Matthews Compares Stopping Trump to Thwarting Communism as Schmidt Empties His Thesaurus

Reacting on Wednesday’s Hardball to the anonymous Trump official’s self-serving New York Times op-ed, MSNBC host Chris Matthews compared it to the same clarion call offered by George Kennan in 1946 on containing communism while panelists Steve Schmidt seemingly read from a thesaurus to attack the Trump administration and Zerlina Maxwell urged the need for impeachment proceedings.

Within the show’s first two minutes, Matthews opined that the official’s piece “could be the most powerful anonymous letter since American diplomat George Kennan published his historic telegram outlining the Cold War strategy of containment” except, in this case, it’s not communism that must be stopped but instead “the worst impulses of a sitting U.S. President.”

 

 

Matthews later reiterated this comparison to chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, telling her that “in this case, it’s not the containment of a foreign power like the Soviet Union or the communist threat internationally” but “the threat of the chief executive of this country.”

And then there’s faux Republican-turned-liberal Steve Schmidt, who truly doesn’t have a basic understanding of how a panel discussion works. When given the cue from Matthews to speak, Schmidt rambled uninterrupted for three minutes and 16 seconds. 

Schmidt first touted the author’s mention of John McCain and then compared what this arrogant official did (regardless of their substance) to the use of “tap code” by McCain and his fellow POWs in North Vietnam.

“And so the first thing I would like to say as someone in the Resistance on the outside is thank you and it is nice to hear from you, but it is not enough. We are in an hour of national emergency in this country,” Schmidt added, continuing his pathetic penchant for speaking in hyperbolic language that’s gone unchallenged.

Just over 12 hours before Cory Booker gave his Spartacus talk, Schmidt tried to give one of his own (without admitting to it) to the person who wrote the NYT piece (click “expand” for more):

That is evidenced by the President's behavior and erratic behavior that we see in public every day, by the account of this op-ed, and, of course, by Bob Woodward's book.....We know that this administration is vile, corrupt, and likely criminal. We know that this President is amoral, that he is mentally and intellectually unfit for his office. What I would say back to the author of this op-ed, is that this Resistance inside the administration, whomever they are, must knew gather. And one of them, the best of them, the toughest, the hardest, the most credible must come forward into the light. They must take the full step and tell the American people the truth because the American people deserve to know. We are a nation of 325 million on a planet of six billion and this file, immoral, corrupt, indecent, dangerous, intellectually unfit President is a danger to all of us. And they have an obligation to the country, to the Constitution, to every American patriot from Nathan Hale and on. Nathan Hale has said I regret only that I have one life to give up for my country. We’re not asking them do that. We are just asking them to come forward and tell the truth. The truth in a moment of crisis. The crisis is the political cowardice in the country, acute in the Republican Party where not one person will step forward and say enough is enough which is assaults on objective truth, on the rule of law, a liberal democracy. Enough is enough with his fetishsizing autocratic dictators around the world, assaulting and assailing our allies. Enough. Who will step forward. That question now is foremost in my mind reading this. We need someone in the public to tell the truth.

Feel free to take a few deep breaths after that unhinged rant.

SiriusXM’s Maxwell eventually got a chance to speak and knocked Trump for “look[ing] sweaty and a bit unhinged, to use Omarosa’s word” in describing his on-camera reaction to one of his own staffers lashing out in The Times.

She added that everyone “who care[s] about our families and our safety” should consider what comes next, which is removing President Trump in one form or another whether it’s through the 25th Amendment, ensuring Democrats take control of the House in November (even though, as she acknowledged, it’d still be tough with the Senate).

Amidst being pressed to be more specific or double down by Matthews, she in part explained (click “expand” for more):

The President is a national security threat because he doesn't understand foreign policy. He makes brash decisions.....I think the Democrats can message around holding this president accountable. Impeachment is one of the ways to hold this President accountable, but it is actually up to the citizens and the voters to make sure the Democrats have the votes necessary in order to do any of those things. So it is also on citizens....Everything we have learned about this President tells us that he’s impulsive, that he will do things off the cuff just because he is upset and in a peak and that is dangerous...And so, I think, you know, as citizens, we really have to seriously ask yourselves what do we do next because the President is not representing all of us[.]

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on September 5, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
September 5, 2018
7:01 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, it could be the most powerful anonymous letter since American diplomat George Kennan published his historic telegram outlining the Cold War strategy of containment. But rather than attempting to contain a foreign power, the author, in this case, makes clear that the objective now is to contain the worst impulses of a sitting U.S. President.

(....)

