Go ahead and criticize President Trump’s Mika tweet, but there’s no denying this was disturbing. On Thursday’s Hardball, MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews compared the President to not only communist Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam and a modern-day Romanov but also channel Benito Mussolini having son-in-law Jared Kushner murdered.
Let’s first start with Matthews invoking Mengistu. During a tease about reported disarray in the Trump administration with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being stonewalled from doing his job, Matthews gloated about the “meltdown.”
“It’s a far cry from that love feast we watched a few weeks ago, which is right out of Mengistu’s government in Ethiopia with all the people bowing to the president. Apparently all is not well in paradise,” Matthews quipped.
Later, Matthews told The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker that he’s “allowed to have opinions” (unlike print reporters, supposedly) “and one of my opinions was that nepotism is a bad thing in government” as evidenced by the supposed American incarnations of the Husseins:
You put Uday and Qusay in your government and you’re going to have a problem with everybody else in the government because nobody can fight with them. Nobody can challenge them and, in the end, the son-in-law is always right because he can always to go his father-in-law or his wife and say they were mean to me.
Instead of Tillerson overseeing foreign policy, Matthews observed how “[t]he power seems to have gone to the son-in-law” and thus the Trump’s are “the Romanovs.” He then nudged Parker to agree (which she didn’t): “Is it a royal family instead of a Democratic or a Republican form of government? Or is it a family running the government? Is it Ivanka and Jared and the President sitting around in the White House upstairs ruling the world?”
Once Parker finished her thoughts on how the Trump’s perceive what they’re doing as simply running government like a business, Matthews told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that it might behoove Trump to take a page out of Mussolini’s playbook, which was murder your son-in-law.
“So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law. I mean, I’m talking about Ciano,” he clownishly argued.
Bruni awkwardly stepped in to play the role that Keith Olbermann did when Matthews had a thrill up his leg, telling him that he should “be careful here.”
“That was an extreme measure. But this was — this is a strange situation,” Matthews concluded before giving way to Bruni.