Ah, so trying to keep up the fight to try and turn the tide in Georgia is okay, but to MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews on Tuesday, doing so in Florida makes you a “clown” and “Third World” “tin pot dictator” of a country where the losers are killed by hanging.
Matthews screeched about Trump being a “bitter” and “resentful” “sore loser” who’s “destroying America's faith in the election process” along with “his Republican colleagues” for raising questions about election officials in South Florida as three tense recounts are underway in the race for Agriculture Commissioner, Governor, and U.S. Senate.
The MSNBC pundit rhetorically patted Republican and losing Arizona Senatorial candidate Martha McSally on the head for how she conceded to Democrat Krysten Sinema and used that to suggest that Trump and “his kowtowers” are saying things that you see “in countries like Pakistan, where they hang the losers” and “[w]here they say, every election you lose is rigged....like in — you know, Zimbabwe, every election is rigged if you lose it.”
While speaking to Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL), Matthews peddled a conspiracy theory like some of his fellow MSNBC colleagues have that the President was laying the groundwork this year to dismiss his possible electoral loss in 2020 as illegitimate.
Like a good MSNBC guest, Bustos agreed with Matthews and lamented that Trump’s “a master distracter” and used her previous job as a journalist to lament Trump’s rhetoric about the media.
Matthews went next to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa on that same subject and Costa pained an increasingly repetitive line that the President is “a man alone after the midterm elections, preparing to make changes in his cabinet, looking possibly at making a change as chief of staff.”
When Matthews wondered if Trump “know[s] he's tearing down” our cherished federal institutions, Costa responded:
Does he knowing he’s tearing down? He’s shattered norms for a living. All he does is take a hammer to presidential norms. He’s been doing it since he was elected and no one around believes they can control him on that front. This is a President — this is a President who embraced Kris Kobach in Kansas who lost the gubernatorial race, and despite really no evidence that there's rampant voter fraud across the country, he's going behind candidates that say there is.
Despite the fact that the tide has turned with Hillary Clinton struggling to move on from the 2016 election, Matthews burst out shouting about Trump peddling “real Third World stuff” related to his feelings about electoral results heading into Election Day.
Matthews replied after the clip to Bustos that Trump offered an “idiotic, Third World, asinine view of every clown and tin pot dictator in the Third World” in which “[i]f they win the election, it was clean, if they lose, it was rigged.”
He offered more drivel, which Bustos also approved of (click “expand”):
MATTHEWS: You see it all the time in countries like Zimbabwe. I don't want to single them out that, but that's a classic example. You lose, it was rigged. I see that in Pakistan and countries like that. They don't have trust in their institutions and this is a one-man wrecking ball going around the country, telling 40 percent of the country who believes in this guy, the lemmings of the Republican Party, don't trust votes. Don't trust press. Don't trust FBI. Don't trust Justice Department. That's what he's saying. Don't trust anybody but me, because I'm your leader.
BUSTOS: Yeah. Chris, I just wish you would tell it like it is. I'm concerned about your candor here.
After Bustos rattled off a list of Democratic legislative priorities, Costa blasted Bustos for even talking policy because it’d be doubtful the President would cooperate given “this sort of temperament” we’re witnessing.
To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on November 13, click “expand.”
November 13, 2018
7:00 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sore loser. Let’s play Hardball. [HARDBALL OPENING CREIDTS] Good evening. I'm Chris Matthews in Washington. There's lots of news and lots of fronts tonight. President Trump's again calling for an end to the Florida vote count, accusing officials there of messing with the results. A milestone on the Mueller investigation could be nearing. There's a major development on that front tonight and drama in the East Wing. First Lady Melania Trump called for the firing of a senior National Security Council official after a series of run-ins with the First Lady’s office. We begin with President Trump, who has made a habit of trashing our Democratic institutions, a selfish willingness to destroy the foundations of American civil life in his pursuit of absolute power. “I have an absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice department,” he told The New York Times. Absolute right. He's made a support of denigrating the FBI.
7:02 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: And now in a report just out tonight, by the L.A. Times, a week after the elections, President Trump is bitter and resentful about the results and he's lashing out. Looking for someone to blame, he's now destroying America's faith in the election process itself, by undermining the electoral process down in Florida and since this election, he's tweeted ten times that the elections were a fraud and an embarrassment. He's accused Democrats of corruption, saying they want to steal the election and today, he demanded that Democrat bill Nelson quit the legally mandated recount process, tweeting: “When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to ‘find’ enough votes, too much spotlight on them.” Well, this time, he’s bringing his Republican colleagues along for the ride.
7:05 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: So I wanted to show McSally in the normal way you concede, although that was very nice, even cute sitting there with the dog, that was very nice. But you know, when you lose, you lose. Numbers talk. Trump's out there saying, stealing, fraud, these people are up to mischief. He's got his kowtowers running along, like Lindsey Graham, saying mischief. He has all of these people saying this stuff. This is what they say in countries like Pakistan, where they hang the losers. Where they say, every election you lose is rigged. Everywhere — like in — you know, Zimbabwe, every election is rigged if you lose it. This is the stuff we used to be proud of in this country, that we accept the integrity of our especially when there's no evidence whatever, according to the Secretary of State down in Florida, of any misbehavior, of any irregularities. And the President's out there trumpeting these lies.
7:06 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: Is he afraid of losing this election for the governorship or the Senate down there, or is he afraid of losing the next election? And that's why he's crawling, yelling out “fraud” and “fraud.” He's probably going to win these two. They've got the advantage down there. So why is he saying this unless he's trying to do what he told Lesley Stahl was going to do. Discredit any obstacle, do whatever he wants, say whatever so when he does have a crisis, for example, in 2020, he can cry “fraud” then and his troops will come out and say “yes, yes, yes, sir, that's true, they stole it again.”
DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN CHERI BUSTOS (IL): We he's a master distracter, I mean, everybody knows that. But look what he's doing to the press. For how long has he been talking about the press is the enemy of the people. Chris, you and I have talked about this before, I'm a former reporter. That's what I did for almost two decades and I can tell you we went into the newsroom every single day, just as you do, to get to the truth and if we need to expose corruption, we expose corruption. If we need to talk about families that are doing great things, we'll talk about families that are doing great things, but — but Donald Trump, to call the press the enemy of the people, to interfere with the election process, to try to undermine Americans' faith in the election system, that is what is disgraceful and we need to — you brought up 2020. It is imperative that we do everything we can to be successful in 2020. We just had a very good election cycle. It looks like in the House, we could pick up as many as 39 seats. We still have some that are in play, which is — which is a very strong number. We won in districts where we didn't think we were going to even have a shot at winning and now what — you know, I'm running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and should I be successful in that, I want to make sure that we hang on to these tough districts and these ones that we barely lost, places like central Illinois, where Betsy Dirksen Londrigan only lost by a very slight margin, that we get these people to run great campaigns again and we're successful in 2020.
MATTHEWS: Hold on there, congresswoman. Let's go to Robert Costa. You know Donald Trump. Is he angry or is he angling for the next election? Why is he going around saying things about the Florida race? Both of his candidates down there for governor and Senate are ahead. There's no real evidence that they're not going to win. Why is he out there trashing the system and the recount?
ROBERT COSTA: Talking to White House officials and confidants of the president, they say he's a man alone after the midterm elections, preparing to make changes in his cabinet, looking possibly at making a change as chief of staff. It's him, his Twitter, his inner instincts.
MATTHEWS: Why is he so ticked off?
COSTA: He's ticked off because he's lost power. You know that as well as anyone.
MATTHEWS: He's lost the House. Did he felt he got a rejection from the American people in the popular vote, in the nationwide national count went against him?
COSTA: He also feels vulnerable with the Mueller investigation, not knowing what's going to be in that report that's coming out perhaps in a few weeks.
7:10 p.m. Eastern
MATTHEWS: Why does he assume or say that nothing is on the level? I mean, there's nothing that he's said that the FBI is on the level, the Justice Department is not on the level, the press is not on the level, the Florida election machine is not on the level. Everybody's a cheat, how he looks at it. Is he projecting?
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN RYAN COSTELLO (PA): That's how he fights.
COSTA: It's grievance populism. That's the same thing he said in 2016, calling everything is rigged. That’s the way he processes national policy.
MATTHEWS: Does he know he's tearing down these institutions?
COSTA: Does he knowing he’s tearing down? He’s shattered norms for a living.
MATTHEWS: What do you mean by that.
COSTA: All he does is take a hammer to presidential norms. He’s been doing it since he was elected and no one around believes they can control him on that front.
MATTHEWS: But when FBI agents, men or women, whatever their politics, they have to go out and risk their lives. Doesn't he know that they have to be seen as people of integrity who represent the government and not as, you know, off — you know, crooks —
COSTA: This is a President —
MATTHEWS: — who have stench, as he put it?
COSTA: — this is a President who embraced Kris Kobach in Kansas who lost the gubernatorial race, and despite really no evidence that there's rampant voter fraud across the country, he's going behind candidates that say there IS.
MATTHEWS: Okay, here he is with the real Third World stuff. Speaking of which, it’s not the first time Trump has questioned the legitimacy of our elections. Months before the presidential election in 2016, when he thought he was going to lose, he began claiming the election was rigged. Let's watch that.
[TRUMP 2016 CLIP]
MATTHEWS: You know, Congresswoman, that is the idiotic, Third World, asinine view of every clown and tin pot dictator in the Third World. If they win the election, it was clean, if they lose, it was rigged. You see it all the time in countries like Zimbabwe. I don't want to single them out that, but that's a classic example. You lose, it was rigged. I see that in Pakistan and countries like that. They don't have trust in their institutions and this is a one-man wrecking ball going around the country, telling 40 percent of the country who believes in this guy, the lemmings of the Republican Party, don't trust votes. Don't trust press. Don't trust FBI. Don't trust Justice Department. That's what he's saying. Don't trust anybody but me, because I'm your leader.
BUSTOS: Yeah. Chris, I just wish you would tell it like it is. I'm concerned about your candor here.
BUSTOS: Hey, look, we're going to be sworn in the majority on January 3rd. One of the first things we're going to do is address the fact that we've got a problem with making sure that we invest in — that our polling places are safe. That we take a look at the money in politics. That we've got a whole reform package to make sure that things are working in Washington the way they should work and so, you know, we're ready to go on day one. Not just with that, but also, not to bring in another topic, but we've got to address rebuilding our country again. You know, one of our competitive advantages we've always had as Americans is, we've been able to move our goods to market better than any other country. So we're going to have a $1 trillion rebuilding America package and we're going to bring down the costs of prescription drugs and — and health care. So those are our three top priorities, including restoring faith in — in democracy, because of what the President has done over these last several years, before even he was President.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much. Is anything sacred with this guy, besides his family?
COSTA: Well, listening to the congresswoman, is there really anything even possible in this kind of charged environment with the President lashing out at his own party, at the Democrats, to talk about prescription drugs and infrastructure, that's a rosy view of what could happen in January. But a lot of people up here on Capitol Hill, they done see it happening if the President's in this sort of temperament.