Matthews, Friends: There Was Still Collusion! And Wikileaks Caused Hillary to Lose Pennsylvania!

Now that the liberal media have had a few weeks since Attorney General Bill Barr’s March 24 letter on the Mueller report, liberal journalists and pundits have returned to insisting that Trump-Russian collusion still took place and it affected voters and thus rendered Trump an illegitimate President. Not surprisingly, that nonsense was alive and well on Thursday’s Hardball.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews was speaking to Congressman Ro Khana (D-CA) when Matthews said he was going “to take a minute to explain why I think there was collusion and why I think — these early reports from the Mueller report which we hopefully will get confirmed next week, that the special counsel's operation believes that the Russian intelligence people manipulated Trump's campaign.”

 

 

“They gave him dirt on Hillary. They sucked him in the way any intelligence operation would. Give him something, get him in the habit of using it, establish a means of working together and all of a sudden you have got a team. Now, whether that's collusion or not, it damn well is being manipulated by the Russians,” he added, to which the far-left congressman completely agreed.

Leading up to that, Mother Jones’s David Corn set the table by reminding viewers that “[i]n Roger Stone's indictment, it said someone directed a senior Trump campaign to instruct Stone to make contact with WikiLeaks.”

Possessing the same slimy demeanor as MSNBC contributor John Brennan, fellow ex-Obama official Ben Rhodes suggested that those opposed to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy were incapable of an original thought in the way of campaign strategy, instead relying on WikiLeaks (click “expand”):

[H]ere's what I wanted to know and I’ve always wanted to know cause we were watching this in the White House at the time and it's not just that WikiLeaks is dumping out these e-mails. It’s that there was a surprising correlation in what Trump was saying and what was in those leaks. So, in other words, Trump was talking a lot about Hillary being corrupt and the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and her operation. You’ll remember that. The WikiLeaks tended to focus on those types of themes. So, the e-mails that were being released mirrored closely what Trump was saying on the campaign trail. We also subsequently found out that a lot of the fake news that Russia was creating and pumping into our system and pumping people's social media feeds similarly amplified some of these themes in right wing media and on  the campaign trail about Hillary's corruption or about her health. So, what I’ve always wondered about in terms of coordination or collusion or whatever you want to say it is, is how come there was this common thread between the e-mails being leaked, what Trump was saying, what the fake news is what was being produced. 

Matthews agreed and suggested without evidence that WikiLeaks “microtarget[ed]” voters to help Donald Trump win Pennsylvania:

[I]n terms of watching how the election turned around in 2016 is surprisingly strong showing by Trump in Pennsylvania which is heavily Catholic in many of its areas and you see how they dumped the dirt by Democrats talking to each other in a way that didn't exactly shine up the Catholics.....As you say, they were microtargeting using WikiLeaks information and WikiLeaks people were getting the right stuff from the Russians who knew what stuff would be useful to hurt Hillary Clinton in states like Pennsylvania which were pivotal 

Corn slithered back moments later, insisting that Trump's personally “helped WikiLeaks help himself” and “sid[ed] with Putin.” With that, Corn predicted Trump’s strategy going forward will be “to divert attention from the principal sin of the Trump administration” and mocked those raising legitimate concerns about spying and the dubious Steele dossier.

“So, this is a hill that Fox — the Planet Fox, Bill Barr, Donald Trump, they will die on this hill, but the real issue was the dossier, spying, not the Russian attacked and we should buy — or even we helped that attack occur,” he added.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on April 11, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
April 11, 2019
7:04 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: David — David Corn is here. David, I want to know who now is nervous that Assange is coming to America? I would think Roger Stone. One person who’s worried. 

DAVID CORN: Well, the question is whether Julian Assange will cooperate or say anything if he gets here. They have to go through the extradition hearing in England. But he, you know, he's in several of the indictments. We have Roger Stone being — remember this. In Roger Stone's indictment, it said someone directed a senior Trump campaign to instruct Stone to make contact with WikiLeaks. We don’t know who did that directly. Was it Trump or somebody else? There are things about the connection between WikiLeaks and people related to Trump that have not been determined. And maybe, big maybe, it will be in the Mueller report if not redacted. 

MATTHEWS: Well, we know, so far, Robert Mueller did reveal a link between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks through former campaign adviser, Roger Stone. As David just mentioned, according to stone's indictment in January, around June or July of 2016, “Stone informed senior Trump campaign officials that he had information indicating [WikiLeaks] had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.” And then after the first batch of DNC e-mails were released in late July: “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information [WikiLeaks] had....Stone thereafter told the Trump Campaign about future releases of damaging material by [WikiLeaks].” He knew. What a relationship. In his congressional testimony this Febryaryt, Michael Cohen alleged that Roger stone gave candidate trump advanced notice that WikiLeaks would release hacked DNC e-mails. Here we go.

