Jim Miklaszewski kept it relatively diplomatic, declaring "there's something amiss here." But Joe Scarborough was blunt: "boy, that's damning," said the Morning Joe host.
They were characterizing Miklaszewski's description of the Obama administration's "micromanagement" of the Department of Defense in which communication flows only in one direction: from the White House to the Pentagon. On today's Morning Joe, NBC's Pentagon correspondent reported that former SecDefs Robert Gates and Leon Panetta had recently "lambaste[d]" that micromanagement.
Note: Bill Kristol reported something similar during his Weekly Standard podcast yesterday: "I am told Hagel was very unhappy with the White House. One senator--I heard this secondhand but--that Hagel saw recently said Hagel just couldn't believe, this is not about ideology, this is just a practical matter, how micromanaging these junior White House staff were, or how little respect they had for a cabinet secretary or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or other senior officials in the Defense Department."
Note Deux: Miklaszewski displayed disregard for Mike Barnicle, who earlier decried the "lack of communication" between the White House and the Pentagon. Mocked Mik: "I know I'm taking a real risk here but I have to challenge Mike Barnicle."
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: And I know I'm taking a real risk here but I have to challenge Mike Barnicle on the idea that there's no communication between the Pentagon and the White House. There is. But it's all one way. It's White House to the Pentagon. And seriously, when you get strong Secretaries of Defense like Robert Gates and Leon Panetta just over a week ago to both lambaste the White House for the kind of micromanagement they impose upon the Pentagon, there's something amiss here.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Boy, that's damning.