Matthews Hammers Brazile for Arguing the 2016 Election ‘Was Not a Legitimate Election’

Former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile continued her book tour with an appearance on Tuesday’s Hardball where she faced a stiff grilling from host Chris Matthews for her belief that the 2016 presidential election was illegitimate due to Russian meddling.

Surprisingly, Matthews stood up for the American people who voted Donald Trump into the White House, admitting that “the election still counts” and thoughts otherwise are Third World-like talk being yielded by Brazile, Hillary Clinton, and their allies.

 

 

Matthews started the interview by asking about potential 2020 presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders before moving to recent comments by Clinton about the election:

Okay, let me ask you about Hillary Clinton's statement recently that the 2016 election wasn't legitimate. Now, that is very confounding to me. Does that mean it shouldn't count? What does it mean to say it's not legitimate? You might not like a lot of things done in it. A lot of things get bad done. I mean, there's dirty campaign fundraising and people break the rules all the time. There's prejudice, racial prejudice, all kinds of prejudice. But the election still counts. Do you think she's saying it was not a legitimate election? What do you say to that? 

Brazile initially waffled, claiming that Clinton “was saying that this was a disruptive political season and what we are learning, Chris, every day, is that the Russian interference went beyond the stolen e-mails and the weaponization of information.”

Matthews wasn’t buying it, continuing to press. After a few repetitions of the question, Brazile responded that “Donald Trump cracked the blue wall” in the Rust Belt but “I do believe Secretary Clinton is making a very important point” with “[t]he role of social media” plus “coordination between Wikileaks and possibly the Trump campaign.”

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The MSNBC host agreed that investigators must get to the bottom of what happened, but that didn’t necessarily mean the election didn’t count. Matthews pushed and only then did Brazile admit that last year’s election wasn’t real: 

MATTHEWS: We do it all the time here, Donna. My question to you is, was it a legitimate election? Does it count?    

BRAZILE: My personal view is that it was not a legitimate election. 

MATTHEWS: So it doesn't count? 

BRAZILE: Chris, remember, I am the campaign manager of Al Gore in 2000 and where, as you well know, the Supreme Court decided. This election will always have an asterisk by it and that's why I think Donald Trump should take steps as President to clean up our system so that no more foreign governments have no foreign meddling occur in the future. 

Matthews has continually attacked Trump for his birtherism regarding Barack Obama and thus Trump believed he “wasn’t a legitimate President because he was an illegal immigrant and that's what illegitimate means, is that an legitimate election or not and you're saying it was not a legitimate election.” 

“It doesn't count. That's a strong statement,” he added.

Brazile dithered away by claiming she’s able to speak to illegitimate elections since she was the head of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign that, in her view, was unfairly decided by the Supreme Court.

Giving credit where credit is due, Matthews stood his ground, offering her a sharp rebuke:

We're going in different directions. I think the world illegitimate is third world, fourth world. Hillary should have never used it. She can say there was a corrupt aspect to it. She could say people did bad things. There was interference from abroad, but the Electoral College count was for real.

 

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on November 21:

MSNBC’s Hardball
November 13, 2017
7:36 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, let me ask you about Hillary Clinton's statement recently that the 2016 election wasn't legitimate. Now, that is very confounding to me. Does that mean it shouldn't count? What does it mean to say it's not legitimate? You might not like a lot of things done in it. A lot of things get bad done. I mean, there's dirty campaign fundraising and people break the rules all the time. There's prejudice, racial prejudice, all kinds of prejudice. But the election still counts. Do you think she's saying it was not a legitimate election? What do you say to that? 

DONNA BRAZILE: I think she was saying that this was a disruptive political season and what we are learning, Chris, every day, is that the Russian interference went beyond the stolen e-mails —

MATTHEWS: Sure, I know that. Yeah.

BRAZILE: — and the weaponization of information. We all know —

MATTHEWS: But you think it wasn’t a legit — 

BRAZILE:  — it’s — Chris —

MATTHEWS: — yes, I know. But just to the point, you think it was a legitimate election, right? 

BRAZILE: Look, Donald Trump cracked the blue wall. We know that. He was able to win votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. But, yes, I do believe Secretary Clinton is making a very important point. The role of social media. This coordination between Wikileaks —

MATTHEWS: Okay.

BRAZILE: — and possibly the Trump campaign. We need to get to the bottom of it.

MATTHEWS: I know. I agree.

BRAZILE: And I hope that Director Mueller can get to the bottom of it. 

MATTHEWS: We do it all the time here, Donna. My question to you is, was it a legitimate election? Does it count?    

BRAZILE: My personal view is that it was not a legitimate election. 

MATTHEWS: So it doesn't count? 

BRAZILE: Chris, remember, I am the campaign manager of Al Gore in 2000 and where, as you well know, the Supreme Court decided. This election will always have an asterisk by it and that's why I think Donald Trump should take steps as President to clean up our system so that no more foreign governments have no foreign meddling occur in the future. 

MATTHEWS: Okay, we have a definition of problem because, you know, what's his name, Trump is out there. He's said for years that Barack Obama wasn't a legitimate President, because he was an illegal immigrant and that's what illegitimate means, is that an legitimate election or not and you're saying it was not a legitimate election. It doesn't count. That's a strong statement. 

BRAZILE: Chris, Chris, I have worked on more campaigns than many Americans and I can tell you something. When you see all of the evidence that it's a mountain of how the Russians interfered in our election —

MATTHEWS: I know! 

BRAZILE: Which is why I wrote the booked Hacked, when you see what they did in social media with Facebook and Twitter —

MATTHEWS: So it doesn't count.

BRAZILE: — we have — we need to get to the bottom of it, Chris. And I’ll come back when the investigation is over with. 

MATTHEWS: We're going in different directions. I think the world illegitimate is third world, fourth world. Hillary should have never used it. She can say there was a corrupt aspect to it. She could say people did bad things. There was interference from abroad, but the Electoral College count was for real.

BRAZILE: Chris, I agree on that point, but you're arguing semantics when I want to argue that there was some big issues, big problems, and she faced a significant headwind in 2016 and I think what she means when she talks about legitimacy, she's talking about the foreign interference and meddling and what I describe in my book, Hacked. The corruption of our files and what they did to try to destroy the Democratic National Committee and discredit our nominee, Hillary Clinton. 

MATTHEWS: Okay. Well said.


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CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Russia Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball WikiLeaks Chris Matthews Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Donna Brazile
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