NBC: After Syria, Will Trump Change His Mind on ‘Muslim Ban’ Too?

April 7th, 2017 11:00 AM

Friday morning following the U.S.’s overnight missile strike on Syria, the big three news networks seemed at a loss of exactly how they could criticize Trump for his actions. While NBC’s Matt Lauer and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos questioned the legality of bypassing Congress to authorize this strike, the networks largely stayed away from their usual overt attacks of Trump in their morning coverage. But NBC political analyst Nicolle Wallace found a way to relate the Syria situation to Trump’s “Muslim ban,” wondering if Trump would change his mind on that as well.

Today show anchor Matt Lauer began by noting this “decisive” and “reasonable” strike on Syria’s president seemed to contradict the criticism of Trump as “irrational” and “unpredictable.” He then asked Wallace if this strike on Syria would, consequently, change people’s minds about Trump’s presidency.

I want to take you back to the campaign. The people who were vocal about being worried about a Donald Trump presidency said things like he's unpredictable, and they didn't mean it in a good way. That he's irrational, he’s not the guy you want as Commander in Chief. Now after this chemical weapons attack by Assad he's acted in a timely, decisive, and reasonable way. What's the reaction going to be here? 

Wallace responded skeptically before basically saying that Trump had burned his bridges long ago, and no matter what he did, he wouldn’t win over any critics.

Well, I think the audience of people among whom he can reshape his presidency is relatively small. I think you'll see a lot of stories like that, has President Trump reshaped his presidency? It's a good question. But the audience with whom he has potential to do so is relatively small, because of the strident manner if which he's taken office. It's unprecedented really.  

She then found a way to make a negative of the arguably positive coverage Trump was receiving from the media, by bringing up the so-called “Muslim ban.” Wallace wondered if this Syria strike was the first step in Trump changing his mind on other policy issues as well, like the immigration order.

The string I think he unravelled last night that's going to be most interesting to domestic political audience is the question Hallie Jackson posed to National Security Advisor McMaster last night. Does this reshape his thoughts about that Muslim ban, about our refugee policy? Did he see something, and he was obviously personally moved by the images from Syria.