Tags: Mark Brzezinski | Dangerous | Trump | Policy | News Reports

Mark Brzezinski: 'Dangerous' for Trump to Build Policy Based on News Reports

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Monday, 20 Feb 2017 01:31 PM

The most "nefarious thing" to happen in Sweden over the weekend involved technical difficulties at a music festival, and "nothing more than that," and President Donald Trump's claims that were based on a Fox News report mark a dangerous trend, Mark Brzezinski, the former U.S. ambassador to Sweden said Monday.

"It does seem like he is building a narrative on an informational basis based on what he sees on cable news and news reports, [and] that is a dangerous thing to do, as seen by this example," said the former ambassador on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, which his sister, Mika, co-hosts.

"Secondly, it doesn't seem that he's relying on the national security process at the White House."

If there had been a terrorist attack in Sweden, Trump would have been briefed on it by his national security team, Brzezinski said, and "that couldn't have happened."

Brzezinski, who served on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, said that if something pivotal had occurred in Sweden or elsewhere in the world, the NSC would be contacted "first and foremost," but he agreed there is no structure at this point.

"That's why it seems like the president's speeches are developed on an improvisational basis," said Brzezinski. "That's a bad way to use the bully pulpit. To telegraph to the rest of the world. That's why the Swedes and others around the world were befuddled by what the president was talking about."

When it comes to sensitive matters such as immigration or terrorism, it is important to be "factually, absolutely accurate," said Brzezinski. "There's a process that's in place."

The National Security Council would vet the facts and develop a policy approach to be recommended to the president, the former ambassador said, "which at the appropriate time the president could enunciate. That obviously didn't happen here"

Sweden did take in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Syria, Yemen, and Somalia in recent years and sees itself as a "humanitarian superpower," Brzezinski continued.

"Sweden, 10 million people, about the size of the state of Virginia taking in hundreds of thousands of political refugees. Yes, it's been expensive and difficult, at times, to help move forward the assimilation."

But the refugees have also benefited Sweden, he insisted, because the country's economy is booming and the tech industry, including companies like Skype, Spotify, and Minecraft are doing well.

"That's a message we have heard from our own tech industry," said Brzezinski. "Do not let immigration policies beyond our own obligations affect our economy."

It was good, however, that Trump immediately tweeted a message to clarify where he'd gotten his information, said Brzezinski, but at the same time, crime rates in Sweden have remained constant over the past 10 years.

"There's been no uptick in any major way," he told the program. "The biggest uptick is in computer fraud."

The Swedes, meanwhile, are providing an "important international service" by allowing refugees to come in, said Brzezinski.

"Remember, immigrants from Somalia or Yemen have to bypass a lot of countries to get to Sweden," he said. "To undercut that message in certain ways, I think is a certain mistake."

Brzezinski also said he is concerned that Trump has rejected the traditional roles of national security officials, as the process is there to help him handle the "superfast and massive undertaking of the responsibility of the world's only superpower.

"No one person or no just a couple people can do this alone. There are too many news developments and it's too fast to build policy on an informational basis."

The staffers on the National Security Council, he continued, are "the best and the brightest and they are there to vet for accuracy and the most strategic approach to advance the American interest.

"It should be utilized in a forthright way and to reinforce the most positive messages we can make to our allies and partners, and not undercut those messages."

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The most "nefarious thing" to happen in Sweden over the weekend involved technical difficulties at a music festival, and "nothing more than that," and President Donald Trump's claims that were based on a Fox News report mark a dangerous trend, Mark Brzezinski...
Mark Brzezinski, Dangerous, Trump, Policy, News Reports
Monday, 20 Feb 2017 01:31 PM
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