MSNBC's Earnest on Trump UN address: 'Coherence was lacking'

Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Trump's address to the United Nations was "foolish" while "coherence was lacking" in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

“As you point out, Andrea, there is a distinct lack of coherence in this strategy President Trump outlined today,” Earnest said. “On the one hand, he’s suggested to North Korea that they need to work with the United Nations to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Then two or three sentences later, he is trashing and vowing to tear up a deal that the United Nations is implementing to prevent Iran from getting access to a nuclear weapon."

"What this does, Andrea, is it puts the United States at a disadvantage, that part of our leadership in the world and part of the way we advance our interests, is by being able to articulate a strategy that the world joins us implementing," he continued. "That coherence was lacking in today’s speech.”

Earnest, who signed on with MSNBC earlier this year as a contributor, also questioned how "mocking the leader of North Korea" serves U.S. interests.

“To be blunt, Andrea, I think it is foolish to goad or provoke or mock someone who, even in President Trump’s own words, is on a suicide mission," Earnest said.

"How is the United States’s position — or how is our national security strengthened by mocking the leader of North Korea?" he asked. "It is in nobody’s interest, particularly the most powerful, influential, strongest — the greatest country in the world, for the leader of that country to try to out Kim Jong Un."

"It doesn’t make any sense," Earnest concluded. "It is certainly beneath the United States, and it does not advance our position to try to resolve this dispute in a way that protects our own national security and also protects the national security of our allies in Asia.”

Trump's threat to destroy North Korea came Tuesday during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, which included him referring to Kim as "Rocket Man."

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump said in his remarks to world leaders and ambassadors.

“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” he continued. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”