Matthews: ‘Will We Get an Asterisk in Our History Books’ Next to Trump Because of Russia?

For MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews, asterisks and history books are a small fascination of his. During the later years of the Obama presidency (here, here, and here are a few examples), Matthews fretted that birthers and other Obama critics supposedly wanted an “asterisk” next to his name or wiped completely from history books. 

But on Thursday, Matthews suggested that should be done to President Trump due to the Russia probe and thus calling into question his legitimacy as President. It came as a contradiction from what he said in this November 2017 interview with Donna Brazile.

 

 

During his second segment discussing the infinitely-tiresome media speculation about the Mueller report, Matthews blurted out to panelists Caroline Fredrickson, Chuck Rosenberg, and Mother Jones’s David Corn: “Will we get an asterisk in our history books thanks to this investigation, so we can put next to the 2016 election the little thing like Barry Bonds used drugs kind of thing. Would that be an asterisk?”

Rosenberg noted that it’d be akin to Bonds and the single-season home run record that would go back to Roger Maris and Matthews concurred. But the pundit then tried to offer another example in disgraced, steroid-using cyclist Lance Armstrong. The only problem was that Matthews twice referred to Armstrong as a woman.

Eye roll.

At any rate, Matthews continued to probe with Rosenberg (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: [W]e’re going to get an asterisk that said yeah, he got the election but — will we get enough information from Mueller to have that in the history books?

ROSENBERG: I think we already know from our intelligence community’s unanimous analysis and opinion that we have an asterisk there, right? They can't tell us how many votes flipped, they can’t tell us how many people changed their minds. They can tell us and they have told us that the Russians interfered in the election and to benefit President Trump. 

MATTHEWS: Will it say Trump helped? 

ROSENBERG: Would? 

MATTHEWS: Will it say Trump helped him?

ROSENBERG: Well, I — well, that — I’m waiting to see the report.

CORN: Well, he — well, he did help them by making it a — making it a political issue —

MATTHEWS: Sent it — giving him polling data.

CORN: — whether this was happening.

Earlier in the segment, Corn added onto the asinine assertion offered by MSNBC colleague Katy Tur hours beforehand, which was that it didn’t really matter whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller finds collusion or the President faces criminal charges.

Corn asserted that it’s “the most....consequential presidential scandal in history” because Trump “basically helped the Russians get away with the attack, whether that’s a crime or not.”

“There's so much he did that is wrong, whether it’s a crime or not and we've gotten focused on the criminal side of this, which he wants, because if he can't be indicted, if he can argue the collusion case, he's doesn’t have to win. He just has to make it messy,” Corn added.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on March 21, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
March 21, 2019
7:23 p.m. Eastern

DAVID CORN: We have to remember that, in this scandal, which I think you can argue is the consequen — consequen — consequential presidential scandal in history, he basically helped the Russians get away with the attack, whether that’s a crime or not. While they were attacking the election throughout the 2016 campaign, he kept saying it wasn't happening. Even after he received briefings that it was, so he has — he wants to cover up the taint, but he also wants to cover up this profound act of betrayal. He wants to — he wants us to forget that he lied to the American public about dealing with Putin and Russia and Putin's own office while campaigning in order to make hundreds of millions of dollars. There's so much he did that is wrong, whether it’s a crime or not and we've gotten focused on the criminal side of this, which he wants, because if he can't be indicted, if he can argue the collusion case, he's doesn’t have to win. He just has to make it messy. He’s already done so much though that if we weren't living in these tribalized time of politics, he would have been raked over the coals and the public would have rejected him for this. 

(....)

7:28 p.m. Eastern

CAROLINE FREDRICKSON: We know Russia interfered in our election. We know the President and his campaign had interactions with the Russians. We know the Russians tried to directly help the campaign. I — you know, the public needs know how far that went. How far up the chain so that we can feel confident in our system of justice and our system of democracy.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Will we get an asterisk in our history books thanks to this investigation, so we can put next to the 2016 election the little thing like Barry bonds used drugs kind of thing. Would that be an asterisk?

CHUCK ROSENBERG: Roger Maris.

MATTHEWS: Yeah or what’s her name? [sic] Lance — what's her name? [sic]

CORN: Armstrong. 

MATTHEWS: Armstrong and we’re going to get an asterisk that said yeah, he got the election but — will we get enough information from Mueller to have that in the history books?

ROSENBERG: I think we already know from our intelligence community’s unanimous analysis and opinion that we have an asterisk there, right? They can't tell us how many votes flipped, they can’t tell us how many people changed their minds. They can tell us and they have told us that the Russians interfered in the election and to benefit President Trump. 

MATTHEWS: Will it say Trump helped? 

ROSENBERG: Would? 

MATTHEWS: Will it say Trump helped him?

ROSENBERG: Well, I — well, that — I’m waiting to see the report.

CORN: Well, he — well, he did help them by making it a — making it a political issue —

MATTHEWS: Sent it — giving him polling data.

CORN: — whether this was happening.

ROSENBERG: Well, and that’s — and that's a fascinating open question that I hope Mueller answers and I hope we get to read it. 

MATTHEWS: About the poll question?

ROSENBERG: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: Yeah. Well, what do they want with that except to do the fine tuning and do the little micromarketing of voters the stuff we know goes on today in trashing him with the black community and people like that — her, rather. Hillary. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews David Corn Donald Trump
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