‘Adam Schiff’s Finest Moment’; Matthews Hails Schiff Still Clamoring for Trump-Russia Collusion

NewsBusters has documented how, since Friday night, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews has become a 9/11 truther of sorts when it comes to hold out hope for evidence proving Trump-Russia collusion. The nonsense continued into Thursday’s show in which Matthews wondered if Trump “did...or didn’t he play ball with Vladimir Putin.”

Assisted by the chyron “Mueller Report; If Not Collusion, Quid Pro Quo,” Matthews gushed over the supposed brilliance of Hollywood-area Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) also insisting that there’s still “evidence of collusion” despite the Mueller report’s conclusion.

 

 

Matthews began by acknowledging the Major League Baseball season’s opening day to then offer a baseball analogy: “Did Donald Trump or didn't he play ball with Vladimir Putin beginning with the 2016 election? It's a simple question. Was Trump responding again and again to Putin's push to bring down Hillary Clinton?”

He went on and on with more questions as to how what’s known about the Trump team’s Russian interactions didn’t amount to collusion to then tee up Schiff’s pouty-faced rant against Republicans:

Now, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee believes finding the answers to the questions, whether Trump played ball with Putin is not only a justified mission, but a vital one to this country. Offering one indisputable fact after another today, Congressman Adam Schiff castigated his Republicans colleagues for questioning his aggressive push for the truth about Trump’s backroom machinations.

Turns out, Schiff isn’t asking questions or concerned about the truth but instead manufacturing a conclusion of collusion, Mueller report be damned. Instead of rebutting that further, Schiff’s own words debunk Matthews’s assertion that he just wants the truth (click “expand”):

My colleagues may think it's okay that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian's government's effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think it's okay. [SCREEN WIPE] You might think it's okay their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn't better. [SCREEN WIPE] You might think it's okay that presidential chairman of a campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think that’s okay. I don’t. [SCREEN WIPE] I don't think it's okay. I think it's amoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it's unpatriotic and yes, I think it's corrupt and evidence of collusion. [SCREEN WIPE] I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is okay and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.

Reacting to the clips, Matthews swooned that Thursday morning “may [have been] Adam Schiff's finest moment so far” and was bolstered by a New York Times column by Max Frankel that, in Matthews’s words, argued “that Trump's unseemly relationship with Russia is hiding right there in plain sight.”

Matthews introduced his first panel and went first to the pathetically liberal journalist Phil Rucker of The Washington Post, demanding he agree: “Is this story over because you can't prove an actual crime in the courts?”

Like a good hack, Rucker replied that “the story's not over, Chris, because what we have is Mueller, according to the letter from Bill Barr, saying that he didn't have enough evidence to prove a conspiracy or to charge a crime here, but that doesn't mean no evidence exists” that could arise in the full report.

A few minutes later, Matthews still dithered away like a lost puppy trying to find collusion:

I just wonder if anyone on Earth think it's okay to have your kid, in this case the President's son and namesake, head over to the Trump Tower to look for dirt on Hillary Clinton. If it was okay to go meet in all these other places to get dirt and ask for e-mails and all this stuff and then to change Republican platform, according to the Republic — the Russians interest. 

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on March 28, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
March 28, 2019
7:00 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mueller Report; If Not Collusion, Quid Pro Quo?]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Today's opening day of the Major League Baseball season, of course, and I'm struck — actually with a historic question: Did Donald Trump or didn't he play ball with Vladimir Putin beginning with the 2016 election? It's a simple question. Was Trump responding again and again to Putin's push to bring down Hillary Clinton? And was all that stuff he was throwing out there, the meeting to get dirt on her, the public calls to Moscow for her emails, the change in the Republican platform to support Russia’s position on Ukraine, the talk of easing sanctions, was it all Trump saying again and again to Putin: “you keep up what you're doing and I'll make it worth your while?” We're not going to get a lot of the answers until the full report is released. We learned today, actually, that the report totals more than 300 pages. Pages that could go well beyond the principal conclusions that the attorney general gave us in his four-page summary. Until then we're not going to know all the intrigue — all that Mueller’s investigators actually found out. Now, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee believes finding the answers to the questions, whether Trump played ball with Putin is not only a justified mission, but a vital one to this country. Offering one indisputable fact after another today, Congressman Adam Schiff castigated his Republicans colleagues for questioning his aggressive push for the truth about Trump’s backroom machinations.

CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): My colleagues may think it's okay that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian's government's effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think it's okay. [SCREEN WIPE] You might think it's okay their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn't better. [SCREEN WIPE] You might think it's okay that presidential chairman of a campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think that’s okay. I don’t. [SCREEN WIPE] I don't think it's okay. I think it's amoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it's unpatriotic and yes, I think it's corrupt and evidence of collusion. [SCREEN WIPE] I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is okay and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.

MATTHEWS: Well, that may be Adam Schiff's finest moment so far. To the Congressman’s point, Max Frankel today wrote in The New York Times op-ed that Trump's unseemly relationship with Russia is hiding right there in plain sight. “There was no need for detailed collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy.” Frankel writes that: “As Robert Mueller surely discovered in tracking down these dealings, the promise of policy changes was not in itself illegal.” [INTRODUCES PANELISTS] I want to start with Phil. There — to me — I know we've all been overwhelmed by the Mueller report four-page summary from Barr that there was no crime that he can find by a reasonable doubt. But my God, imagine if the history books are closed on this and it says Trump had a lot of dealings back and forth with the Russian oligarchs and Putin. He was after a lot of dirt from them, he was offering up a lot — a much better U.S. policy on sanctions, on everything else. Oh, he's going to back them on their grab of Ukraine and all that — or grab for Ukraine. And all that but they couldn't prove criminality and that was the end of the conversation? It seems to me that the politicians in the Democratic Party and some of the Republican Party would say: “Wait a minute, do I agree with Adam Schiff who says is this okay the president was dealing back-and-forth, playing ball, to use an American phrase.” “You do this, I'll do that?” Your thoughts. 

PHIL RUCKER: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: Is this story over because you can't prove an actual crime in the courts? 

RUCKER: Well, the story's not over, Chris, because what we have is Mueller, according to the letter from Bill Barr, saying that he didn't have enough evidence to prove a conspiracy or to charge a crime here, but that doesn't mean no evidence exists. And in fact, in that 300-page report, we can surmise there must be some details Mueller's going to share about what he and his investigators uncovered and that's why the Democrats in Congress have been so adamant about seeing the report themselves and not relying only on the Attorney General’s four-page summary of the report. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mueller Report; Dems Explore Legal Options for Obtaining Report]

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s the great question for you, Joyce, and I think it’s more — it's a legal question. It’s also a political question. Because the job of Mueller was to dig up the facts, find out what the Russians did to interrupt our election, to screw with them — basically, with us and our democracy and also to find out if any Americans, particularly the President, were helpful to them or encouraging to them. It seems to me that’s a pretty big question and it's answered in 300-plus pages. I wonder if that isn’t the grist of the Democrats and the others in Congress should be looking at before they make any judgment about this President. Your thoughts. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mueller Report; Full Report Is 300+ Pages]

JOYCE VANCE: We have to see the report before we can make any reliable judgments and there’s a nuance, Chris, we're told that the report is some 300 pages. We don't know how much of that is Mueller’s analysis and how much of that is exhibits. It could be that Mueller has written very little and that it contains a lot of exhibits. It could be that this is 300 pages of analysis and there are exhibits beyond that. We'll have to wait and see. But Phil makes an important point, which there's this universe of criminality, of conspiracy and our criminal justice system is only designed to make a decision about whether someone should be indicted and face prison for criminal conduct. It doesn't give them a blessing if a decision is made not to indict them. In fact, for many people, they can be subjected to a civil lawsuit or some other kind of regulatory activity —

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mueller Report; Dems Explore Legal Options for Obtaining Report]

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

VANCE: — even if what they've done isn't criminal.

MATTHEWS: I just wonder if anybody on Earth —

VANCE: Same for a President except it’s congressional oversight.

MATTHEWS: — I  — I just wonder if anyone on Earth think it's okay to have your kid, in this case the President's son and namesake, head over to the Trump Tower to look for dirt on Hillary Clinton. If it was okay to go meet in all these other places to get dirt and ask for e-mails and all this stuff and then to change Republican platform, according to the Republic — the Russians interest. 

NB Daily Mueller Report Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball New York Times Video Government & Press Robert Mueller Chris Matthews Philip Rucker Donald Trump Vladimir Putin Adam Schiff
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links