STEVE SCHMIDT: Well, Chris, it is an extraordinary and historic op-ed, they referenced John McCain at the end of it and my first thought was to think of John McCain's story as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and the comfort that the prisoners took when they were able to establish through the isolation of their solitary confinement, communication with the other prisoners through tap code, through the wall. And so the first thing I would like to say as someone in the Resistance on the outside is thank you and it is nice to hear from you, but it is not enough. We are in an hour of national emergency in this country. That is evidenced by the President's behavior and erratic behavior that we see in public every day, by the account of this op-ed, and, of course, by Bob Woodward's book, a journalist of the highest standards and reputation who has distinguished himself over a lifetime of meticulous reporting about how the powerful act. We know that this administration is vile, corrupt, and likely criminal. We know that this President is amoral, that he is mentally and intellectually unfit for his office. What I would say back to the author of this op-ed, is that this Resistance inside the administration, whomever they are, must knew gather. 

And one of them, the best of them, the toughest, the hardest, the most credible must come forward into the light. They must take the full step and tell the American people the truth because the American people deserve to know. We are a nation of 325 million on a planet of six billion and this file, immoral, corrupt, indecent, dangerous, intellectually unfit President is a danger to all of us. And they have an obligation to the country, to the Constitution, to every American patriot from Nathan Hale and on. Nathan Hale has said I regret only that I have one life to give up for my country. We’re not asking them do that. We are just asking them to come forward and tell the truth.

MATTHEWS: Let’s go —

SCHMIDT: The truth in a moment of crisis. The crisis is the political cowardice in the country, acute in the Republican Party where not one person will step forward and say enough is enough which is assaults on objective truth, on the rule of law, a liberal democracy. Enough is enough with his fetishsizing autocratic dictators around the world, assaulting and assailing our allies. Enough. Who will step forward. That question now is foremost in my mind reading this. We need someone in the public to tell the truth.

(....)

ZERLINA MAXWELL: Well in that link, he looks sweaty and a little bit unhinged, to use Omarosa's word. But I think, you know, as to the other guests points, this validates what we already knew from the previous book. And all the excellent reporting that The Washington Post and The Times has been done over the past two years. I think what we, as citizens, and as analysts, and people living in this country who care about our families and our safety, what we need to decide in this moment is what do we do next? Is it the 25th amendment. Is it making sure that the House becomes a Democratic majority in November, so that we can perhaps even talk seriously about the possibility of starting an impeachment process, which is not a one step process; it’s a two step process. So that would just — it’s a — the beginning of that would be talking about it in a serious way. And I think we are actually in that moment. The President is a national security threat because he doesn't understand foreign policy. He makes brash decisions. He doesn't listen to his advisers and we now have Bob Woodward on record saying that General Mattis essentially took an order on the phone to assassinate Assad. Impulsive directive and then hung up and said I’m not going to do that.

MATTHEWS: Right. What do you want the Democrats to do? What do you want the Democrats to do? 

MAXWELL: I want the Democrats to stand up and fight. I think that, you know, I — I — 

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s a general term. Should they push — should they promise impeachment in this election?

MAXWELL: I don't think you promise impeachment. That’s not the role of the Democratic Party. I think the Democrats can message around holding this president accountable. Impeachment is one of the ways to hold this President accountable, but it is actually up to the citizens and the voters to make sure the Democrats have the votes necessary in order to do any of those things. So it is also on citizens.

(....)

MAXWELL: And earlier, I was chuckling, Chris, because, I think, we’re in a moment where this keeps getting more and more ridiculous, but at the same time, this is so, so incredibly dangerous in this particularly moment. Everything we have learned about this President tells us that he’s impulsive, that he will do things off the cuff just because he is upset and in a peak and that is dangerous when you have launch codes, when you are the commander in chief of the military, when you have the entire federal government at their disposal. And so, I think, you know, as citizens, we really have to seriously ask yourselves what do we do next because the President is not representing all of us. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' statement was interesting. She did not call it fake news and she said that the person who wrote it only cares about their ego. That sounds like Donald Trump to me. He’s the one who always cares about, you know, people saying nice things about him and about his own ego and about how things affect him personally. So I think that that is something. When the president is only thinking about himself and not thinking being the rest of us, who he represents and who he is supposed to be governing, that is a dangerous situation. 

(....)

MATTHEWS: We have connected it in history to George Kennen’s X telegram which was about containment. But in this case, it’s not the containment of a foreign power like the Soviet Union or the communist threat internationally. It’s about the threat of the chief executive of this country.

NB Daily 2018 Congressional Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Steve Schmidt Donald Trump Zerlina Maxwell
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links