MICHAEL COHEN: I was in Mr. Trump's office when his secretary announced Roger Sone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speaker phone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect, wouldn't that be great? 

MATTHEWS: Congressman, I just want to take a minute to explain why I think there was collusion and why I think — these early reports from the Mueller report which we hopefully will get confirmed next week, that the special counsel's operation believes that the Russian intelligence people manipulated Trump's campaign. And I believe here is the example of how they did it. They gave him dirt on Hillary. They sucked him in the way any intelligence operation would. Give him something, get him in the habit of using it, establish a means of working together and all of a sudden you have got a team. Now, whether that's collusion or not, it damn well is being manipulated by the Russians. 

CONGRESSMAN RO KHANA (D-CA): And I think as Ben Rhodes pointed out, there is evidence that Assange was cooperating with the Russians to help Trump. I’ve never seen a politician other than Trump have the amnesia and inconsistency and get away with it. It would end 

MATTHEWS: Just like there. We should it there.

KHANA: It would end any person in congress's career. Of course they are concerned what Assange is going to say. That said, I do think that journalists should be concerned because the indictment is overbroad. It goes after Assange even for sharing information with any source if they share information with a journalist. It criminalizes that and I think that does raise First Amendment concerns. 

(....)

7:09 p.m. Eastern

BEN RHODES: Well, Chris, here's what I wanted to know and I’ve always wanted to know cause we were watching this in the White House at the time and it's not just that WikiLeaks is dumping out these e-mails. It’s that there was a surprising correlation in what Trump was saying and what was in those leaks. So, in other words, Trump was talking a lot about Hillary being corrupt and the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and her operation. You’ll remember that. The WikiLeaks tended to focus on those types of themes. So, the e-mails that were being released mirrored closely what Trump was saying on the campaign trail. We also subsequently found out that a lot of the fake news that Russia was creating and pumping into our system and pumping people's social media feeds similarly amplified some of these themes in right wing media and on  the campaign trail about Hillary's corruption or about her health. So, what I’ve always wondered about in terms of coordination or collusion or whatever you want to say it is, is how come there was this common thread between the e-mails being leaked, what trump was saying, what the fake news is what was being produced. Just like I want to know why it is the Russians were able to prioritize certainly states and geographies in the United States that were important to Trump. I think there’s a lot in that October time period  that raises a lot questions and if Julian Assange is compelled to cooperate, we might get more answers just like I hope we get more answers and actually be able to read the Mueller report instead of just getting this whitewashed public relations strategy from Barr. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah and Ben and everybody, in terms of watching how the election turned around in 2016 is surprisingly strong showing by Trump in Pennsylvania which is heavily Catholic in many of its areas and you see how they dumped the dirt by Democrats talking to each other in a way that didn't exactly shine up the Catholics. And then they go, ‘oh let’s get this dump out there. Let's get this out to Pennsylvania.’ As you say, they were microtargeting using WikiLeaks information and WikiLeaks people were getting the right stuff from the Russians who knew what stuff would be useful to hurt Hillary Clinton in states like Pennsylvania which were pivotal 

(....)

7:12 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: David, how can you attack someone for catching the bad guys. Look at all the evidence. Look at all the convictions. Look at the fact that we now have evidence probably coming out next week showing that they did manipulate the trump campaign and if all of that is manifest, how can you say you shouldn't have dug it up? 

CORN: Well, these are the flip sides of the same coin. Donald Trump denies anything — knowing anything about WikiLeaks because now we know WikiLeaks was part of a Russian operation aimed to help him and he helped WikiLeaks. 

MATTHEWS: This is all in your book.

CORN: Yeah. He helped WikiLeaks help himself and we also know now thanks to the U.S. intelligence community but also to Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committees, they all say this operation happened, it occurred and while it was underway, Trump was denying it was happening. He was siding with Putin over his own U.S. intelligence while U.S. was being attacked. So, he needs to divert attention from the principal sin of the Trump administration. That is to say, ‘no, no, no, the real story is the dossier. The spying. That's what really happened. Not that we were attacked. And I gave cover to the attack’ So, this is a hill that Fox — the Planet Fox, Bill Barr, Donald Trump, they will die on this hill, but the real issue was the dossier, spying, not the Russian attacked and we should buy — or even we helped that attack occur.

NB Daily Mueller Report Russia Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball Video WikiLeaks Chris Matthews David Corn Ben Rhodes Donald Trump Julian Assange
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