually there refuses to play along.

  18. Thanks for putting up this interview. (We do not have a TV set in our house and get our news through the WEB and The Economist, so we appreciate those websites that offer intelligent fare like this.) This interview is valuable because the interviewer obviously comes with specific “progressive” talking points. As pointed out by Rumsfield, her sources were not directly involved in the discussions and decisions she wanted to dissect, so those sources offered her imperfect commentary. However, by bringing these talking points up with Rumsfeld, she was offering her viewers a glimpse into what actually happened when she allowed him to answer her questions. She interrupted so often that one must discount her as an interviewer, but at least she allowed those who would like to know more an opportunity to do so by plugging his book. Just think how much better the show could have been if she had been an impartial interviewer exploring his viewpoints instead of trying to make gotcha points. Hopefully someone will do such an interview and your site will provide it.

  19. Andrea Mitchell demonstrates that there is something worse than being the deer in the headlights.

    Being the deer in a tractor-trailer’s headlights.

  20. What an agenda driven, tactless, and lacking in facts interview by Mitchell. She should be embarrassed. OTOH Rumsfeld did a fine job. Thanks for posting this.

  21. I am glad you guys like Rumsfeld and dislike the way he was interviewed. But do you doubt the administration made sure the information that got the most exposure assured we draw the conclusion at the time of the invasion, that Suddam had supported those who perpetrated 9/11. Eventually even Pres Bush admitted there was no Iraqi state support for the 9/11 terrorists.

    I will always believe that Powell left office because he felt lied to by the White House regarding intelligence linking Saddam and the 9/11 terrorists. Rumsfeld is a cold hard bastard who made up his mind we were going to use the country’s fear to drive us to accept that Iraqi was somehow involved in 9/11 so we could justify invading Iraqi. Now ten years later, several thousand dead service men and over 1.2 trillion dollars spent, what do we have to show for our misguided and largely unprovoked invasion of iraq?

    Sorry, Rumsfeld is not a guy I want to salute.

  22. Andrea Mitchell – Remember, she’s the one that was terrified at one of the early tea parties. She appeared angry and fully briefed by left leaning blogs. And YES! she definitely abandoned her line of questioning at the end.

    It seems to me that she accused Rummy of not allowing the CIA and the FBI and other agencies share info — if she did, she needs to remember that that decision actually came about during the Clinton presidency – I believe Barbara Boxer was involved, but it could have been a different Democrat.

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