Andrea Mitchell doesn't see "any way the White House can spin," Saudi King Salman's absence from President Obama's upcoming Arab Leaders Summit at Camp David besides "a snub."
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: We’ve heard an awful lot about the health of some leaders and the Saudi leaders being pinned down by what is happening in their own countries, but this is fairly unprecedented. Four of six countries not bringing their leaders to Camp David. Fairly unprecedented. Are we entering a new phase in U.S./Saudi relations?
ANDREA MITCHELL: I think we actually entered it with the decision not to go against Assad in Syria over chemical weapons, once that red line that the president himself had imposed on Labor Day a couple of years ago, and to let that war go unanswered really, by any kind of American initiative since then. So I think that was the first step.
Then Iran. Here you’ve got Iran ACTING very aggressively in Yemen against the Saudis. The Saudis engaged in a shooting war there, and they believe that with the lifting of the sanctions, Iran will have so much more disposable income for their foreign policy misadventures, if you will, from the Saudi perspective, from the perspective of those others in the region.
What I think is so extraordinary here is that they confirmed to John Kerry that he was coming.
And then the foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, whom we all know from his years and years here as the ambassador and before that as a national security adviser to former King Abdullah — he was with John Kerry in Paris on Friday saying that the king was coming.
So this snub is so in your face to not only not come, to say you’re coming and then not come, but to have reconfirmed it at the highest levels. It’s embarrassing to Kerry. It’s embarrassing to the White House. And I don’t see any way that they can spin it.