The 11th Hour host Brian Williams welcomed Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on to his Wednesday show on MSNBC to discuss the duo’s book Peril and all fallout from it. During the interview, Woodward would allege that war with China was more likely than anyone would like and Williams declared that GOP Sens. Mike Lee and Lindsey Graham “put the sick in sycophant,” although neither man provided any solid evidence for their claims.

For his part, Woodward declared that his big takeaway from the book was “that there was a national security crisis in this country. That war with China was dangerously possible.”

There has never been any evidence, other than Gen. Mark Milley’s reported feelings, to suggest this was true. The doubtfulness of that aside, Woodward moved on to the issue of nuclear weapons:

At the end of the call he realizes Nancy Pelosi was right, this is dangerous and he takes action, calling in the key people, if doing, essentially what happened in 1974 with Nixon when the Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger put the word out don’t take orders from President Nixon or the White House without involving Schlesinger. Milley filled that bill and did that took parallel action on his own and I’ve never really seen a scene like this where he calls in the people who run the war room in the Pentagon and said “you will not act without making sure you talk to me and consult me” so there was very serious worry about two of the catastrophes that could befall this country. Some sort of use of nuclear weapons and a war with China.

Unlike Milley, who is just an adviser, the Secretary of Defense is part of the chain of command, so the two are not comparable. Additionally, whether out of sincerity or a cynical effort at damage control, Milley, through his spokesman, has said it was simply to remind people about the process of nuclear weapons usage, which if true means Woodward and Costa have made mountains out of molehills in order to sell books.

Williams then shifted away from national security and towards the aftermath of the 2020 election: “…you and Bob reported it was Senators Lee and Graham who were vetting Trump’s false claims, obviously coming up empty, you know, to name two guys who put the sick in sycophant, there it is.”

As if the pun itself wasn’t bad enough, Williams also immediately debunked himself, “They’re very Trumpy members of the Republican caucus in the Senate. Tonight Trump went after both of them. ‘Your Republican presidential candidate won in a landslide’ — that’s a lie – ‘but has so little backing from Republican leadership, they should be ashamed of themselves.'”

So, are they sycophants or are they on Trump’s bad side? You would think Williams knows a sycophant when he sees one, considering he see an Obama one every time he looks in the mirror.

This segment was sponsored by Allstate.

Here is a transcript for the September 22 show:

MSNBC

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

11:33 PM ET

BOB WOODWARD: Well, you can’t predict the future. But what Bob Costa and I found in eight or nine months of reporting, just going off line, not writing for the Washington Post or going on television, is that there was a national security crisis in this country. That war with China was dangerously possible. There is a call that we have the transcript of between Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House and Chairman Milley in which, on January 8th — now, this is two days after the insurrection at the Capitol, in which she — and I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to look at it. Extra ordinary transcript of the leader of the House, the Speaker of the House saying “I’m worried about President Trump’s control of nuclear weapons. What guaranteed can you provide?” Milley says “oh, there procedures.” At the end of the call he realizes Nancy Pelosi was right, this is dangerous and he takes action, calling in the key people, if doing, essentially what happened in 1974 with Nixon when the Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger put the word out don’t take orders from President Nixon or the White House without involving Schlesinger. Milley filled that bill and did that took parallel action on his own and I’ve never really seen a scene like this where he calls in the people who run the war room in the Pentagon and said “you will not act without making sure you talk to me and consult me” so there was very serious worry about two of the catastrophes that could befall this country. Some sort of use of nuclear weapons and a war with China.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: So, Robert Costa, when you and Bob reported it was Senators Lee and Graham who were vetting Trump’s false claims, obviously coming up empty, you know, to name two guys who put the sick in sycophant, there it is right there. They’re very Trumpy members of the Republican caucus in the Senate. Tonight Trump went after both of them. “Your Republican presidential candidate won in a landslide” — that’s a lie – “but has so little backing from Republican leadership, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Robert, if he’s talking about that to the loyalists and he’s mulling over an attempt to be their presidential candidate in ‘24, doesn’t that equal to burning the house down before attempting to redecorate?

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