On Tuesday’s Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews upped the ante on his obsession with calling the Trump family the 21st century Romanovs, doing so for the 12th different show in 2017. He went one step further here, hinting that “we know what happened to the Romanovs” as in that some were murdered by the Bolsheviks.
12 minutes into the show, Matthews whined to The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan that “it seems to me there's always an element of almost Romanov absurdity — a royal family absurdity with the Trumps now” plus son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Referring to separate quotes from Eric Trump suggesting that sister Ivanka played a role in the Syrian airstrikes and that Trump officials are appeasers, Matthews added two minutes later that this “takes your breath away.”
“You know, the son of the President of the United States, says his father...looks upon all the people around the President....as a bunch of appeasers, a bunch of yes men and the only people that the President can rely on are his son, his daughter-in-law — I mean his son-in-law and his daughter. I mean it's like it is the Romanovs. The real advisers to the President, he’s saying, are the family,” he complained.
Prior to Tuesday, Matthews referred to Trump as the Romanov family at least once during his shows on March 17, 20, and 27 then April 3-7 and 10 (which we chronicled here, and here). Matthews also did this during MSNBC’s live Inauguration coverage on January 20.
Before going to commercial break on this night, however, Matthews made it worse by hinting to viewers that the Trump family could suffer the fate of the Romanovs, which was that some (including Czar Nicholas II) were murdered by Bolsheviks in 1918.
“And they weren't elected. Anyway, it is a royal family. Anyway, thank you, Robert Costa, Anne Gearan. We're seeing this — we know what happened to the Romanovs,” ruled Matthews.
Referring again to the President’s son Eric, Matthews brought up the Romanovs twice more at the end of his show, including this final instance:
If you want to list things to worry about, he said that his father, the President, is surrounded by 37 appeasers. Yes, yes men, most of them. He means people who just tell Trump what they think he wants to hear, where the family gives him the right direction. What a perfect definition of a country run by a royal family, again, on the Russian model, the Romanovs, a bad example of having it all and blowing it.
The loony MSNBC pundit did the same on at least one occasion to the Bush family when they left office on Inauguration Day in 2009, but the media similar declined to bat an eye. If such a comparison were made about the Clintons or Obamas, the media would be outraged. Why? Here’s how the History Channel explained what happened to the Romanovs:
Civil war broke out in Russia in June 1918, and in July the anti-Bolshevik “White” Russian forces advanced on Yekaterinburg, where Nicholas and his family were located, during a campaign against the Bolshevik forces. Local authorities were ordered to prevent a rescue of the Romanovs, and after a secret meeting of the Yekaterinburg Soviet, a death sentence was passed on the imperial family.
Late on the night of July 16, Nicholas, Alexandra, their five children and four servants were ordered to dress quickly and go down to the cellar of the house in which they were being held. There, the family and servants were arranged in two rows for a photograph they were told was being taken to quell rumors that they had escaped. Suddenly, a dozen armed men burst into the room and gunned down the imperial family in a hail of gunfire. Those who were still breathing when the smoked cleared were stabbed to death.
The network’s Website also highlighted in a separate post how brutal their murders were:
After Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolshevik forces in July 1918, the killers hid the victims’ mutilated bodies. The remains were discovered and exhumed in the late 1970s near Yekaterinburg, Russia, and eventually identified through DNA testing.
The double standard here is striking. Matthews has repeatedly compared the Trump family to the Russian royal family that was removed then murdered so communism could take hold in the Soviet Union. The fact that guest after guest has allowed Matthews to do this without pushback or facts like these are doing a great disservice.
Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on April 11:
April 11, 2017
7:12 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's go to Anne on this question. Anne, it seems to me there's always an element of almost Romanov absurdity — a royal family absurdity with the Trumps now. It's one thing to have Jared Kushner sitting in on all meetings, doing all travel, representing the President as some sort of viceroy. But then we’re getting — look at this. Eric Trump, the son of the President, said that his sister Ivanka may have played a role in the President's decision to respond to Syria's chemical attack. “Ivanka is a mother of three kids, and she has influence. I'm sure she said: ‘Listen, this is horrible stuff.’...My father will act in times like that.” Well, referring more broadly to the advice the Trump family gives to the President, Eric Trump also said: “I think it gives you a sounding board a little bit more unconventional than the 37 people that might be standing around that table at one time that just want to appease.”
7:14 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: You know, Anne, some of this takes your breath away. First of all, the son, who’s the — you know, the son of the president of the United States, says his father, certainly the family looks upon all the people around the President, the cabinet members, the top aides, the National Security Advisers, the Joint Chiefs as a bunch of appeasers, a bunch of yes men and the only people that the President can rely on are his son, his daughter-in-law — I mean his son-in-law and his daughter. I mean it's like it is the Romanovs. The real advisers to the President, he’s saying, are the family.
7:16 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: And they weren't elected. Anyway, it is a royal family. Anyway, thank you, Robert Costa, Anne Gearan. We're seeing this — we know what happened to the Romanovs.
7:59 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: Trump watch, Tuesday, April 11th, 2017. I've said for some time that the Trump presidency resembles, if it resembles anything, a royal favor with special favor to the Russian royal family before the communists grabbed power. Just watch the way these latter-day Romanovs set policy. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law, is given reign over pretty much everything. He sets in on all decisions and may well be the one making a good number of them. He heads off to Iraq to meet with the U.S. military commander as if he were a viceroy, a stand-in for the president himself. And then there's the President's son, Eric, who says that the key to understanding Trump's decision to fire away at Syria lies with his sister, Ivanka. He says watch her and her children, Donald's grandchildren, and you see the power behind the throne. If she didn't like those pictures coming from Syria, that explains why Trump acted, why he sent those cruise missiles there. Again, it's about the family. Young Trump said something more disturbing. If you want to list things to worry about, he said that his father, the President, is surrounded by 37 appeasers. Yes, yes men, most of them. He means people who just tell Trump what they think he wants to hear, where the family gives him the right direction. What a perfect definition of a country run by a royal family, again, on the Russian model, the Romanovs, a bad example of having it all and blowing it.