Matthews, Friends Think Dem Show Trial of Lewandowski Was a Rousing Success

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Despite the fact that Lewandowski refused to answer a lion’s share of the questioning and squabbled with a few House Democrats on the Oversight Committee, the A-block panel on Tuesday’s Hardball somehow thought the proceedings were a wildly successful exercise for impeachment and shaming those not in the Resistance.

“In an explosive exchange on Capitol Hill, just minutes ago, President Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, admitted he was publicly dishonest whether the President asked him to intervene with Jeff Sessions to kill the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice,” host Chris Matthews screeched, mere minutes into his MSNBC program.

 

 

Elected liberals and fellow journalists should watch out considering how syrupy Matthews was (along with legal analyst Cynthia Alksne) about committee counsel Barry Berke questioning Lewandowski. Going to Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Matthews went off about the Trump administration operating like the mob (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: I think we saw an example today, this will drive the members of Congress crazy but it’s true, this counsel did a hell of a good job.

ALKSNE: He did a great job. I could be a groupie by the end of the day.

MATTHEWS: But he got to Lewandowski to admit on camera for the world, I don’t tell the truth, when interviewed on MSNBC.

ALKSNE: He — he got him to admit basically that he was a liar, that he was proud about it that he was a liar. He got him to admit he had a motive to deliver this message because he was trying to get a job at the White House. Lewandowski tried to use that shield of whatever the White House said and he pulled out Lewandowski’s book and read him sections of it so he had to admit that he had the motive to try to do Trump’s bidding so he could get the job. It was masterful. It was done with a — first with a sledgehammer and then a scalpel.

MATTHEWS: You know, Congressman Steve Cohen, thank you, because I think Americans tend to understand things from movies more than life sometimes and what it reminded me of sending Lewandowski over to the Attorney General’s Office to meet with him outside the building, it’s almost like sending Tom Hagen to the prison to talk to Johnny Five Angels and tell him, we got the goods on you, we got your brother in court. I’m telling you, it looked like a mob kind of operation. Why would the President of the United States use a henchman, Lewandowski, to go to the attorney general off-campus and tell him to drop the case against him or he was going to get fired himself? That seems like mob behavior and a hit man at work.

Matthews later seemed to exhibit a less-than-firm grasp of sports (specifically, scoring in football) during this softball to former Republican-turned-fellow MSNBC sycophant David Jolly:

David, I don’t think the President has ever been stupid enough, he’s not a stupid guy to say, I lie. This guy went out there having a hotdog for about an hour or two, selling his book and having the time of his life up there, enjoying it like in the end zone, like he kicked three — home — touchdowns or something and here’s the guy caught up in a lie right on television, which will never go away. He will always be the guy who said I lied for Trump.

Jolly replied how lying was part of being a Trump Republican and that Lewandowski illustrated how the President ordered him to commit a crime (obstruction of justice), here again providing a case of Jolly maligning those who weren’t throwing daily hissy fits on cable news, painting America in apocalyptic tones.

“[T]he written transcript, will be much more damning than some of the things Lewandowski actually said. Lewandowski gave House Judiciary Committee what they needed today for an article of impeachment against the President of the United States for obstruction of justice,” he added.

Later, Matthews expressed concern Americans will have tuned out Tuesday’s hearing and not take as seriously as they were on MSNBC (click “expand”):

David, let’s talk about the American people who will watch this on the news tonight if they didn’t watch it live, like we did. What will be the reaction today to them? Well, they say, maybe there’s some life left in this impeachment effort. Or will they say, this is pretty awful that a toadie of the President, an intimate body man, I think his job was in the campaign, was given the job of going for the President of the United States to the Attorney General of the United States telling him to call off the dogs, to call off the Mueller investigation or be fired. This is mob behavior, and this guy did it — the guy we’re looking at right now. Your thoughts? What’s the American people — are they just tired of this issue to the point they cannot be reawakened to what we’re talking about?

Before Matthews kvetched about how unified Republicans have become behind President Trump (as if that wasn’t a good thing for him with Democratic presidents), Jolly offered another lecture mirroring pitches from the three Republicans looking to primary the President (click “expand”):

Well, I think they need political leadership to flame the clarity around this and, Chris, to your point, it was a perfectly Trumpian moment, right? Here’s Lewandowski basically testifying to, as you said, mob-like behavior, acting like a tough guy until he gets caught and then he’s a weak man that has to point the finger at a colleague and blame somebody else showing a complete irreverence for the truth, also a Trumpian tenant, if you will, surrounded by Republicans and we be to put this in context, Chris, once again, every time there is a pivotal hearing like this, House Republicans, here they are, presented by somebody who has testified that the President instructed him to obstruct justice and not a single House Republican cares to ask him about that. They simply do the President’s bidding. To your point, Chris, it is up to Democratic leadership, unfortunately, to have to frame the truth for the American people because Republicans will not do that. The onus is on Democrats to lead the American people in this moment.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on September 17, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
September 17, 2019
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: In an explosive exchange on Capitol Hill, just minutes ago, President Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, admitted he was publicly dishonest whether the President asked him to intervene with Jeff Sessions to kill the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice. 

(....)

7:03 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: I think we saw an example today, this will drive the members of Congress crazy but it’s true, this counsel did a hell of a good job.

CYNTHIA ALKSNE: He did a great job. I could be a groupie by the end of the day.

MATTHEWS: But he got to Lewandowski to admit on camera for the world, I don’t tell the truth, when interviewed on MSNBC.

ALKSNE: He — he got him to admit basically that he was a liar, that he was proud about it that he was a liar. He got him to admit he had a motive to deliver this message because he was trying to get a job at the White House. Lewandowski tried to use that shield of whatever the White House said and he pulled out Lewandowski’s book and read him sections of it so he had to admit that he had the motive to try to do Trump’s bidding so he could get the job. It was masterful. It was done with a — first with a sledgehammer and then a scalpel.

MATTHEWS: You know, Congressman Steve Cohen, thank you, because I think Americans tend to understand things from movies more than life sometimes and what it reminded me of sending Lewandowski over to the Attorney General’s Office to meet with him outside the building, it’s almost like sending Tom Hagen to the prison to talk to Johnny Five Angels and tell him, we got the goods on you, we got your brother in court. I’m telling you, it looked like a mob kind of operation. Why would the President of the United States use a henchman, Lewandowski, to go to the attorney general off-campus and tell him to drop the case against him or he was going to get fired himself? That seems like mob behavior and a hit man at work.

(....)

7:08 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: David, I don’t think the President has ever been stupid enough, he’s not a stupid guy to say, I lie. This guy went out there having a hotdog for about an hour or two, selling his book and having the time of his life up there, enjoying it like in the end zone, like he kicked three — home — touchdowns or something and here’s the guy caught up in a lie right on television, which will never go away. He will always be the guy who said I lied for Trump.

DAVID JOLLY: Chris, an hour after, as Eli said, announcing his New Hampshire Senate bid, he announces to the world that he’s a liar. I mean, he confirmed for the world today, Corey Lewandowski did, that he lies to the American people and he’s asking to be a part of the United States Senate. That works in Trump’s GOP but I think New Hampshire Republicans are smarter than that. What he also provided though, Chris, was confirmation today clearly amidst all the circus, to Hank Johnson, that the President of the United States instructed him to commit obstruction of justice and this is one of those hearings where the transcript, the written transcript, will be much more damning than some of the things Lewandowski actually said. Lewandowski gave House Judiciary Committee what they needed today for an article of impeachment against the President of the United States for obstruction of justice

MATTHEWS: Yeah, I think —

JOLLY: — and what he also did, and Nadler kept the hearing open subject to call of the chair, Lewandowski impugned himself. In that written transcript, we will see he impugned his word to Mueller and the committee, and we saw that through the staff counsel’s questioning at the end of the day.

(....)

7:14 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: David, let’s talk about the American people who will watch this on the news tonight if they didn’t watch it live, like we did. What will be the reaction today to them? Well, they say, maybe there’s some life left in this impeachment effort. Or will they say, this is pretty awful that a toadie of the President, an intimate body man, I think his job was in the campaign, was given the job of going for the President of the United States to the Attorney General of the United States telling him to call off the dogs, to call off the Mueller investigation or be fired. This is mob behavior, and this guy did it, 

JOLLY: It is.

MATTHEWS: The guy we’re looking at right now. Your thoughts? What’s the American people — are they just tired of this issue to the point they cannot be reawakened to what we’re talking about?

JOLLY: Well, I think they need political leadership to flame the clarity around this and, Chris, to your point, it was a perfectly Trumpian moment, right? Here’s Lewandowski basically testifying to, as you said, mob-like behavior, acting like a tough guy until he gets caught and then he’s a weak man that has to point the finger at a colleague and blame somebody else showing a complete irreverence for the truth, also a Trumpian tenant, if you will, surrounded by Republicans 

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

JOLLY: And we be to put this in context, Chris, once again, every time there is a pivotal hearing like this, House Republicans, here they are, presented by somebody who has testified that the President instructed him to obstruct justice and not a single House Republican cares to ask him about that. They simply do the President’s bidding. To your point, Chris, it is up to Democratic leadership, unfortunately,

MATTHEWS: Right.

JOLLY: — to have to frame the truth for the American people because Republicans will not do that. The onus is on Democrats to lead the American people in this moment.

MATTHEWS: We have what’s just described then by David, formerly known as a Republican, a description of the modern Republican Party. The President, who’s the only person that matters in their party intellectually, politically, morally, apparently, immorally, has given him an award of excellence for what he did today.

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