Matthews Spins Wikileaks Dump as ‘Great’ in Showing ‘Intelligence’ of Hillary’s Campaign Team

Somehow trying to spin the Wikileaks document dumps from the e-mail account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta as a positive, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews ruled on Thursday night that “what I found great about it from the Clinton side was the intelligence of the people inside” in their self-evaluation of their candidate’s messaging.

Teaming with Boston Globe reporter and guest Annie Linskey, the pair touted some of the e-mails as a “very affirming” “learning device” in how campaigns work (translation: they’re doing and saying the same things I’d be saying if I worked for Hillary). 

Matthews first noted that the campaign has predictably refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the e-mails before gushing about what the e-mails show: “But what I found great about it from the Clinton side was the intelligence of the people inside. They're asking the questions that everybody on the outside’s been asking like where's the coherent message?”

Linskey immediately replied that, for her and other political reporters covering the campaign, “[i]t was very affirming” that Clinton aides “asked those questions on the outside” such as: “Like, is she connecting with people? What exactly is her message? What's the strategy here and, you know, is she going to talk to people?”

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She continued heaping praise for how “there’s one e-mail that I love where there was a suggestion that she say, oh, well, I've been in living rooms across America, and somebody said, well, actually, she hasn't really been in that many living rooms this time around, so let's not do that one.” 

Before Matthews footnoted the one e-mail that he thought to be “damaging” was her emphasis that one needs a separate private and public opinions, Linksey proclaimed that the e-mails between Clinton confidantes illustrated “it was very much a bunch of adults talking about and grappling with some of the same issues that people on the outside have identified.”

Going to commercial break, Matthews concluded that “we should keep watching these e-mails” because “I think they're great to learn” and “a great learning device” even though “I'm not going to thank the Russians for it, but it’s one way to get the information.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 13 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 13, 2016
7:35 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But what I found great about it from the Clinton side was the intelligence of the people inside. 

ANNIE LINSKEY: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: They're asking the questions that everybody on the outside’s been asking like where's the coherent message? 

LINSKEY: Right.

MATTHEWS: What does Hilary really want to say? What does she truly believe should be said? Can she really identify with regular folks making regular incomes? 

LINSKEY: It was very affirming for anybody who's covered the campaign and asked those questions on the outside. Like, is she connecting with people? What exactly is her message? 

MATTHEWS: What's the media strategy?

LINSKEY: What's the strategy here and, you know, is she going to talk to people? There was one point, there’s one e-mail that I love where there was a suggestion that she say, oh, well, I've been in living rooms across America, and somebody said, well, actually, she hasn't really been in that many living rooms this time around, so let's not do that one. So, you know, it was very much a bunch of adults talking about and grappling with some of the same issues that people on the outside have identified. 

MATTHEWS: I guess the only one that was damaging to some extent was when she told those bankers, I guess, those swells up in New York, that you have to have a public presentation, a public message and a private message. 

(....)

MATTHEWS: Well, to use Newt Gingrich’s phrase about little and big, the big Donald and small Donald, nobody likes to think that she's giving one message to the big shots and another one to the little people, the regular people because that means it's elitism. 

LINSKEY: And that's exactly how that came across. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah, well, we should keep watching these e-mails. I think they're great to learn. I think they’re a great learning device, however we get them. I'm not going to thank the Russians for it, but it’s one way to get the information.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press WikiLeaks Annie Linskey Chris Matthews Hillary Clinton Jennifer Palmieri
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