Matthews: Trump Is Illegitimate Because He ‘Won a Fluke Election’ With ‘Russian Help’

Having decided that a new life goal is to lobby for the impeachment of President Trump, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews also made clear over the last week that another objective is to make clear to guests and viewers that Trump’s an illegitimate President because he “won a fluke election” with “Russian help” and that Democrats need “a cheering section.”

Three minutes into the show, Matthews offered this bizarre aside:

I have been trying to figure out for two weeks why this guy is behaving so wacky lately after he won — after he said he won in the Mueller in report. And I’m thinking back, wait a minute. What does he really care more about? His legitimacy. “I won. I won. I won, Mommy. I won. I won. I won. I did it. I did it. I did it.” Well, no. This says you did it with help from Moscow. 

Without irony, Matthews had on former Obama official Ben Rhodes and instead of asking him how and why his administration didn’t stop the Russian interference, he let him blather about how “at no stage has [Trump] acted like an innocent man.”

 

 

Rhodes added that “the reality of Russian interference does call into question the legitimacy of that victory in part because what gets to the core of our democracy more than whether or not you’re aided by a foreign power or foreign adversary in order to get into that office.”

Matthews went next to Bulwark editor-in-chief Charlie Sykes, asserting that he’s been “trying to figure out a little bit of psycho babble here, but the importance of the psychobabble in this case is understanding Trump” since he fired Kirstjen Nielsen.

The MSNBC pundit also claimed that Franklin D. Roosevelt once said “never mention the word rope in a family where there has a hanging and I think that’s — he is really sensitive” about the Russia probe because of “what they did so clearly, to help him.”

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor responded that the Mueller probe “goes to the core of his biggest fear, which is he won't be seen as someone who rightly should be President.”

Condemning Jared Kushner’s downplaying of the Russian troll farms, Alcindor fretted that “they did have any impact.”

“Not only was it something on social media, but there were protests — there were real protests set up. There was also websites [sic] set up to target African-Americans in some cases, telling them not to vote. There were so many things that Russia did,” she added.

Matthews then replied (click “expand”):

And then, of course, Robert Mueller's report comes out and confirms, doubles down, all the 17 intelligence agencies that said so before. And by the way, those who doubt that the little Russian help like bringing up those embarrassing e-mails out of the DNC and all that stuff and Robert — and Podesta — John Podesta’s stuff and all that stuff with Palmieri and all that stuff was embarrassing. We all knew the stories that got out because of their hacking of the DNC and Podesta. I just look at these numbers. Trump didn't win by a landslide....Jefferson was right, you win, you win. But he won such a close election, he must wonder if he doesn't get reelected, how are the history books going to treat him? A guy who won a fluke election because he got Russian help.

Moments later, he mocked Trump as akin to liberals needing a safe space on college campus so they don’t “hear harsh, hurtful, ideological lines from other people.”

It got even more ridiculous at the end of the next segment when he had this plea for Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA):

I think — I think your caucus needs a cheering session. You need pompoms. You need people cheering: “Go, go, go!” I just think you’re all — you’re smart people and can be very calculating. Sometimes, I think a little mad dog is better than calculating. Just my thinking, but you’re a member of Congress. I’m not.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on April 24, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
April 24, 2019
7:03 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I have been trying to figure out for two weeks why this guy is behaving so wacky lately after he won — after he said he won in the Mueller in report. And I’m thinking back, wait a minute. What does he really care more about? His legitimacy. “I won. I won. I won, Mommy. I won. I won. I won. I did it. I did it. I did it.” Well, no. This says you did it with help from Moscow. 

BEN RHODES: Well, first of all, at no stage has he acted like an innocent man. I think that, as you said, just confirming the reality of Russian interference does call into question the legitimacy of that victory in part because what gets to the core of our democracy more than whether or not you’re aided by a foreign power or foreign adversary in order to get into that office. I think the more concerning thing, Chris, though is maybe he wants them to help him again. You know, when you have Rudy Giuliani saying it's okay to accept Russian help, what you’re essentially saying is, “hey, Russia, here's a blinking green light. Come back and help us again in 2020. 

