Irony Alert! Matthews Claims Trump Came Off ‘Like a Kiss Butt’ to Kim, Only Likes Dictators

If you weren’t sure whether a certain phrase in the headline was a word, it’s a no but MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews tried on Tuesday night to make it one. Describing President Trump’s attempts at currying favor with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Matthews told one of his panels that Trump didn’t come off like someone skilled in “political communiques,” but instead “like a kiss butt” and “it’s outrageous the way he talks.”

Besides that mind-numbing comment, Matthews asserted to the approval of panelists Jon Wolfsthal from the Obama administration and Vivian Salama from The Wall Street Journal that the President “doesn't like anybody elected” democratically but likes those who rule with iron fists.

 

 

First, Matthews making up words. He heard a series of clips from the Trump-Kim summit in which the former spoke positively of the latter and observed that Trump “sounds like Michael Corleone” from the original Godfather movie. Moments later, the MSNBC pundit wondered aloud:

[W]hy the praises? I can see: “We got along okay.” We all talk about political communiques like that, constructive talks, you know, the language. He's coming out like a kiss butt. It's outrageous — it’s outrageous the way he talks. This guy is a killer. 

Wolfsthal replied like a loyal former Obama official that he can “only see two plausible explanations” with one being that “Trump is jealous” of Kim because it’s his “natural proclivity toward tough guys and...he thinks that’s respectable.” He added that the second was that Trump was simply being “a salesman” to Kim, but he put less stock in that reason.

In between Wolfsthal giving those two explanations, Matthews offered up a bizarre comment that the former Obama official smartly ignored: “He wants to ride around on the horse with his shirt off like Putin? Is that what he wants to do?”

The shenanigans then popped up when the pair used Trump’s love life to make puns about his interactions with foreign leaders and Matthews used that to argue that Trump doesn’t like world leaders who were freely elected (click “expand” for more):

MATTHEWS: Does he want — Vivian — does he want to be allies with North Korea? Friends? It seems like that's what he wanted. He was dating with the idea of marrying. He clearly — I'm not kidding. It’s a pretty good metaphor. He wasn't just saying I'm going to hang out for one day in Singapore. He was talking up a relationship. 

SALAMA: Yeah, no, I mean —

MATTHEWS: How can you have a relationship with a dictator like that?

SALAMA: — at least in the beginning, he wants to see other people. But he's definitely on the path to date him exclusively. I mean, he — he — and he think that's his legacy. 

MATTHEWS: Well, look at his friends he's made. Erdogan in Turkey — 

WOLFSTHAL: Yeah. Trump doesn’t date exclusively. He likes to play around

MATTHEWS: — Vladimir Putin. He doesn't like anybody elected. 

WOLFSTHAL: Yeah.

SALAMA: Yeah.

WOLFSTHAL: Look, it’s Putin, Xi, Kim no, Erdogan and the people he's beating up on are our closest friends and allies, The Germans, the British, the French, the Canadians. It’s — it’s — everything is upside down.

Since fact-checkers like Politifact won’t take on Matthews, let’s take a peek at some past NewsBusters headlines from when the Iran nuclear deal came together in 2015 and see how Matthews felt about a presidential administration negotiating with the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism:

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on June 12, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
June 12, 2018
7:21 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. Following yesterday's hick summit, president trump is headed back to Washington right now with a blossoming appreciation for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. While in Singapore, Trump heaped praises on the leader calling him talented and smart. Let's watch more of this. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  Well, he is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough. [SCREEN WIPE] You'd be very surprised, very smart, very good negotiator. [SCREEN WIPE] [TO VOA’s GRETA VAN SUSTREN] Really he's got a great personality. He’s a, you know, funny guy. He's a very smart guy. He's a great negotiator. He loves his people not that I'm surprised by that but he loves his people. [SCREEN WIPE] I think he liked me and I like him and I understand the past and, you know, nobody has to tell me he's a rough guy. He has to be a rough guy or he has been a rough person, but we got along very well. [SCREEN WIPE] [TO ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS] His country does love him. His people they have a great fervor. 

MATTHEWS: Oh yeah, a lot of the individualism. This seems part of a pattern of this president who praises autocratic leaders and bad mouths our democratic allies. Let’s watch him. 

TRUMP [on 09/21/17]: Its an a great honor and privilege because he's become a friend of mine to introduce President Erdogan of Turkey. He's running a very difficult part of the world. He's involved very, very strongly and frankly, he's getting very high marks and he’s also been working with the United States. We have a great friendship. As countries, I think we're right now as close as we have ever been. [SCREEN WIPE] [on 11/12/17] We've had a great relationship. This has been very successful. 

BILL O’REILLY [TO TRUMP] [on 02/05/17]: He's a killer though. Putin’s a killer. 

TRUMP [on 02/05/17]: A lot of killers, we've got a lot of killers. Why, you think our country's so innocent?

MATTHEWS: That sounds like Michael Corleone in Godfather 1. You don’t think Senators kill people? How naive are you? Anyway, for Trump, the Singapore summit was an opportunity to make history but for the North Korean leader, it was a public relations success, cementing his Trump-backed legitimacy in the in world stage. For more, I'm joined by Jon Wolfsthal, he’s a former special assistant to President Obama and Vivian Salama is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Both of you, why the praises? I can see: “We got along okay.” We all talk about political communiques like that, constructive talks, you know, the language. He's coming out like a kiss butt. It's outrageous — it’s outrageous the way he talks. This guy is a killer. 

