What NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin said on MSNBC Thursday morning about slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle left host Joe Scarbrough stunned. According to Mohyeldin, Kyle may have been "racist" against Iraqis and went on "killing sprees."
"When you juxtapose it with the real Chris Kyle and what has emerged about what kind of personality he was, in his own words--," Mohyeldin said, before being interrupted by fellow newsman Willie Geist.
"You're talking about the stories when he was back home in Texas which may have not been true? Is that what you're talking about?" Geist pressed.
A lot of his stories of when he was back home in Texas, a lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq, how he viewed Iraqis, some of what people have described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims when he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.
Scarborough was stunned: "Wait, wait, killing sprees? Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?"
"When he was involved in his -- on assignments in terms of what he was doing -- a lot of the description that has come out from his book and some of the terminology that he has used, people have described as racist," Mohyeldin responded. "And his personal attitudes about what he was doing overseas when he was on assignment."
Scarborough brushed it off as some of the heated rhetoric of war.
Earlier, Mohyeldin said, "if you don't know anything about Chirs Kyle, if you don't know there's a true story, this is a great movie."
Geist, who said he had seen the movie twice, also seemed baffled and jumped to Kyle's defense.
It wasn't a commentary about the war. It wasn't about the politics of the war. It was a character study of what this guy went through. And you don't have to like him and all the comments about him calling Iraqis savages. He was calling the people he was shooting savages. He was calling people who he thought had IEDs, who he thought were going to kill his buddies, savages. Some people have seized on that term that he thought all Iraqis or everyone in the Middle East is a savage. That's just not what he said. It's not what he said. He was talking about the people he was fighting in the theater, calling them savages.
Scarborough took an admitted "cheap shot."
"All right, when we come back, Ayman is going to kick around Santa Claus."
Here's the relevant part via Newsbusters:
And here's the full segment: