Matthews Forced to Apologize for Comparing Executive Privilege to Losing Your Virginity

Things got awkward on Wednesday’s Hardball amidst the liberal media-wide meltdown over Attorney General Bill Barr’s Senate testimony when, during an interview with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), host Chris Matthews compared the use of executive privilege to losing one’s virginity. Needless to say, Harris appeared visibly uncomfortable and so Matthews apologized a few minutes later.

Matthews arrived at this NSFW comparison by talking about the discussion of having former White House counsel Don McGahn testify and Barr’s insistence that he might not be able to do so via Trump invoking executive privilege.

 

 

It was here that MSNBC made his virginity claim and Harris uncomfortably told him he wouldn’t go along (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: I guess the question is once he’s testified before Mr. Mueller’s special counsel investigation, how can he now say I won't make the same testimony in public claiming executive privilege. I think it is sort of like virginity, kinda. Once you start talking about a matter in your jurisdiction and then you say, “oh, I’m not doing it anymore.” You can't do it once you’ve started talking. I understand that's how executive privilege works. Once you have given it up, you can't grab it back. How do you see it?

HARRIS: I'm not going to go with you on that metaphor, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Okay.

HARRIS: But I will say this. Dick Durbin did an excellent job of pointing out that there is no, I think, valid reason why he being the attorney general should object to don mcgahn coming before the United State Congress and testifying. 

Almost three minutes after that first mention, Matthews awkwardly interrupted Harris to state: “I'm sorry about that metaphor I used before. I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have used it in this context, however.”

Yikes.

Matthews led off the show minutes before by declaring that “Barr walked into an explosive mine field set by last night's revelation that he had distorted — even undermined the report of Robert Mueller.”

Matthews led off the show minutes before by declaring that “Barr walked into an explosive mine field set by last night's revelation that he had distorted — even undermined the report of Robert Mueller.”

When he brought in Harris, he even wondered aloud to her without evidence whether the President personally orchestrated this “brilliant PR operation” in rolling out the Mueller report:

This was a brilliant PR operation. It started with a two-day wait when he comes out and says the President was exonerated, right? I'm sorry to be so jocular here. It's a serious day and then he lets it marinate or gesticulate for whatever — just ate for four weeks and then he comes out and has a press conference that morning and puts the spin on it that morning. It seemed to be a lot. Do you think the President’s been directing this choreography? 

Throughout the interview, Matthews somehow pushed her from the left, wondering whether Barr is still “upholding his oath to the Constitution,” and if both Barr and Trump should be impeached.

To add another dash of nonsense, Mother Jones’s David Corn didn’t disappoint in the next segment as he rhetorically hyperventilated about the Trump administration possibly “try[ing] to turn our constitutional order upside down in which they don't cooperate with any oversight.” 

With more than a handful of press figures talking about some variation of the Trump administration triggering a constitutional crisis, it’s a term that’s lost some weight because, if everything’s a crisis, nothing is. It’s as simple as that.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on May 1, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
May 1, 2019
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Today in an open Senate hearing, Attorney General William Barr walked into an explosive mine field set by last night's revelation that he had distorted — even undermined the report of Robert Mueller. Now, perhaps because of it, the attorney general is backing out before the House Judiciary Committee. Barr had been refusing to take questions on the lawyers and now he’s refusing to comply with a subpoena for the full Mueller report. 

(....)

7:08 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Well, if this is his baby, who is the daddy because I get the sense watching this. [HARRIS LAUGHS] I mean this. This was a brilliant PR operation. It started with a two-day wait when he comes out and says the President was exonerated, right?

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Yes.

MATTHEWS: I'm sorry to be so jocular here. It's a serious day and then he lets it marinate or gesticulate for whatever — just ate for four weeks 

HARRIS: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: and then he comes out and has a press conference that morning —

HARRIS: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: — and puts the spin on it that morning. It seemed to be a lot. Do you think the President’s been directing this choreography? 

HARRIS: I have no way of knowing that, but I do know what I have seen in the attorney general and what I have seen is someone who clearly does not have the, people in mind as his first priority or his first or for whom he should have the ultimate or important duty. I think he feels a great sense of duty to this President, but does not clearly feel the same sense of responsibility to the American people.

(....)

7:10 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Is he upholding his oath to the Constitution as you watch?

HARRIS: I — well, he has a duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States and I think that certainly we can call into question what is his primary duty in terms of what he thinks of his job. 

MATTHEWS: I thought you were very strong today, so I want to know. How far are you going to do. Do you think he should be impeached? 

HARRIS: I think we should take it one step at a time, but I think he should resign and I do believe, Chris, that he intentionally mischaracterized the report. I believe he intentionally is misleading Congress and the United States Congress that has an independent responsibility as a coequal branch of government to have oversight, to determine the integrity of the system and I think he as he failed to convince the United States Congress that he conducted himself with integrity. 

MATTHEWS: We only have a few minutes more, so let's move ahead. McGahn. Don McGahn. The attorney general also said he’d support the President’s efforts to prevent his former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before the Congress. Here he goes.

SENATOR DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Do you have any objections? Can you think of an objection of why Don McGahn should not testify before this committee about his experience?

ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BARR: Um, yes. I mean, I think he’s a close adviser to the President and the President —

DURBIN: — never exerted executive prejudice. 

BARR: Excuse me?

DURBIN: You may have already waived his executive privilege.

BARR: No, we haven't waived executive privilege. [SCREEN WIPE] Well, that's a call for the president to make. 

MATTHEWS: I guess the question is once he’s testified before Mr. Mueller’s special counsel investigation, how can he now say I won't make the same testimony in public claiming executive privilege. I think it is sort of like virginity, kinda. Once you start talking about a matter in your jurisdiction and then you say, “oh, I’m not doing it anymore.” You can't do it once you’ve started talking. I understand that's how executive privilege works. Once you have given it up, you can't grab it back. How do you see it?

HARRIS: I'm not going to go with you on that metaphor, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Okay.

HARRIS: But I will say this. Dick Durbin did an excellent job of pointing out that there is no, I think, valid reason why he being the attorney general should object to Don McGahn coming before the United State Congress and testifying. 

(....)

7:14 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: I'm sorry about that metaphor I used before. I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have used it in this context, however.

(....)

7:14 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Do you think this — Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, has many people think shrewdly said let's not do impeachment now. Let’s wait, get more information and yet this is a moving reality because the administration is stonewalling on all the subpoena, all the document requests, even the very statutory right of the Congress to ask for the President's tax returns under a 1924 law. They’re just stonewalling it. Is this moving towards a situation where the only weapon to use a tough term, that Congress has left is impeachment? 

(....)

7:27 p.m. Eastern

DAVID CORN: You know, there were a lot of things that happened today. We could spend literally the whole night talking about. But what we’re going to see, I think, on this front, the tax returns and other things, some very major constitutional clashes when Congress tries to get information and there gonna say no. Will Barr come and testify before the House Judiciary Committee? He put it off tomorrow. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

CORN: Will he come back in a week or two? I mean, they may try to turn our constitutional order upside down in which they don't cooperate with any oversight. 

NB Daily Congress Mueller Report Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Robert Mueller Chris Matthews David Corn Kamala Harris Bill Barr
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links