MSNBC Contributor Suggests Trump Might Not Be a ‘Democratically Elected’ Thanks to Hush Money

On Wednesday’s Hardball, two separate MSNBC panelists suggested that not only did then-candidate Donald Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal “[rob] the American people of their right to vote,” but that he was not a “democratically elected” president because of them and possible collusion with the Russians.

Going first to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner’s point, he correctly noted to Matthews that there’s plenty of evidence against the President as it relates to both payments shepherded by lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen, but he then went further by stating that those decisions “robbed the American people of their right to vote — of full value of their vote,” so thus “he needs to be held accountable” for that.

 

 

Later in the A-Block, Matthews went to MSNBC contributor Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic (who’s really just a glorified Fusion GPS PR official), telling her to think “big,” wondering: 

Donald Trump says that if he's impeached over something like this, there will be a revolt. Now, I don’t know what metaphor level we take this. Does he mean pitchforks coming into Washington? Does he mean tanks have to be ready to meet the people? When he says a revolt, now you can say that’s stirring up real trouble in this country, what do you make of it? 

Bertrand responded that “[i]t sounds like a dog whistle....appealing to his supporters saying, look, if I get impeached, it's not legitimate but a move by the deep state to remove me.”

She then went into conspiracy theory territory, arguing that “we’re learning now that” Trump might not have been a “democratically elected leader” since “he severely limited voters’ knowledge during the election and may or may not have worked with the Russians, but I think that it was definitely a signal to his base saying this is what you guys should do.”

After Bertrand reiterated that it was “clearly....a dog whistle,” Matthews replied: “It's interesting because if Stormy Daniels was all over the papers the day or two before the election and Karen McDougal, all that would have, I think, changed a few of the votes in Pennsylvania. Don’t you think?”

To their credit, former federal prosecutor Elliot Williams interjected that he wasn’t so sure about that.

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

MSNBC’s Hardball
December 12, 2018
7:06 p.m. Eastern

GLENN KIRSCHNER: You know, prosecutors look at evidence in the totality. We don't just look at one piece of evidence to see what it proves. Now, what do we have? We've got Cohen's testimony, the undercover tape in which the president is virtually admitting he's complicit. We now have AMI and David Pecker saying: “Oh yeah, by the way, catch and kill, that was for political advantage.” And we have Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization who’s giving up where all the financial bodies are buried. When you look at all of that in aggregate, you can walk into court and prosecute the president successfully without breaking a sweat and, finally, Chris, you know, he — the President didn't rob a bank. He robbed the American people of their right to vote — of full value of their vote. For that, he needs to be held accountable. 

(...)

7:14 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Natasha, you’re all over this story, so I want to give you the big question to start with. Ready here? Bill Clinton — not Bill Clinton. Forget Bill Clinton. Erase that from the blackboard. Donald Trump says that if he's impeached over something like this, there will be a revolt. Now, I don’t know what metaphor level we take this. Does he mean pitchforks coming into Washington? Does he mean tanks have to be ready to meet the people? When he says a revolt, now you can say that’s stirring up real trouble in this country, what do you make of it? 

NATASHA BERTRAND: It sounds like a dog whistle. It sounds like he's appealing to his supporters saying, look, if I get impeached, it's not legitimate but a move by the deep state to remove me, your now democratically elected leader even though we're learning now that may not be the case because he severely limited voters’ knowledge during the election and may or may not have worked with the Russians, but I think that it was definitely a signal to his base saying this is what you guys should do. You should be up in arms figuratively, not necessary literally, if I — if the Democrats in the House move to impeach me. Of course, I don't think at this point the Democrats will do that because they have signaled they won't do it if they did not think that the Senate would remove him, but I don’t think there’s any way that you can slice. I think that Donald Trump was clearly sending a dog whistle there. 

MATTHEWS: It's interesting because if Stormy Daniels was all over the papers the day or two before the election and Karen McDougal, all that would have, I think, changed a few of the votes in Pennsylvania. Don’t you think?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS: I don’t know about that.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Michael Cohen Stormy Daniels Chris Matthews Donald Trump
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