MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has been scoffing at Donald Trump’s description of Hillary Clinton as an “enabler” of her husband’s serial abuse of women. Trump said:
“(Hillary’s) got a problem. She’s married to a person that’s a serious abuser — and I mean, at the highest level. She’s not an innocent victim. She was the one that would go along with him in this whole game that they play. She’s not the innocent person sitting by his side, with tears in her eyes …”
In disbelief, Matthews responded: “I have never heard anybody go after Hillary Clinton and say she’s an enabler.”
This is the equivalent of Keith Olbermann’s indignant claim — after it was pointed out that he didn’t go to the Ivy League Cornell, but to the non-Ivy agriculture school at Cornell — that “I have never before heard one graduate of one of the university’s colleges belittling all its other colleges.” (Cornell students are obsessed with the different schools on campus. Insiders’ guides warn applicants about the snobbery of the Ivy League Cornellians toward the state college students.)
Matthews continued, “(Hillary) was shocked by Monica, and I believe that story that she had no idea something like that was going on in the White House. She was hurt by it. People could see the hurt in her face, what it had done to her.”
The way I remember it, some people did question Hillary’s innocence about her husband’s repeated, multiple sex scandals. So I ran a search — and look what turned up!
— “Hillary Clinton, first officer of the deck. There she is on with Katie Couric on the ‘Today’ show sticking it to the right. ‘This is a right-wing conspiracy. There is no Monica Lewinsky, there’s a right-wing conspiracy.’ What do you think of that political firepower?” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” June 16, 1998 (interviewing one of Bill’s many mistresses, Gennifer Flowers)
— “I think that nice picture of the (Clinton) family, the three of them walking along the Great Wall of China, was a nice photo, but it’s not reality. This family seems to bring trouble with them. … It’s always Hillary involved with the president when you have trouble.” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” June 29, 1998
— “There’s a risk — the risk is that (Hillary) gets out there even further in saying nothing happened, and then (President Clinton) has to announce on national television in two weeks … ‘I’ve been lying to her,’ or, ‘She’s been cooperating with me in a conspiracy.’ Which is worse?” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Aug. 19, 1998
— “In 1992, Hillary was very effective when she came before the American people on the ’60 Minutes’ program and offered herself very effectively as a character witness for her husband. She said, ‘Of course, he’s had problems in the past,’ as he admitted he caused pain. ‘But he was a good man.’ She was a character witness.
“In 1998, in January, on that Matt Lauer interview on the ‘Today’ show, she didn’t offer herself as a character witness. She offered herself as an alibi. She said, ‘He didn’t do it.’ I’m here — I’m this guy’s wife and I’m telling you it didn’t happen. … How can a woman, who’s been betrayed by her husband so vividly, come back and offer herself once again as a character witness? How can she swear to his character if he betrayed her?” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Sept. 18,
— “Men feel they get married and they cut a deal. It’s called fidelity. It’s a great deal, you spend your life with somebody you love, and it’s a great deal, let’s face it. But there’s one little catch. … And then they see Hillary say, ‘Well, our deal’s a little more complicated,’ as they like to say at the White House. Everything’s more complicated when you’re guilty.” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Sept. 30, 1998
— “Was Hillary Clinton part of the cover-up (of the Monica Lewinsky scandal) the last seven months?” — Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Aug. 19, 1998
Matthews wouldn’t drop the Hillary cover-up question, so Jay Carney — then with Time magazine, later President Obama’s press secretary — finally answered: “It’s unclear how much she knew, Chris, but it is implausible to a lot of people, including people very close to the president, that she knew as little as they’re claiming that she knew.”
In Matthews’ defense, when it comes to Hillary, he isn’t the only one with amnesia about Team Clinton.
That’s why no one under 30 has ever heard of Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Dolly Kyle Browning, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, Kathleen Willey and Monica Lewinsky. Nor have they heard that Hillary’s explanation of all these alleged rapes, molestations (proved), gropings (proved) and sexual affairs (proved) was that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy, conspiring against my husband.”
At the time, no one believed Hillary wasn’t in on the cover-up, even those “close to the president” — in the words of Obama’s first press secretary, Carney. Of course, as Matthews said (in 1998): “Which is worse?” Either Hillary was Bill’s co-conspirator in his abuse of women, or — as Matthews evidently believes today — she is the most gullible woman in the universe.