03 MAR 2017 AT 19:45 ET
Former CIA operative Phil Mudd railed against the Trump administration’s confusing consistency with Russian meetings in an appearance on CNN Friday.
Mudd argued that it isn’t unusual for incoming administrations to meet with ambassadors or leaders of countries. He rattled off the countries Trump or his aides met with from China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India and Pakistan. But Mudd had one concern that few are asking.
“Let’s ask the prospective question and somebody says, ‘wow, the only people they met consistently with, they were the Russians,'” he said. “Depending on the context, Wolf, how significant this takes on different colors. I’m waiting for more answers.”
Mudd gave the aides and allies the benefit of the doubt saying that he doesn’t necessarily think they are lying but they have such little experience in Washington or in politics that they “answered the questions tactically.”
“They didn’t review the journals and think seriously about what happened at the convention last summer and they suffered a death by a thousand cuts when The Washington Post, CNN and others started to reveal information,” he continued. “They never got behind the story because their inexperience in Washington didn’t get ahead of this and say, ‘wow, before we answer another question, we ought to sit down and not let this go out piecemeal.’ I don’t think this is lies. I think it’s bad management at the White House.”
Mudd is correct that many aides, like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, don’t have experience in Washington, however, Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus does as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions and his team.
The biggest tactical mistake, Mudd argued, was that the media is owning the story on the Russian scandal.
“Drip by drip, a drop of blood every day and sharks in the Congress, the media and the American people rip a hole in them,” He closed. “They need to get out front…the White House doesn’t let drops of blood go in the water, they drop a tub load in the water and ‘we’ll give you the answer.’ They’re way behind the curve.”