JON WOLFSTHAL: I only see two plausible explanations. One is the more likely is that Trump is jealous of his people. It’s a natural proclivity — 

MATTHEWS: Bullies. 

WOLFSTHAL:— it's a natural proclivity towards tough guys. 

[MATTHEWS MUMBLES]

WOLFSTHAL:— and he — he — he thinks that’s respectable?

MATTHEWS: He wants to ride around on the horse with his shirt off like Putin? Is that what he wants to do?

WOLFSTHAL: Ah, I think the other possibility here is, look, Donald Trump is a salesman, right? He’s trying to get this — butter him up and say, look, what does it get to get you in the time share video today? The video he showed was like a time share video, right? So, what I do to get to you sign on the line be? If he wins, if he gets the guy to sign and actually follow through, it's a great deal. 

MATTHEWS: Well, what do you — okay — you're an old commie like Kim. They’re communists. They don’t believe in anything except the state.

VIVIAN SALAMA: Right.

MATTHEWS: And he's saying you've got to bring Sandals in here, you got to make this a resort, you got to use your beach property. You got some great real estate here. What does this old — young commie say to what? What are you talking about? 

SALAMA: Well, we don’t —

MATTHEWS: Trump's talking like some real estate developer which is what he is.

SALAMA: — well, he doesn't hide that that he sees these negotiations as part of this boardroom mentality where you have to talk tough, but where you also have to kind of —

MATTHEWS: Do you think Kim Jong-un wants to loosen up his country —

SALAMA: — give — a little give and take and —

MATTHEWS: — and turn it into a resort town? 

SALAMA:  — but no, I mean — many people are rightfully skeptical on it. But, Chris, I'm actually sitting here because I'm still recovering from G-7 coverage which I've just done for the last couple of days, where we are still, to this day, even in Singapore when he's coming off had this historic summit, the President is still trashing Justin Trudeau —

MATTHEWS: Why do you think?

SALAMA: — for criticizing him after he left. 

MATTHEWS: Why? 

SALAMA: Because of the fact that he feels that that Justin Trudeau was unjust in his attack because he did it after the President left — the President — 

MATTHEWS: But those attacks weren't really attacks. I watched the whole thing. It wasn't that tough. 

SALAMA: And it wasn't anything new either. It wasn't something that Justin Trudeau hasn’t said before. 

(....)

WOLFSTHAL: No, it's petty. This is the President of the United States. We're the most powerful country in the world and we’re treating our friends, the countries that have fought and died with us to preserve liberty and we’re treating them like an extortion racket. It's — it’s — it’s horrific. 

MATTHEWS: Well, let's talk about values. I don't want to get too squishy, but the fact is we believe in values and the fact is we like democracies, we like countries where they actually get to pick their leaders and dump them when they don't like him. If you don’t like Jimmy Carter, we can get rid of him. We can get rid of George Senior and Bush. But we have the freedom to do that. They don't have the freedom to dump Kim Jong-un. 

SALAMA: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: He's a third generation character who inherited a job and probably got it for life. It’s certainly not a democracy.

WOLFSTHAL: This is the debate we were having after the G-7 when President Trump said, well let's let Russia back in. First of all, the G-7 is not just economic powers They're economic liberal democracies. Russia's a smaller economy than Brazil, than India, then almost the Republic of Korea. 

MATTHEWS: Why does Trump want him in? 

WOLFSTHAL: Because he's Putin's ally. Either Putin’s got something on him. I mean, the —

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s a question I have. Does he want — Vivian — does he want to be allies with North Korea? Friends? It seems like that's what he wanted. He was dating with the idea of marrying. He clearly — I'm not kidding. It’s a pretty good metaphor. He wasn't just saying I'm going to hang out for one day in Singapore. He was talking up a relationship. 

SALAMA: Yeah, no, I mean —

MATTHEWS: How can you have a relationship with a dictator like that?

SALAMA: — at least in the beginning, he wants to see other people. But he's definitely on the path to date him exclusively. I mean, he — he — and he think that's his legacy. 

MATTHEWS: Well, look at his friends he's made. Erdogan in Turkey — 

WOLFSTHAL: Yeah. Trump doesn’t date exclusively. He likes to play around

MATTHEWS: — Vladimir Putin. He doesn't like anybody elected. 

WOLFSTHAL: Yeah.

SALAMA: Yeah.

WOLFSTHAL: Look, it’s Putin, Xi, Kim no, Erdogan and the people he's beating up on are our closest friends and allies, The Germans, the British, the French, the Canadians. It’s — it’s — everything is upside down. 

SALAMA: But, Chris, it’s really important to think that we're going to actually need these allies for a lot of negotiations coming forward. We're talking about China tariffs moving forward. The deadline is this Friday just to get China in compliance with some of the demand that this administration is pushing. We actually need our allies to sort of form that unified front to get China to comply, so — 

MATTHEWS: Okay, so, I just remember Ronald Reagan, who was a Republican, who believed we were sitting on a hill and he believed we were a role model. And he loved the fact that — whatever you think of Reagan — he loved the fact it was a democracy, that it was a liberal democracy. People had rights and we got along with the rest of the world and Reagan always tried to get along with the rest of the world, including communists, but he did it the right way. He negotiated.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Iran North Korea Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Chris Matthews Donald Trump Kim Jong Un
Curtis Houck's picture