Brian Williams didn’t shy away from criticizing Matt Gaetz, the controversial U.S. Representative from Florida and ally of President Donald Trump, after Gaetz launched his own criticism of the U.S. military.
In the closing minutes of his MSNBC political news show “The 11th Hour” on Wednesday night, Williams aired a clip of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley discussing the teaching of critical race theory at West Point, the U.S. federal service academy.
“Republicans, as you know, have decided we’re in a crisis of some sort where our military is both soft and woke, and our kids are being taught dangerous things like white rage and critical race theory,” Williams said. “When asked about the curriculum at West Point, Milley made clear he wasn’t having it.”
In the clip of his testimony, Milley said, “First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, a lot of us have to get smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open minded and be widely read. And the United States military academy is a university, and it is important that we train and we understand. I want to understand white rage — and I’m white…So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here and I do want analyze it. It’s important that we understand that.”
Gaetz is seen shaking his head in disagreement in the video. Later on, he tweeted “With Generals like this it’s no wonder we’ve fought considerably more wars than we’ve won.”
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“Easy enough to lob a comment like that from the cheap seats,” Williams said on his show. “To be fair, Gaetz — the same Matt Gaetz who faces potential sex trafficking charges, which he denies — did also tweet today to free Britney Spears, which kind of makes him a freedom fighter.”
Williams has served an anchor of “The 11th Hour” since 2016, after he was suspended for six months and demoted from “NBC Nightly News” for exaggerating events he claimed to occur while he was reporting on the Iraq War in 2003.
Variety has reached out to MSNBC for comment.
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