MATTHEWS: Charlie, what do you think about this? I’m trying to figure out a little bit of psycho babble here, but the importance of the psychobabble in this case is understanding Trump because he’s fired Kirstjen — Niel — Niel — what was her last name?

RHODES: Nielsen.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Nielsen

MATTHEWS: Nielsen. Of course, they’re gone, they’re gone. Nielsen, of course, and he seems to not want to hear it anywhere within his counsel. He doesn’t have anybody — Mick Mulvaney says don't bring that up, he doesn't like that. 

CHARLIE SYKES: This is — this is like FDR after Pearl Harbor saying I don't want to hear about the Japanese. Don't talk to me about the Japanese or — or the Germans.

(....)

7:05 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: You know, Charlie, the great FDR quote that is better, I think, even than the one you mentioned was never mention the word rope in a family where there has a hanging and I think that’s — he is really sensitive to this, Yamiche, he doesn't want to talk about the Russians and what they did so clearly, to help him. 

ALCINDOR: It’s because it goes to the core of his biggest fear, which is he won't be seen as someone who rightly should be President. The President is really someone who is focused on his personal issues and I think the White House is — would say don't look at our rhetoric. Look at what we have done. But when you have Jared Kushner out there calling fake — this a couple of Facebook ads when we know is that this was not a couple of Facebook ads. Not only was it something on social media, but there were protests — there were real protests set up. There was also websites [sic] set up to target African-Americans in some cases, telling them not to vote. There were so many things that Russia did. But I know I’ve been talking to White House sources about this and they say, one, Mick Mulvaney doesn't remember telling Kirstjen Nielsen this and that —

MATTHEWS: Can’t remember? Well that’s a similar pattern. I don’t remember.

ALCINDOR: They cannot remember. They also — I talked to some sources at the DHS. They say take this with a grain of salt because now that she’s not in DHS anymore, she is not — she is someone who wants to look at it her own reputation and her own legacy, so there could be allies doing that. But the big issue is of course that we all have heard the President over the last couple of years saying, “you know what? I'm not sure if Russia had a real big impact” —

MATTHEWS: Could be anybody.

ALCINDOR: — when there are so many intelligence agencies that have been telling us for months and even years said they did have an impact. 

MATTHEWS: And then, of course, Robert Mueller's report comes out and confirms, doubles down, all the 17 intelligence agencies that said so before. And by the way, those who doubt that the little Russian help like bringing up those embarrassing e-mails out of the DNC and all that stuff and Robert — and Podesta — John Podesta’s stuff and all that stuff with Palmieri and all that stuff was embarrassing. We all knew the stories that got out because of their hacking of the DNC and Podesta. I just look at these numbers. Trump didn't win by a landslide. He won Pennyslvania by .7 of one percent. He won Michigan by .3 of one percent. He won Wisconsin by, .7. Just he won. Jefferson was right, you win, you win. But he won such a close election, he must wonder if he doesn't get reelected, how are the history books going to treat him? A guy who won a fluke election because he got Russian help.

(....)

7:11 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: You know, I talked to young people who buy into this thing about safe places. They don’t want to hear harsh, hurtful, ideological lines from other people. Trump is like that. He wants a safe race in the white house literally — a place where I don't hear any words about how the Russians helped. It's hurtful to him. Do you realize what Mick Mulvaney is doing here? He’s protecting the President of the United States from realities because he doesn't want to hurt his feelings. 

ALCINDOR: Well, there are people — 

MATTHEWS: This is astoundingly babying of a President. 

ALCINDOR:  — well, there is this idea that the President has surrounded himself with people he feels like he can trust and that are loyal to him and he wants to loyalty to include kind of shield him from the things he doesn't want to talk about. 

MATTHEWS: Hurtful.

(....)

7:26 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS [TO GERRY CONNOLLY]: I think — I think your caucus needs a cheering section. You need pompoms. You need people cheering: “Go, go, go!” I just think you’re all — you’re smart people and can be very calculating. Sometimes, I think a little mad dog is better than calculating. Just my thinking, but you’re a member of Congress. I’m not.

NBDaily 2016 Presidential Mueller Report Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Chris Matthews Yamiche Alcindor Donald Trump Ben Rhodes
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