Matthews Pushes Conspiracy Theory: Ford Will Go on ‘60 Minutes’ Once Kavanaugh Is Confirmed

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews tried his best on Wednesday to help keep Brett Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court nominee in the face of a three-decades-old sexual misconduct allegation, peddling a conspiracy theory about accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and promoted a dubious claim from a Ford classmate.

At the end of the A-block, Matthews told panelists Phil Rucker of The Washington Post and the NAACP’s Janai Nelson that he had “a scenario...that the Republicans will not like,” which came without any evidence.

 

 

He then laid out how Kavanaugh would be confirmed and begin ruling on cases, but then his life (along with the entire country) would be upended on either November 4 or 5 before the midterm elections when Ford would sit for a TV interview to share her story that’d be so “deadly” to Republicans that they’d be harmed at the ballot box and stuck with a tainted justice (click “expand” to read more):

They confirm confirmed Kavanaugh next Thursday. He becomes a lifetime member of the Supreme Court. He’s in business on the Court, deciding issues like Roe v. Wade and things like that. And come Sunday night or the Monday night before the next election — the midterms elections, the accuser, Dr. Ford, appears on television and gives her full story to a reporter, to an anchor person and the story is deadly, it's deadly and they're stuck with this confirmation. I don't think they're going to be very happy with that scenario. If I were the Republicans, I’d think two or three weeks ahead or even a month and a half ago and know where you’re putting yourself. Wherever you go, that’s where you're going to be and they’re going to be in a very bad place with a nominee confirmed who shouldn’t have been confirmed.

Put simply, the episode was paddling the struggleboat on the facts front. 

Later in the show, Matthews’s conspiracy theory was only encouraged by McClatchy Newspapers White House correspondent Anita Kumar: “Well, I think you hit it just right earlier when you said, what if they go ahead with this quickly and they don't give her a say and they — and something else happens in a couple of weeks? Other information comes through.”

Instead of backing down, Matthews doubled down in a tweet and listed 60 Minutes as a possible show for Ford:

As for Rucker, he offered quite the Freudian slip when he said at the 7:12 p.m. Eastern mark that Ford and her camp have moved the goalposts by moving from demanding an FBI probe to just a non-partisan investigation and then demanding witnesses also testify at a hearing.

All the while, Matthews and Rucker had trouble with the reality when it comes to the FBI investigating Kavanaugh and that Trump should order one himself. If they had read this letter before the show by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) or this piece from The Federalist’s Bre Payton, they’d have their ducks in a row.

Two minutes into the show, Matthews propped up the flimsy claim from a Ford classmate in since-deleted social media posts that she recalled hearing about the alleged Kavanaugh incident in the hallways of school as if it were a bombshell claim and another nail in the coffin for Kavanaugh’s chances.

Thankfully, Megyn Kelly was there to swat it down when he reiterated it to her minutes later.

To end the show, Matthews chided Republicans for only being interested in “procedure” while Democrats care about the well-being of Dr. Ford. Matthews linked this split to the 2000 Florida recount.

“One party, the Democrats, care what this person went through as fundamental as the other party. The other party, the Republicans, want to keep to the schedule, even it if it means leaving her along the roadside,” Matthews concluded.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on September 19, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
September 19, 2018
7:02 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, earlier today, a former schoolmate posted a statement on social media in which she recalled hearing about the alleged assault as a student. The woman writes: “I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen....Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details.” Well, NBC News confirmed that the statements were hers but they did not confirm her allegation itself. The former schoolmate later said that she did not have firsthand knowledge of that incident.

(....)

7:12 p.m. Eastern

PHIL RUCKER: And the statement has shifted from demanding the FBI investigation before any hearing to saying that she wants this hearing to have more people, to have other witnesses but they're still calling for the nonpartisan investigation. It doesn't explicitly say it has to be done by the FBI but her lawyer wants that investigation. The FBI could investigate this issue if President Trump were to direct them to do so but President Trump said today and yesterday as well that he’s not going to do that, that he thinks this needs to be handled by the senate.

(....)

7:15 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Phil, what's the president afraid of? Cause he can ask the FBI to do all sorts of — sometimes crazy things we’ve noticed later, going after Hillary and whatever, e-mails, whatever, but why doesn't he say, “we'll give you a month to look at this.”

RUCKER: It's certainly a good question. He certainly can and there could be a time when he decides to tell the FBI to do it. But he's not doing it now. He's taking direction from White House Counsel Don McGahn and others in the White House and he's letting the senate control this process. He's letting Mitch Mcconnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, and Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee decide how this investigation, if they are going to do one, unfolds and decide how these hearings unfold and the President, so far, has been relatively, mute other than to defend Kavanaugh.

MATTHEWS: I can give a scenario for both of you that the Republicans will not like. They confirm confirmed Kavanaugh next Thursday. He becomes a lifetime member of the Supreme Court. He’s in business on the Court, deciding issues like Roe v. Wade and things like that. And come Sunday night or the Monday night before the next election — the midterms elections, the accuser, Dr. Ford, appears on television and gives her full story to a reporter, to an anchor person and the story is deadly, it's deadly and they're stuck with this confirmation. I don't think they're going to be very happy with that scenario. If I were the Republicans, I’d think two or three weeks ahead or even a month and a half ago and know where you’re putting yourself. Wherever you go, that’s where you're going to be and they’re going to be in a very bad place with a nominee confirmed who shouldn’t have been confirmed.

(....)

7:43 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: How about this impact of this thing of the accuser which she — Dr. Ford and what she said about what she said he did? 

ANITA KUMAR: Well, I think you hit it just right earlier when you said, what if they go ahead with this quickly and they don't give her a say and they — and something else happens in a couple of weeks? Other information comes through. 

(....)

7:58 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the huge difference in how the two parties are approaching the Kavanaugh nomination. The Republicans are focused on procedure. They don't like this accusation about their Supreme Court nominee that it surfaced just days ago. They say the accuser should have been brought forward months ago. The Republicans are sticking to their focus on the time. They say the time has come for the Judiciary Committee to vote on this nomination. If the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, wants to tell her story, she needs to get moving. They say, it's Monday or nothing. 

The Democrats are focused on letting Dr. Ford have a say. The goal, to them, is to hear her story no matter what day that happens. It's not about timetables or procedure, but the democratic right of a citizen to make her case. It's about the respect due to the individual person here who believes she has been wronged by someone who's about to be made a national big shot to sit up there as a member of this country's highest court. 

This difference in the two parties follows a pattern we lived through during the Florida presidential recount back in the year 2000. Back then, the Republicans were the sheriffs of procedure. What mattered to them was the deadline and that the ballots were marked according to the rules. Democrats set a different rule back then. They wanted everyone who voted to have their vote counted no matter how long it took, how they might have erred in casting their vote. Every voter should count, they said, every vote should be counted, they said, every effort should be taken to determine what that voter intended. Well, this treatment of Dr. Christine Ford follows the same stark pattern. One party, the Democrats, care what this person went through as fundamental as the other party. The other party, the Republicans, want to keep to the schedule, even it if it means leaving her along the roadside.


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NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Congress FBI Conspiracy Theories Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Philip Rucker Chris Matthews Bre Payton Donald Trump Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford
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